4 Key Steps to Meeting Customer Expectations on Social Customer Service

In recent years we have witnessed a revolution in social customer service. Customers are now reaching out across social channels and their expectations are high. Numerous recent studies show a much higher customer expectation across channels like Twitter and Facebook vs what brands are able to deliver.

social-statsMeeting these expectations is even more prevalent when we consider that social channels are in the public domain and, therefore, a brand’s service levels are evident for all to see. We must start to do everything we can to ensure that we meet customer expectation on social customer service.

Here’s a list of 4 key steps to improve response time across social channels:

1. Reduce Noise Into Relevancy

The sheer volume of social mentions that a brand receives can be a problem to manage. So, how do we determine what is social ‘noise’ and, in turn, identify the ‘relevant’ mentions that we need to focus on?

  • Keyword Tables – by using a number of keyword tables we can define a subset of keywords and phrases that allow us to automatically identify specific types of social mention.
  • Tag, Prioritise and Assign – each type of activity can then be tagged as marketing or customer service or ‘noise’ etc. So, we can then define a priority level and assign to the appropriate team.
  • Bulk Actions – if we get an unforeseen spike of ‘noise’, use bulk actions to search by keyword and manage that subset of data with a bulk tag, priority setting and assignment (or close).

The net result should be a much more focused stream of relevant mentions which are tagged, prioritised and assigned across a number of teams and agents.

2. Identify Key Mentions

As well as analysing the content of a tweet or post, we need to be able to identify social mentions that come in from specific influencers, key customers and also spot mentions that are ‘trending’.

  • Top Influencers – use analytics to understand who the key influencers are across sector and across social channel. Then, make sure you identify and prioritise their tweets and posts.
  • Key Customers – over time, you should now be identifying your own key customers. Whether it’s a setting post-interaction or intelligence gleaned from CRM, identify your key customers and prioritise a response.
  • Recent Customers – if a customer has previously contacted you within a period (say 24 hours), it is often due to an unresolved issue. Make sure you track this and prioritise a response.
  • Top Mentions – use real time analytics and alerts to track trending topics and specific mentions that have been liked or retweeted multiple times. Engage in these conversations quickly and manage the situation proactively.

By identifying key mentions, you can proactively look to manage key social conversations and protect brand reputation across the social sphere.

3. Distribute Mentions Effectively

Now that we have a stream of relevant social mentions to work on, we need to ensure that we distribute them effectively across a virtual team of social customer service agents.

  • Teams & Agents – with keyword tables in place, make sure you have the virtual team and agent structure in place to direct the right mention, to the right agent, at the right time.
  • Dynamic Distribution – you must ensure mentions are only delivered to teams and agents that are available, logged in, have the right skills and are capable of responding to the issue quickly.
  • Overflow Options – if not, make use of ‘mention caps’ and ‘time elapsed’ settings to redirect mentions to a wider team of overflow agents that can at least respond within an acceptable timeframe.

An intelligent distribution of mentions across a core team (and potentially an overflow team) is key to ensuring social teams can match up to the ever-increasing customer expectations across social channels.

4. Measure Relevant KPIs

Delivering effective social customer service relies on a mixture of real time analysis of social insight, along with tracking a range of internal KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics.

  • Real Time Insight – as mentioned above, we need to track trending topics and top mentions in real time. We also need to be aware of spikes as they occur, to be able to proactively manage the response.
  • Internal KPIs – supervisors need to be able to monitor the volume of mentions, across channel, team and agent in real time. TTA (Time to Answer), AHT (Average Handle Time) and performance against a defined SLA (Service Level Agreement) are all key metrics to track for optimising response times.
  • Customer Satisfaction – even if our response times are good, we still need to measure customer satisfaction across social channels. Use post-interaction surveys to capture customer feedback, tracking customer scores and comments in real time.

Make sure your social media platform provides both real time analytics and a range of KPIs across customer engagement to proactively monitor and improve the delivery of your social customer service!

18 Key Reports and KPIs For Effective Social Customer Service

What a revolution we’ve seen in social media over the last 5 years. There’s been a distinct move from seeing social media as purely a marketing channel, into what is now a vital social customer service channel.

