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7 Deadly Sins of Social Customer Service

Social media is redefining the profile of what it means to be a high-value, high-risk customer.

What was once a conversation between your rep, your customer, and the your monitoring systems is now taking place on a world wide stage easily accessible to 288 million active Twitter enthusiasts and 1.4 billion active Facebook junkies.

A high-Klout influencer can wreak havoc on your brand, reversing the momentum of other marketing efforts.

You can hire a boutique agency to help, but that won't scale at the efficiency level you need for a strong social care ROI. Social media customer service

Contact centers are well positioned to scale social service, after all many of the same skills of empathy, engagement, routing, triage, and measurement apply.

If you’re still on the bleeding edge of this journey (as most are), watch out for these 7 common mistakes.

The 7 Most Common Mistakes in Social Care

1. Pushing Content vs. Engagement

Almost everyone starts here. At this stage of the game your social strategy is more of a marketing function. The trouble is that social media is all about engagement. So once you show up, your customers will start tweeting to you, with you and about you.

If you don't have an effective way to listen or respond, your one-way approach will likely do your brand more harm than good.

2. Assuming Customers Know How to Get Your Attention

It’s “easy” okay, well, easier, to monitor for customers deliberately working to get your attention. They knock, you answer the door. But what’s more tricky, and often equally valuable, is to show up in the places where they’re hanging out.

If Joe Klout is hosting an impromptu twitter party because of a bad experience with your product or service, you sure want to be able to know it’s going on, invite yourself in, take it offline, and then report back to all his guests that everything is under control.

3. Responding Slowly

The customer issues that get really ugly often start with a fairly benign tweet. The customer sends a tweet warning shot that could easily be deescalated if noticed and responded to quickly, but gets madder and madder staring at their phone waiting to be heard.

You must define and maintain service level standards as you do in your other channels.

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4. Deflecting to Other Channels

The worst thing you can do is to respond to a tweet by asking your  customer to call you at your 1-800-number. Sure, it’s often appropriate to take it offline, but do it their way.

Offer a DM to continue the dialogue, chat or call as needed, and then go back online so you can have a happy twitter “you’re the best” exchange about your resolution.

5. Lacking Organized Policies and Processes

At this stage of the game most companies’ social care programs have grown organically through trial and error. There’s much to be said for that.

To scale you’ll need a clearly defined playbook and rules for engagement and escalation.

6. Underestimating Training Needs

Your best social media reps should be rock stars in the foundations of effective customer service. After all if you were going to invite a TV crew into your center to record interactions with customers, you would pick your strongest players, this is not much different.

But it takes more than that. Your reps are going to need training on all the ins and outs of social media communication (e.g. use of emoticons, when to get PR involved, how to sound casual yet professional all in 140 characters).

7. Overlooking the Need For Channel Integration

Often a ticked off customer is trying multiple channels at once. They’re listening to your muzak on hold, engaging in a live chat and tweeting out their state of misery.

The most effective social care programs utilize technology and processes to enable them to service customers seamlessly across channels.

If you’re feeling behind, don’t worry-- you’re not alone.

Do start now to refine your program and invest to ensure you're avoiding the 7 deadly sins of social customer service.

See Also:  50 HBR’s Study of 50 Companies That Get Twitter and 50 Companies That Don't