Magazine article CRM Magazine

Be Where Your Customers Are with Social Customer Service

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Be Where Your Customers Are with Social Customer Service

Article excerpt

Today's smart customer service must include a social strategy. While today many customers still leverage traditional forms of communication such as email and phone for customer service, over 25% of Gen Y and millennials believe social media is the most effective means for urgent issue resolution (1). This growing shift has quickly brought service and marketing together as one team and one brand.

So the slogan goes: social Customer Service is the new Marketing. It now has an impact because it is visible, searchable and a public commodity that can be amplified at will. This dynamic is what makes social engagement so interesting. The consequences of getting customer service journeys right and wrong are now stacked. The goodwill barometer is in constant motion as brand equity is added and subtracted in real time.

The rise of visible consequences cannot be over-estimated. Traditional customer service has a long history of taking the flak on behalf of the organization and was often shot as the messenger.

But now social networks provide a living archive that enables customer service tools to manage, route and track issues and questions effectively. Moreover the cost of investing in customer analytics is no longer a legitimate consideration. Every organization can find one that suits their pockets.

So now everyone can see the impact of their organization's behavior on customers. It is now much harder to ignore. In fact it becomes pretty obvious when things need fixing. If left unmanaged, customers and prospects can start to see a broken brand promise.

Add all this together and enabling a socially aware customer service team is critical for every business and introduces another communication channel that needs to be properly managed.

Now Customer Services has new reasons to engage with Marketing as co-managers of the brand. Exploiting service successes for customer sourced content marketing and healing the 'whoopsies' as fast as possible with effective outreach and resolution. Of course Marketing is now aware and so appreciates this contribution to their mission. The seeds are thus sown for a new era of collaboration.

In truth, it is one that becomes increasingly essential as part of the new behavior needed to survive the consequences of digital disruption. In other words, we are now in the era of 'One Agenda' for all customer-facing teams.

Beyond that new 'best friend',

Customer Service also potentially has a new relationship with anyone involved in fixing stuff or indeed innovating stuff as a result of customer suggestions--a habit more common in peer-to-peer support communities. …

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