Social media outlets continue to be an effective way for most Americans to learn about a company’s new products and services. More recently however, Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp are also being used as digital soapboxes for customers to get their opinions about a business heard on a broader scale. Things have changed a lot in the technology that companies use to market themselves, so now the traditional concept of ‘word of mouth’ stands to easily make or break a company’s reputation when customers take to using this very same social media tech as their support vehicle.
Because of this, more businesses are now finding themselves having to implement social customer service tactics to help quell negative publicity in the twittersphere. As of now, 13 percent of all customer complaints are actually being logged through a company’s social media account as opposed to normal support platforms. It’s also projected that E-service (web and social support) will jump 53 percent in the upcoming year.
It’s evident to most consumers that bringing a public eye to concerns about a product are an effective way to get the support they are intending to receive. Companies are getting hip to the idea of being preemptive in maintaining satisfactory customer relations through social networks, as well.
Traditional Versus Social Service
When compared to a purely traditional customer service platform, social customer service solutions are a cost effective way of implementing goodwill marketing into a business’s online support requests. A timely and thoughtful response to a bad customer service experience is now put on display for all followers to see, and these solutions now have the ability to address multiple similar cases at once.
Also, a strong support presence and a well thought out tone guiding your social media accounts lay valuable groundwork for building an always active ecosystem, where customers play as much as a role in providing support as the representatives themselves. It gives brand ambassadors an opportunity to easily connect with customers who may have had similar troubling experiences, effectively crowdsourcing support solutions. This, in turn, keeps traditional metrics such as customer defection and average handle times down while new, more easily quantifiable metrics are possible to record.
That’s not to say that traditional support platforms should be scrapped for entirely new solutions. However, companies should already be weighing in the benefits of what social media support has to offer. An effective balance of a dedicated support line with social customer service techniques look to be the consensus going into the future. Inbound support staffed by proactive customer service reps in conjunction with social accounts that allow for online conversations to happen and be remedied organically will be effective in handling the customers in this social age.