Social Customer Service in Action

Aimee Giese | August 9, 2016


At the GartnerCRM summit, an enlightening session using real customer case studies and data to show the trends and techniques for winning customer service on social media

[cross-posted at www.heidi-miller.com]

Jenny Sussin at #GartnerCRM

Jenny Sussin, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner with a primary focus on social for CRM, gave this informative session on not only what is happening in terms of social customer management but also how to start initiatives and what to expect when you do. A brief summary of her presentation follows, with some of my own editorial comments thrown in.

Approaching Social

Photo(4)Considering that 340 million Tweets are exchanged every day and that a company like Disney gets as many as 111,000 mentions in one day, it might not be possible to read and respond to every social media mention. However, keep in mind that consumers tend to expect fairly immediate responses from social engagement; some expect responses within a few minutes, and 25% expect a response within 24 hours.

Quantifying the value

So what is the value? It’s important to realize that a lot of these interactions will be handled offline. And other results are harder to quantify. For example, a positive interaction by Sussin on Facebook with Eggo waffles may not be tied to a specific increase in sales, but several of her friends noted they hadn’t had waffles in a while and would be toasting up more Eggos this week!

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 4.34.48 PM

However, Sussin reports that 75% of social media projects that don’t show a definitive result will be cut off this year. And we can measure elements such as call deflection or speed of response. For example, one retailer quantified their savings in terms of
call deflection, calculating that they saved $8 million by responding on
social media rather than answering calls in their call center. Another
company, Husqvarna, experienced a 24% decrease in call volume due to
their social media engagement. Another organization, Odeon, experienced a
61% reduction in negative sentiment in one year with a social customer
relationship strategy.

Social Customer Service guidelines

  • Keep in mind that unlike other customer service, this is public. Don’t ask participants to post
    Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 4.34.01 PMprivate personal information publicly.
  • Never delete a post. The community will notice and punish you.
  • It’s OK not to respond to every comment or post.
  • Be strategic in dealing with negative sentiment. Remember the Applebee’s kerfuffle? The error was in the organization posting the response as a comment in the long thread, which got buried. Make sure key information is in a new post.
  • Don’t use templated responses. While this works great in private email or chat, keep in mind that followers can see everything you post. A string of copy-and-pasted boilerplate responses makes the organization look robotic and disinegnuous.

How do we implement?

Sussin shared three key initiatives:

  1. Peer-to-peer communities These are communities that replace technical support with fans and other users. Keep in mind that 75%-90% of users will be lurkers and never interact actively in any way: no Likes, no posts, no comments, nothing. Another segment, usually 9%-23%, might engage minimally with a Like or a comment but will not post original content. These are the users to target for more active engagement. And in any community, 1%-2% of users will create the original content; these are the super users. Reward them with badges and other social capital.
  2. Social media engagement for customer service Tips for social customer service include avoiding automation, identifying your internal subject matter experts, developing an escalation policy, establishing workflow and creating customized agent desktops to facilitate tracking and analysis. Get started by observing analytics dashboards and determining the proper workload by agent. Identify trending issues and develop FAQs. Determine best practices of high performing agents.
  3. Enterprise social networks These are real-time, employee-to-employee collaboration tools, such as Chatter or Yammer. These are best used for a case or a specific issue and are linear and historical. Make sure that the information and case records are searchable for future use.

How to get started

On Monday Find out what your organization is already doing for social. Decide what customer service business value you seek to extract from social: without a goal, you will not be able to measure success or direct your new initiative.

In 90 days Decide who leads the initiative and monitor brand-related feeds to budget resources for social customer service.

In 12 months Select your technology partner and create a standard of service document.

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