Published: December 13, 2016 | Comments
At some point, you've had a Social Media interaction with a brand that could have ended better. We all have. Companies have gotten hip that Social Media is where their customers are. Unfortunately, most companies have jumped the gun, rushing to implement before they understand. Even businesses find it hard to ignore the creeping pressure of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
There is now a thriving industry of providing tools and services to manage Social Media. But we don't live in a Staples commercial, and there is no "easy" button. With profit margins and cost cutting in mind, many are quick to automate as much as possible. This is a mistake. When you take the human element out, you're opening the door for risk, but don't take my word for it. Just ask some of the biggest companies in the world. Brands like Coca-Cola, Bank of America, AT&T, American Airlines, Microsoft, Toyota... All these companies have experienced PR headaches because of auto-respond tactics.
The real secret sauce to great Customer Experience on Social Media is awesome memes and gifs. Just kidding... sort of. The key is having skilled, knowledgeable, empowered people behind your company's Social Media handles.
No Monkeys on Typewriters!
The Infinite Monkey Theorem says that given enough time, monkeys with typewriters will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Unfortunately, your customers won't have that kind of time or patience. The people behind your brand's handles must be good writers. It's a skill that seems lost in the modern age, but the talent is out there. Nobody likes phone calls where the person on the other end is simply reading a script. Similarly, your brand won't be making new fans by replying to customers with copied and pasted answers. Good writers enable delivery of a personalized improvisation to fit each customer's unique situation. They are also equipped to judge sarcasm and need for empathy. Having these skills can be critical factors in protecting your brand's reputation.
One Does Not Simply...
Another key trait of great Social Media Customer Service people is they maintain an up-to-date knowledge of web culture. Yes, this includes online trends, slang, memes, and gifs. For an artist, to master a particular medium, means you must have intimate knowledge of it. Your agents may be interacting with a polished and branded voice, but your customers won't be. Accurately discerning the meaning and context of slang, emoji, or memes can be just as important as identifying sarcasm.
Give Them More Power!
The last, and maybe most important part of your Social Media team is empowerment. Why must your Twitter and Facebook teams be empowered? Well, what are customers' biggest complaints about the voice channel? Waiting for answers, getting transferred, and being stuck in the IVR. It's the same on Social Media. Customers who tweet to your company want their issue resolved via Twitter... and quickly. They don't want to be told to call or email. Your Social Media team must service customers, not just concierge them to service.
Can You Risk Bad CX?
Following these strategies can put you miles ahead of your competition on Social Media. Most contact centers will let this advice go in one ear and out the other. They may implement a Social Media channel for Customer Service, but they'll run it just like other channels. They'll settle for mediocre service instead of investing in a highly capable team, because it costs more. It's no wonder that contact center satisfaction rates are declining rapidly.On Social Media, every Customer Service interaction becomes a permanent, searchable, online record. Even private and direct messages can be easily screenshotted and shared with the world. Considering the viral nature of the platform, is it worth the risk? Coca-Cola and Bank of America have the brand clout to survive a faux pas, but do you?