November 26, 2014 Luke Porter

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!

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