Blog

27/04/2016

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 in the whole of internet and may even intentionally avoid the brand’s official social channels.  ​

The listening should thus harvest the chatter from all corners of Internet – web pages,  blogs, forums and so on.  It requires tools that can search automatically 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 organize it into dashboards for the analyzes. Once listening has given you a macro level understanding on the state of your brand it is time to make a plan on how to react on all of this.  A classic view of customer service is that a customer has an issue with a product or a service which requires resolving.  In traditional channels customer gives detailed description of their issues on email, form or phone call.

In social channels customer service is more vague.  Customer service may need to react on 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 in social media can spread at the speed of thought then customers going negatively about your brand in social media requires delegate and fast response. Of course those messages can be positive also then it is equally important to react and amplify such brand evangelists behaviour.

The above example could be categorized from 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 the customer service. Hard messages on the other hand are actual customer issues on products or services. These messages originate often on the brand’s own social channels, but can also originate on a customer own social media page. Resolving such issues requires classic customer service tools and processes, but also a tool that is able to facilitate the communication from the customer service tools directly to the 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 listen and finally reacting and responding.  And better yet this can all be setup 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 analyzing 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 setup 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 organized workspace, which has all social accounts linked. They can engage directly from the tool to the 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 on customer and thus allow a deeper and more meaningful customer relationship.

Antti Katajamäki

Practice Lead - Community Cloud

Fluido

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