The Role of Social Media in Customer Service
Post-Dreamforce madness has finally settled down and I’m catching up on some reading and industry news. One piece I picked up – Software Advice Analyst, Ashley Furness’ article, “A Dreamforce Ticket to Better Social Customer Service” – got me thinking a bit. These days, it’s amazing how dramatically social media can add to or subtract from the customer service experience.
I don’t think we could have even imagined today’s business landscape ten years ago. Back in the day, most software companies could get high scores for customer service by delivering a smooth sales cycle and good, reliable phone and email support (maybe also live chat for savvier web heads). Heck, post some FAQs, a few user guides, and you’d gone above and beyond.
Now, however, we have a 24-7 flow of customer input that’s publicly visible on social sites. Key words: publicly visible. Angry customers can no longer be discreetly diffused behind the scenes. Today, all customer comments must be acknowledged in the public realm, whether we like it or not.
In Furness’ article, I like the reminder to communicate back to every customer post. She writes, “This approach publicly demonstrates that the company is listening and responds to everyone.”
The article shares the excellent point that if someone asks a technical question, for example, on social and the company responds via email (i.e., out of public view), it can create the misconception that the company was actually ignoring the comment altogether. Indeed, it’s better at least to write back, “We’ll send you an email now” or something along those lines to assure your customers that you aren’t turning a blind eye to social channels.
The moral of the story seems to be that customers increasingly demand social media as part of customer service. And to be fair, we put the pages out there, so let’s use them to their fullest potential. At Clicktools, I’m happy to report that we are listening, actively engaged across social platforms, and continually working on improving how we collect, centralize, and act on our own customer interactions. Serve me up a big glass of Kool-Aid, please.
Clicktools’ MarCom Chica