Social Media Becomes Another Customer Service ChannelPeter Reville |
First it was in-person, and then came snail mail, then phone centers, then IVRs, and then websites. Now there’s a new channel for customer service interaction—social media. The new “always on” consumer is eschewing traditional channels (that seemed cutting edge a short while ago) and turning to social media. Whether it’s Twitter or a company’s Facebook wall, consumers expect companies to participate in social conversations with them—and anticipate a speedy response to their comments or requests.
Companies must now monitor social conversations, no matter how voluminous, in search of customer service issues, and then attempt to resolve them.
What’s the difference between this and the channels mentioned above? This is all very public. Back in the day, customer service was handled over the phone, for example, between the rep and the customer. Now it is open for all followers to see.
The result is a blurring of the lines between service and marketing and corporate communication.
What are the rules of engagement? How do we speak to customers? Who should interact with them? Are there processes in place to fix the problems that arise? Can we get past the obvious perils to a win-win? Probably many more questions come to mind when you think about it.
There is an upside to this. Successful execution, in a very public forum, can lead to an army of fans. Further, listening is the perfect way to understand what customers want and where their pain points are. It’s just harder to claim excellence in customer service when the whole world is watching. Which means the stakes are higher as well.
Topics: Payments Strategy