Customer service expert Jeff Toister is familiar with the specific challenges common to providing customer service using online platforms. In this video, Jeff outlines these challenges so you can understand how the challenges may correlate with your company's social media platforms and your customer service operation.
- Serving customers via social media presents some unique challenges that generally aren't present with other service channels like over the phone, in person, chat or email. I'd like to share three of the big ones with you so you'll know what to watch out for. The first thing to consider is social media is public, anyone can see your tweets, Facebook posts, or responses to Yelp reviews. For example, when a customer sends an angry tweet like this one, anyone who follows @joecustomer65 or the service failure hashtag can easily see this so social media isn't just between you and your customer, it's between you, your customer, and everyone else who happens to be watching.
That leads us to the second thing you should know. Serving customers via social media is also a public relations function. The quality of service you provide can enhance your company's reputation or detract from it. Perhaps that's why a study from Execs In The Know found that marketing and PR departments own or co-own responsibility for social media in 72% of U.S. companies. Finally, it's important to realize that the service you provide on social media is connected to service on other channels.
For example, let's take a look at the top reasons customers complain on Twitter. The number one reason is waiting for a resolution from the company. The number three reason is the customer hasn't received a response to an inquiry. This tells us that most customers complain on Twitter after they are unsuccessful at resolving their complaint via a more traditional channel such as face to face or over the phone. Online self-service also has an impact on other channels. One study by Microsoft found that 57% of customers search for self-help online before calling customer service.
That means that having a great self-service option can lead to fewer phone calls and fewer frustrated customers. Now some company executives worry about the dangers of social media like a customer complaint going viral. This is a real possibility but I like to think of social media like the waves in the ocean, you can't control them. Your customers are on social media whether or not you want them to be. But just like expert surfers can ride a wave with grace and style, customer service experts can use social media to help their company look great.
- Identifying key social media platforms
- Communicating with customers in your brand's voice
- Listening and responding to customers on social media
- Listening to customer feedback on review sites
- Making self-service easy for customers