Social Customer Service – Do it right from the beginning

6 minute read

Social is just another channel for serving consumers connected to your brand. What however sets social channel apart from other traditional channels such as email or phone is that your brand is exposed. It is exposed with or without the company. Therefore it is critical to reach out to social media, understand how your brand is being exposed to consumers and begin the journey on serving your customers in social media channel along all the other customer service channels your company may already have established.

As always, understanding something begins by listening. Listening can begin from the company’s own Facebook page.  However, your consumers, brand advocates, and aggressive & loud deserters are active on the whole of the Internet and may even intentionally avoid the brand’s official social channels.  ​

The listening should thus harvest the chatter from all corners of the Internet — web pages,  blogs, forums and so on.  It requires tools that can automatically search the flows of the conversations around your brands.  Yet, this information can be overwhelming; therefore, the tools that are used must have a way to organise it into dashboards for the analyses. Once listening has given you a macro-level understanding of the state of your brand, it is time to make a plan on how to react to all of this.  A classic view of customer service is that a customer has an issue with a product or a service that requires resolving.  In traditional channels, the customer gives a detailed description of their issues via email, form or phone call.

In social channels, customer service is vaguer.  Customer service may need to react to customers complaining in general about the brand or the company. If the assumption is that company’s brands are often the most valuable assets in the books, and, in addition, messages on social media can spread at the speed of thought, then customers going negatively about your brand on social media requires diligent and fast response. Of course, those messages can also be positive — then it is equally important to react and amplify such brand evangelists’ behaviour.

The example above could be categorised from the customer service perspective as soft messages — in other words, something that requires action but doesn’t necessarily require the classic back-end tools and processes available for customer service. Hard messages, on the other hand, are actual customer issues on products or services. These messages often originate on the brand’s own social channels but can also originate on a customer’s own social media page. Resolving such issues requires classic customer service tools and processes, but also a tool that is able to facilitate communication from the customer service tools directly to social media.

Tools for Community Managers and Customer Service

Salesforce and Fluido can provide tools that are able to handle social media customer service, from reaching out to social media to listening and finally reacting and responding.  And better yet, this can all be set up alongside your existing customer service channels and to run with the existing processes. Below are a few words of the solutions we love!

Salesforce Radian 6 offers state-of-the-art listening and analysing capabilities.  It can deep dive into millions of websites and all those blogs and social channels you can imagine and make sense of all that if set up correctly.

Social Studio, part of Salesforce Radian 6, is designed for the community managers to work with the soft messages and identify the hard messages that require further customer service involvement.  It allows the community managers to manage the flow of conversation easily within an organised workspace, which has all social accounts linked. They can engage directly from the tool to social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Whenever in the flow of posts & messages there is a traditional customer issue, a so-called hard message identified, such as broken products, community managers can forward those posts as a case to the customer service team working in Salesforce Service Cloud. They can enter into a dialogue with the customers on Facebook and Twitter directly within the Service Cloud.  While waiting for the customer to respond from the Social Channel, the support agent can handle issues coming from other channels, all in the same view and system. From the customer perspective, however, it will look as if the service agents are present in the channel that they have chosen as their point of contact.

With these tools, you can provide state-of-the-art social customer service that is fully integrated with your existing support processes – a true multi-channel support platform that is able to create a 360-degree view of the customer and thus allow a deeper and more meaningful customer relationship.

Antti Katajamäki

Digital Experience & Ecommerce Practice Lead


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