Social media customer service – Providing integrated customer support via social networks
With the ever-growing number of social media accounts, more and more companies are establishing their presence on these platforms.
They recognize that consumers are already active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and connecting with them is the key to success.
The problem, however, is that many businesses have a narrow view of how they should establish their presence on these social platforms.
With their primary focus only on generating leads and converting sales, they fail to connect with their customers post-sale.
Why? Because they failed to provide quality social media customer service.
What is social media customer service?
Simply put, social media customer service is just what the term says. It's all about offering customer support through digital social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social media sites have evolved from personal networking platforms to marketing and advertising channels.
It has evolved further and is now an essential customer service channel for instant chat or direct messaging (DM).
With this potential, it would be prudent for all companies to meet customers on these virtual platforms.
The problem is how to do it efficiently and effectively.
What are the challenges of social customer service?
While there are a lot of opportunities for organizations to build a great relationship with customers via social media platforms, it won't be easy.
There are many challenges for brands to implement a social media customer service strategy, including:
1. There are different social platforms
Stating the obvious, but with multiple platforms, it isn't easy to be active on each one simultaneously. Managing private messages and comments on one platform is hard enough, and having to do it in at least three more can be daunting.
There's also the problem of social media users having an account on multiple platforms, which brings us to the next challenge.
2. Customers want an integrated experience
Most people have social media profiles on different platforms. And when they interact with your company through these social sites, they want to have a seamless experience.
It means that when they are talking to you on one social media platform, say Facebook, they want to pick up from that conversation when they interact with your company again, even if they're on their Twitter account.
3. Social media has a lot of noise
Determining which comment or private message needs customer service attention can be tricky.
There is a lot of brand noise out there, and your company social handle can be mentioned for various reasons.
Aside from reviews, mentions of your brand can be about shout-outs, reviews, feedback, and even memes.
Knowing which comment or private message to reply to is the key.
4. Social customer service is hard to track and monitor
It's a relatively new channel for customer service, and understandably, social media management, tracking, and monitoring is a bit of a problem.
Many managers are unsure of what KPIs and metrics to track since they cannot use the same ones used in call centers. Do they track the number of messages or full-on conversations? How do you measure average handling time?
There are many things to worry about regarding social media monitoring and resource management.
5. Assigning the right agent is hard
When you get around identifying the right customer comments and messages to address, you have to make sure that the agent is equipped to handle the type of customer questions or inquiries.
It's easier with call centers when they have an interactive voice response (IVR) feature that classifies each customer's needs for more intelligent routing.
When it comes to social media channels, routing to the right customer service rep is another challenge.
These are just some of the challenges of venturing into social customer care. One of the best solutions to these problems is an omnichannel social media customer service system.
What is omnichannel social media customer service?
An omnichannel social media customer service solution integrates different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube into one platform.
It allows contact center agents to provide a more seamless customer service experience since they can converse with the same customer from any social media platform they prefer.
RingCentral Engage Digital is an omni-digital customer experience platform that does this and more.
Aside from unifying communications from social media, it also integrates direct messages from email and messaging apps like WhatsApp.
It makes it easier for existing and potential customers to reach your company on the platform of their choice.
Why choose RingCentral for your omnichannel social media customer service?
Be where your customers are
Connect with your customers on the platform of their choice. Whether they reach out to your company via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, you can manage it all in one platform.
It allows your organization to handle large volumes of customer interactions regardless of the social media channel they are coming from.
What's more, RingCentral Engage allows you to chat with customers on popular private messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Google Business Messages, and in-app messaging on any iOS or Android device.
Make it easier for your agents
By integrating all messages and comments from different social media channels into a unified platform, you make it easier for your customer service team.
In addition, RingCentral Engage Digital includes smart routing capabilities. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze messages to be filtered and routed to the right agent every time.
Lastly, you can also implement a chatbot feature that allows you to resolve minor customer issues so that your support team only have to deal with the more complex customer needs.
Get a better view of your operations with analytics and reporting
Be able to identify brand ambassadors and detractors. Boost sales with analytics that track volume, activity, and quality across every social media interaction.
You can spot trends on different social media channels, monitoring, and tracking the complete customer journey.
You can also track and monitor agent performance with pre-built and customizable templates.
All of these data can be sliced and diced in many ways. And RingCentral makes it easy with its drag-and-drop business intelligence dashboards.
What are the benefits of using social customer service?
Now that you know what social customer service is, its challenges, and how RingCentral Engage can solve it via an omni-digital customer engagement platform, let's find out why you should invest in social media customer support.
Well, here are some benefits for your business:
1. An efficient way to provide excellent customer service
There are more customer service interactions compared to traditional contact centers. Call center agents can only handle one call at a time while social media customer care agents can talk to multiple people at once.
2. You are more reachable by customers
Landlines are not as common as before, and people rarely use the phone function of their smartphones to make telephone calls. Social media customer support makes it easier for customers to reach you. Where they are is social media, and your company is now just a comment or message away.
3. You can provide synchronous and asynchronous customer service
Unlike phone call-based customer inquiries where you have to always resolve the concern within one phone call, response time over social media can be done in real-time, or you can pause and pick up the conversation later, especially when the customer stopped replying for whatever reason.
4. It will boost your brand reputation and customer retention
Resolving your customer complaints or negative comments over social media can improve your brand reputation. People who communicate via social media are also more likely to tweet or post about how you fixed their problems on their Facebook page.
They will be more loyal to your company and act as your brand ambassadors, and they will have a considerable reach because whatever positive things they say about your company will reach all the people in their friends list or social network.