Published: November 18, 2014 | Comments
Instant, personalized customer service
Your customers expect an instant and completely personalized service, whether in-store or online. They increasingly demand customer support from any brand––whether from a retailer, bank, telco or airline––to be just as personal as the service from a restaurant they’ve been frequenting for years, where the staff know their names, their favorite table and their regular order.
Recent research from McKinsey & Company even found that customers prefer personalized service over prompt or sincere service.
But for years, all online identification mechanisms have had the potential to be completely separate from real identity and the ability to be updated only when a brand directly solicits information. Customers have multiple email addresses, named whatever they want. IP address can change depending on where they log in from. A customer might call from their mobile number one time, another time from their home number and another time from their office number. Even home and office addresses can change.
Unlike transient email addresses and telephone numbers, social media identities provide a fixed, unique identifier that can form the foundation of a brand’s view of its customers. For example, a customer’s Facebook profile ID, even if they change their legal name, is deeply tied to real identity through the social graph, and is already linked to much of their other information, such as phone, email and potentially even their credit card and address.
If managed improperly, the rapid growth of social media provides brands with just as many challenges as opportunities—especially when it comes to providing quality social customer service. A recent survey of Contact Center executives conducted by Forrester Consulting found that 35% of social customer service agents have to start the conversation over with the customer with every social interaction because they have no history of prior conversations. One-third of those surveyed said that social agents do not have relevant customer or order history to personalize an interaction.
The study reflects a much broader trend. For too many companies, social data remains disconnected from customer records and other service channels, leaving customers confused and unhappy with inconsistent experiences between channels, reducing the efficiency of agents who are stuck with manual processes between systems, and making it hard (if not impossible) to tie social customer behavior to sales.
For the contact center, integrating social media presents countless opportunities
While integrating social data provides great benefits for many internal business functions, nowhere is the change more impactful than in the contact center. Social customer service offers an opportunity for the contact center to evolve from a place for reactive service into an essential hub for insight into the customer experience, driving proactive business change.
Your social customer service solution needs to be capable of collecting the real-time feedback from your customers across the globe, often at the point-of-sale or while a service issue is taking place. Social customer service is uniquely suited to provide this information by connecting the dots between social data and customer records, enhancing the value of all future interactions as well as your CRM data set. Very quickly, the value of social customer service becomes much greater than a set of individual transactions. This social data can provide important insight into market trends, product feedback, brand perception, and customer service itself. But to seize social’s potential both as a service channel and as a data source requires integration with your CRM and other contact center systems.
CRM integration also greatly enhances the quality of social customer service that your organization can deliver, providing full context for agents of a customer’s data and previous interactions, without agents having to repeatedly ask for information or switch systems. This can greatly improve First Contact Resolution (FCR), the biggest factor in a great service experience.
Additionally, integrating a purpose-built social customer service solution into your CRM and contact center stack enables you to:
- Deliver a rapid and awe-inspiring social customer experience
- Increase operational efficiency and cost-savings
- Ensure a well-managed and limited risk organization
- Achieve a single view of the customer across social and traditional service channels
CRM integration allows for companies to have a full 360 picture of their customer, providing a context into all previous service interaction regardless of the channel.