Improving Customer Service Through Social Media

Consumers are increasingly turning to social media for a wide Linkr Creator Store variety of tasks including product and service related feedback. This feedback includes online reviews, service complaints, product defects, suggestions and general inquiries. Multi-channel customer service and support, which includes the increasingly important social media platforms, often creates significant challenges for companies as they must retrieve, review, respond and report across a plethora of platforms and websites. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as many other platforms and sites which must be monitored and addressed. Let’s review some of the key components of an effective social feedback and support initiative.

Retrieve, Listen & Learn

Many service teams are familiar with social media tools that automate company or brand name searches. These tools range from simple to sophisticated, helping companies search web pages and social media pages for keywords and keyword phrases. Listening to what customers are saying is only the beginning; once the automated tools identify posts and comments, then the real work begins. Companies must retrieve, review and then respond to the resulting posts, comments, suggestions and complaints.

Analyze & Classify

Depending on how much volume your brand’s social media pages generate, it’s important to analyze and classify customer activity to better understand the kind of issues being raised across the social media platforms. Companies should collect and analyze on a daily or even real time basis. As companies retrieve sufficient data for analysis, stratify responses into predetermined categories. For example:

  • When are customers most active on these platforms?
  • Total comments relating to poor customer experience.
  • Comment ratio – # positive versus negative.
  • Number of brand related comments deserving a response.

These are just a few of the many comment permutations to be considered. It’s easy to understand the challenges most customer service organizations face when it comes to social media feedback. Feedback should be classified according to predetermined business rules created by the service teams.

Monitor & Manage

Feedback speed of response is critical in today’s exploding social media environment. Companies should triage their responses, prioritizing serious problems such as outages, defects, technical issues and negative comments with viral implications, ahead of other comments such as general comments and suggestions for refinements. Companies can create a customer service feedback priority list, parse comments into predetermined categories, classify according to predetermined business rules and respond accordingly.

Establish Response Goals

How fast do you need to respond to social media comments? Many experts agree that customers using social media have very high response expectations when posting comments, questions and complaints online. Hours as opposed to days should be the mantra when it comes to this type of customer response. Autoresponders offer instant response, but these prefabricated responses often do little more than alerting customers that your service team has received their comment. Providing a rapid and accurate answer might involve an initial response via social media, with a follow up using a different service channel. For example, your customer service tweet might let the customer know you’ll be calling or emailing the client within 24 hours (or sooner), depending upon your service priorities.

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