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The Reality of Social Customer Service

Social customer service can be daunting, even for some of the biggest companies.

The results* of this recent ICMI Quick Poll reveal that many of you are still trying to make it work.

At, we're dedicating the entire month of February to exploring all aspects of social customer service, from strategy to best practices.

The demand for social customer service is showing no signs of slowing down. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest or the next next big thing, consumers continue to embrace the concept of social conversations with the companies and brands that they trust.

And yet... many organizations struggle with the strategic value of implementing social media. Is it worth the time and effort? Will it hurt our service levels? Does jumping on the 'social' bandwagon mean our traditional channels will suffer? In The ICMI Guide to Serving Customers Socially, Brad Cleveland sets the record straight.

He says, "Social service does not replace traditional customer service channels. In fact, if you have poor phone service levels and unanswered customer email, viewing social service as a substitute would be sorely misguided. Rather, it will become an increasingly important part of your organization’s overall approach to communicating with and serving customers."

(Download the eBook for more on ICMI's recommended strategies and steps for social customer service - including tips on resource planning and staffing for social media.)

So, what's holding you back?

We want to hear from you about the major challenges - or wild successes - you've encountered while working to implement a social media strategy in your contact center. Share what's worked for you - or caution against what hasn't worked. Remember, we're all in this together!

*Per poll results as of 2/6/13.

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.

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Christina Hammarberg — 2:45PM on Feb 7, 2013

The votes on our Quick Poll continue to roll in, with most of you "Still trying to make it work." What is the biggest challenge that you're running into?

Annie Woo — 3:12PM on Feb 7, 2013

We don't have an official strategy for social media,but as our customers post, we respond. Currently we're figuring out the best way to gather posts/tweets/etc. and push them into a support ticket for the contact center. There are a lot of tools out there to help, but they seem to capture a lot of "noise" in addition to legitimate customer needs. I think most contact centers get nervous from a budget perspective, but it's a force we can't ignore. I'm interested to hear what others are doing too!