Magazine article CRM Magazine

Should You Offer Social Customer Support?

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Should You Offer Social Customer Support?

Article excerpt

AT LAST YEAR'S CRM Evolution conference, a debate about the viability of social media as a customer service channel ensued during a keynote panel discussion. One of the panelists, from a prominent software company, suggested that while companies are using social media for marketing purposes, it is not an effective customer support channel. Obviously, this isn't true.

Many consumers are using social media for customer service. In fact, "social media is used as the primary customer service channel by 36.4 percent of Gen Y consumers," according to this month's cover story, "10 Social Customer Service Tips" (page 18), by News Editor Leonard Klie. As a result, organizations have been experimenting with new ways to engage customers on social media channels.

More progressive companies are moving beyond the experimentation stage and incorporating enterprise-class solutions that enable them to listen, analyze, and respond to customers on social media. Some are even able to leverage technology that can transfer interactions from social media channels to traditional customer support channels without losing essential data. And the most advanced companies are able to share customer information with multiple departments inside the enterprise. To find out more about these developments, check out CRM magazine's Web broadcast "Social Media Goes Beyond the Contact Center" (http://bit.ly/18UMuFU), featuring speakers from Kana, Aspect, Oracle, and LiveOps.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention another relevant Webinar we conducted in December, "Transforming the Customer Experience Through Social Communities" (http://bit.ly/1fnjDIE), sponsored by Jive Software. In this Webinar, Elizabeth Herrell, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, offers good advice on how to effectively leverage a social community platform for customer service.

While the recent advances in social media engagement strategies are pretty impressive, one important issue that eventually must be addressed is the limitations of the new interaction channel. …

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