Friday, October 5, 2012

Why Do Customers Use Social Networks for Customer Service

Every day, an increasing number of connected consumers are taking to social networks to ask for help or express sentiment related to business or product related experiences; some do so to seek resolution from their peers, others broadcast questions or comments as a form of catharsis; and a smaller group of consumers actually hope to receive a response directly from the company. The reality is that social media is the new normal. A myriad of social networks, whether you use them or not, are now part of the day-to-day digital lifestyle with Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Youtube among others becoming the places where your customers connect, communicate, and engage around experiences. They take to these social networks and more because they can. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

As you rethink the future of service, you cannot lose sight of your traditional customers. At the same time, you must bring connected customers into view. No need to reinvent the service center yet. However, listening, learning and adapting starts with research. To better understand the extent of your connected customer behavior, start with these tips…
1. Use a social media listening service to see what people are saying today. If you don’t have access to budget or existing tools, try SocialMention, it’s free.
2. Observe the frequency and reach of service-related mentions. Prepare reports based on your findings and share with key stakeholders. Here’s a free template to help get you started.
3. Are there any trends related to the mentions? Do they require direct engagement or do they offer insight to improve experiences.
4. Develop an ongoing listening and alerting system. It will only get louder as time progresses.
5. Implement a triage and information process to get information in, to the right people, and back out to customers.
6. Establish roles and responsibilities.
7. Learn and Adapt. Improve products and services based on insights.
8. Stay integrated. Make sure that social and call center teams communicate knowledge and best practices.
9. Be proactive. Don’t just address negative commenters or those with questions, engage those who are positive as well.
10. Host forums or town halls to get ongoing input and direction to improve…everything.


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