Why Social Media Makes Customer Service Better

Very nice post over the weekend on Mashable: Why Social Media Makes Customer Service Better. Unless you start asking yourself, isn’t it obvious? Do we need to read this?  Well, yes and no. The Mashable post starts with this: 

KLMBy the end of the year, 80% of companies plan to use social media for customer service. On the consumer side, 62% of customers have already used social media for customer service issues. Gartner predicts one billion users will be on social networks by the end of 2012

But doesn’t take long to get to this:

But problems still exist. A study by A.T. Kearney found that, of the top 50 brands, 56% did not respond to a single customer comment on their Facebook Page in 2011. Brands ignored 71% of customer’s complaints on Twitter. And, 55% of consumers expect a response the same day to an online complaint, while only 29% receive one. Your customer service strategy must include social media and be part of your long-term business plan to maintain competitive advantage.

The post ends up quoting public relations managers from UPS and KLM Airlines with three specific tips:

  1. Integrate social media into your existing customer service function. Gone are the days when social media sat on their own at the table, you now have allow social to influence all business functions to become a more responsive customer-centric business.
  2. Create humanized response models to engender loyalty and build relationships. Many companies are guilty of creating robust and well-planned strategy for social customer service delivery -– but fall at the final and most important hurdle — creating a voice your audience can relate to.
  3. Monitor social interaction to spot issues and solve problems before they become crises. Social customer service delivery involves dealing with criticism and complaints in public, often in front of an audience of millions. If you’re going to prevent a small problem growing into something worse, you need to have a detailed understanding of what you need to respond to, a path to response, and escalation policies for resolution.

Nothing new? Boring same-old stuff? Maybe, but a good reminder too. 

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