7 Steps to Launch a Rewarding Social Media Customer Service Program

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Providing impeccable customer service is critical to running a successful business and attracting and retaining loyal customers. Brands which take care of their customers fare much better than those who leave their customers hanging.

With the advent of smartphones and the ever increasing craze of social media among customers, companies of all sizes are expanding their customer support realm by being readily available on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Today, any business that wants to deliver top-notch customer support has to be extremely active on the popular social media platforms.

To provide excellent customer care over social media and lure your digital customers, it’s crucial to build a successful social media customer service program. Let’s learn the 7 steps to launch a rewarding customer service framework over social media:

Recruit the Right Talent with the Right Skills

When hiring for the role of “social media customer service agent”, it is important to ensure that they are tech-savvy, possess appropriate customer service skills and have a high level of written communication skills to message customers in the most clear and concise way possible – sometimes with limited characters and in a public forum. It is ideal if they have a thorough knowledge of social platforms. They should also be endowed with strong analytical skills in order to decide which online conversations are apt to join in and which ones to avoid.

It is not necessary to recruit a seasoned customer service agent. An inexperienced person with suitable business communication skills and knowledge can also be hired and trained to work in the desired manner.

Implement a Social Customer Service Training Program

All the new recruits should undergo a training program to understand the product or service, company policies, legal compliance, social media etiquettes, company-specific customer service processes, social CRM and so on. To have a clear understanding of social CRM, new joinees must be given a dedicated training so that they can access the CRM well for customer service purposes. They must learn how to add social profiles to customer CRM records and understand customer data in a deeper way. For example- one should know what is an individual’s latest tweet about the brand.

Select the Appropriate Social Media Monitoring Tool

Social media listening or monitoring tools provide a basic capability of capturing online conversations based on the specific search query and offer key insights through the analysis of those conversations. These tools allow you to gain powerful insight into your customers, competitors, and industry influencers. There are many tools available in the market, you can choose the one which best suits your needs and requirements in terms of budget, reporting, sentiment detection, tracking marketing campaigns and conversions, analytics, dashboards and so on.

Develop a Monitoring and Engagement Plan

Companies must develop their social media engagement plan and follow best practices of indulging in meaningful conversations in a proper manner. When a blogger appreciates your product or service, how to leverage this opportunity so that it benefits both parties? How to capitalize on a feedback about your or your competitor’s product? How to handle infuriated customers? How to take advantage of a comment about your product from an influential author? Is the website credible where the post about your product is found? You must create a best practices guide which includes all these scenarios. Based on proper training and an in-depth study of the guide, social media customer service reps can anticipate how and when to react in online conversations.

Ensure Quality Assurance Checks are in Place

Your company’s social media traffic, engagement and exposure, all are critical to your success. Every piece of content should be created and distributed on social media in a meaningful way else your users will unsubscribe or un-follow your company.

Your quality assurance team must analyze certain things such as-

  • Are you using enough visuals and pictures to induce customer engagements and increase your chances of going viral?
  • Are you posting updates on the right time of the day?
  • Do you proof read content before posting?
  • Are you offering value to the readers?
  • Do your posts contain CTA (Call to Action), when necessary, to drive engagement?
  • Do you follow-up with customers after their problems are resolved?
  • How is the tone of the agent when offering an apology to the customer?
  • Are the agents updating the CRM appropriately after customer conversations?

The above mentioned things should be analyzed and reviewed from time-to-time to ensure quality communication with the customers.

Measure and Analyze Social Care Metrics

It is crucial to set relevant metrics in order to track, measure and analyze the effectiveness of social media into your customer service efforts. This data will help you to optimize the overall social media program. Below are certain metrics that should be measured periodically:

  • Response Time
  • Top Inquiries and Issues by Product
  • Sales referrals over Social Media
  • Time to Resolution
  • Customer Sentiment
  • Number of Brand Loyalists
  • Size of Followers and Frequency of Interaction
  • Purchase Rate

Leverage Digital Conversations Intelligently

You must always listen to the social media mentions about your brand and then measure the conversation and sentiment of the customer to enhance your services. For example- if you figure out that a lot of customers are speaking negative about your product delivery process, you can take the necessary measures to improve the same and prevent further negative word of mouth.