Blog

12/02/2016

The New Era of Customer Service

5 minute read

Before the age of the Internet, serving your customers was a personal experience. The customers walked into your shop and you probably already knew them. You knew them by names, you knew their children, what they like to buy. Based on this knowledge you could recommend them what else they might be interested in.
Nowadays, most of your customers no longer walk into your shop and most certainly won’t call you if they need something. They want to serve themselves on their own wherever they are and in case they have something to say, they will say it on the social media where you cannot control what they say.

The key to success in modern customer service is to open up your data to your customers. They can see what they have ordered, make new orders and open cases if they need support from your team. By doing so you gain back the control of your customer service as everything will happen in an environment which you control. Customers are identified when they log in and you can interact with them over the chat while they are using your services. If something goes wrong and you are not able to help them there and then, you can still give them a call later on because you know who they are.

However, typically this is not possible in consumer business as it would be extremely difficult to get all of your customers to use your system where you can monitor everything. Especially difficult is the customer service part when something goes wrong and dissatisfied customers express their feelings in social media. You have no way to control them. You need to equip your social media and service teams with the technology to deal with these situations in the quickest and most appropriate way possible.

Usually consumers expect a reply within 60 minutes when they post their comment about a brand or a product in social channels. In order to  succeed, you need to be able to filter the relevant conversations and route them to the right person within your organisation in real-time. This requires both technical and operational alignment. To help the customers the service agent needs to instantly have a full 360-degree view of  the customer profile to be able to reply promptly.

This profile needs to include data from multiple touch points such as ecommerce, POS, social media, sales, previous customer service engagement etc. To achieve this,  all customer facing departments need to operate on a single data platform where everything is gathered under one profile. With Salesforce all this is possible throughout the whole customer engagement from the first like on Facebook to the last call from your customer service agent.

Once you have built the single view of the customer,the more challenging part, is to align all departments to work together in order to guide the customers in the correct direction on their journey and react appropriately across all touch points (when something goes wrong.)

To finish off, I’d like to give you 8 tips on how to build a solid foundation for social customer service success:

  • Build  your customer self-service strategy on customer experience
  • Develop a social customer service strategy
  • Start listening where your customers are talking
  • Monitor industry discussion
  • Create an engagement playbook
  • Train your teams on their assigned roles and responsibilities
  • Measure what matters
  • Engage and respond so existing and future customers know they’ve been heard

Marko Puustinen
​Business Consultant

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