With this in mind, we must start to understand the key social media reports and KPIs that we need to help deliver effective social customer care. To get us started here’s a list of 18 reports and KPIs that you must start tracking:

Analytics Reports

1. Buzz Volume

Here we’ve got to track the volume of social mentions that we receive, across multiple social channels. It’s essential to track Buzz in real time, so we can get an early indication of any spikes in social activity.

2. Channel Breakdown

Any modern brand should be operating across multiple social channels. Make sure you’re tracking activity across Twitter, Facebook and any other social profiles. A channel breakdown will let you identify the key conversations, across each channel.

3. Regional Breakdown

Once we have a social profile, we can not control ‘where’ our customers reach out to us from and potentially in which language. If you have a multi-national brand, make sure you’re tracking which country your customers are contacting you from and position your resource accordingly.

4. Keyword Tables

Make sure you set up keyword tables. These can help you understand more about the nature of your social media enquiries. Are your customers contacting you about delivery issues, payment problems or specific products? Through keyword tables you can better understand the voice of your customer (VoC).

5. Key Influencers

It doesn’t matter which industry sector you operate in, there are always key influencers that you need to track. Whether they are posting blogs or replying to tweets, make sure you are tracking and reporting on the activity of a subset of key individuals or social influencers.

6. Track Sentiment

Automated sentiment may have its limitations. But, tracking sentiment is still an important metric for brands to measure. The days of standard positive, negative and neutral sentiment should be behind us now, with brands looking to differentiate automated sentiment on a 1-10 scale for more meaningful feedback.

Engagement Reports

7. Agent Performance

Assuming we have a team of social customer service agents, we must start to analyse their workload. How many mentions have they been assigned, how many have they completed, what was their average time to answer and their performance against a defined SLA?

8. Team Performance

It is common now to see at least a marketing team and customer service team working across social channels. We need to be able to compare workload and performance across teams, often helping us more accurately define and forecast resource requirements.

9. Response Times

With ever increasing customer expectations across social channels, we must accurately measure the percentage of mentions responded to and the TTA (Time to Answer). Often, this depends on our ability to reduce social noise into relevancy.

10. Interaction Breakdown

Social customer service involves a range of interactions, from replies and direct messages, to tagging activity, retweets and follows. Make sure you are tracking all types of social interaction to better understand the workload of your teams and individual agents.

11. Resolution Breakdown

As with other contact channels, you should be tracking the resolution of each customer interaction. By its very nature, social media creates a lot of noise and this needs to be monitored. But, we also need to measure all types of resolution, with agents using the appropriate resolution codes.

12. Customer Satisfaction

As mentioned above, standard sentiment monitoring is important for marketing. But, we should be asking for and tracking customer satisfaction across social channels. Whether we ask for a simple 1-10 NPS rating or link to a survey, make sure you track by agent and monitor satisfaction levels closely.

Other Key Reports and MI

13. Publishing KPIs

Generally more important to marketing, but customer service should monitor these KPIs too. Monitoring how many like, shares, favourites, and retweets your posts receive will help customer service understand the top topics and key conversations going on in the social sphere.

14. Publishing Schedule

Paramount to resourcing is ensuring that customer service has visibility of marketing’s planned publishing schedule or calendar. If marketing are about to launch a new campaign or offer on social, we need to be aware of the potential impact on buzz volume and resource accordingly.

15. 24/7 Alerts

We know that it’s best practice to define your social media team’s working hours. However, if you can’t provide 24/7 support, make sure you at least make use of real time alerts or notifications. These can be triggered by a simple keyword or if a key influencer tweets about your brand.

16. Key Customers

Although social influence (or Klout) is still important, it is becoming more important to understand who your key customers are across social channels. Hook into your CRM and start to record the Twitter and Facebook IDs of your key customers so you can start to prioritise a response.

17. Data Overview

Having an overview of all your current social activity, across channels, can help a supervisor to really manage the distribution and prioritisation of mentions across a team of agents. During spikes, bulk actions are key to helping to manage noise and ensure priority items are dealt with effectively.

18. Audit Trail

Without a detailed audit trail you do not have full accountability for your social channel. Make sure that you have a record of every mention and every social interaction dealt with by your team, with related time/day stamp, agent name and associated notes.

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