Why social media is a must-use tool in conjunction with your call centre’s customer service efforts.
In the past, social media was a separate customer service tool and even an entirely separate department to the call centre. They were seen as two different entities with two different goals; social media used to create brand awareness and call centres used to provide customer service. But more and more companies are becoming aware of the benefits of integrating social media into their daily customer service activities to improve business process management overall.
Research shows that today, customers prefer using social media for customer service rather than picking up the traditional phone and making a phone-call. One in three social media users prefer customer service through social channels, and customers will spend between 20-40% more with companies who engage with them through social media. Combining social media and customer service clearly makes for a winning customer service strategy, in a number of ways as outlined below.
- It’s personal
Personalization is no longer just a trend. Consumers expect a personalized service in a fully digital world, and social media provides the perfect platform for your call centre to do so. Whether you’re replying to customers on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you are able to reply quickly and directly to the customer with a personalized message that exudes empathy and understanding. From answering a customer by using their first name, to taking the time to figure out exactly what your customer would like an answer to, and then promising the customer it will be sorted or at least giving them a time-frame in which they can expect a full answer–providing attention and the assurance that the query will be answered ensures positive customer support through social media. If you can’t provide a customer with an immediate solution you can even follow up with a call from your call centre later.
- It provides real-time responses
Consumers today expect fast response times, and social media is the perfect platform for providing real-time responses via Facebook Messenger, a Tweet or direct message via Instagram. According to Social Media Today, 60% of customers who make a complaint via social media expect a response within one hour of lodging the complaint, while 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from a company that leaves their complaint unanswered. Dedicating a team of your agents to customer support via social media is now an integral part of the service that customers expect from a customer service department. Offer customers quick responses, and trust in your brand is bound to grow. This can then be supplemented by phone-call support to ensure a customer received a viable solution to their problem or just to check in to see if they have any further questions.
- It allows for easier access to customer data
If your call centre agents are met with some resistance from customers around revealing personal preferences over the phone, social media is the place to get more insights. There are a number of ways customers reveal snippets of information in their social media activity, that you can collect in order to serve them more personally the next time they contact you.Take note of being tagged in customers’ posts, as well as product or service reviews on your company’s Facebook page. By collecting information from these less obvious areas, you can provide more personalized feedback and support to customers even though they have not directly reached out to you for help. Access to this information can help you learn what your customers are both satisfied and dissatisfied with, without having to probe unwilling customers over the phone.
- It’s cost-effective
While customer service over the phone certainly has its place, solving issues via social media has proven to cost slightly less than the price of an average phone-call, according to research. It has also been found that agents who work on social media are 167% more productive than agents who work over the phone. Customer service support via social media, in general, requires fewer running costs, making it a cheaper alternative. While it’s cheaper, this doesn’t mean your agents should all switch to social media and leave phone service altogether. Spread the load by delegating different goals to each platform; they can be used for different customer service purposes. For example, allow your social media agents to take care of smaller, more manageable customer issues, and free up time for your agents who work over the phone to get to bigger, more complicated issues that require voice contact with a customer.
From personalization, and fast response times, to access to an abundance of customer information and cost-effectiveness, integrating social media into your call centre activities is a must today. Customer happiness is a priority so, in order to keep up with the Future of Contact Centres and Customer Experience, speak to customers through channels that they use daily.