What stands between businesses deciding that social customer service is just another can of worms they’d prefer not to open and the flourish of an enterprise social butterfly? Often, it’s the lack of available metrics for this emerging channel, or simply, the proper means to measure it.
Many organizations either aren’t measuring social customer service yet, are manually recording interactions and outcomes in spreadsheets, or are siloing social customer service and data because they haven’t yet incorporated social support with the same workflow and analytics used for other channels.
The organizations that have begun using and measuring social media as a customer service channel are garnering impressive results, however. For instance, as highlighted at the recent Gartner Customer 360 Summit, McAfee has witnessed an 85%+ improvement in call deflection though social customer service, while Mint.com enjoyed a 70% reduction in support tickets in a period of just 90 days. Read More
It’s been a week since the Boston Marathon bombings, and the analysis of the event, its media coverage and emergency response and communications efforts are well underway. Much talk over the weekend centered around major media outlets and their rush to be the first to get information and push it out, whether or not the facts had been confirmed.
One early matter of confusion the day of the event resulted from initial reports and tweets, including by Reuters, that there had been a related third explosion at the JFK Library. The Reuters tweet of a third explosion was retweeted more than 8,000 times, while different information was being reported by both the Boston Police Department and the JFK Library (click here to read more):
While the Twittersphere is filled with questions and complaints directed at big brands, one of the hardest things for organizations to do is effectively respond in 140 characters or less. While many have offered the opinion that corporate customer service simply doesn’t belong on Twitter, don’t tell the likes of Zappos, Ask.com, Travelodge, Microsoft and Warby Parker that, because they’re actually experiencing tweet success when it comes to customer service. Here are five character-thrifty tips to get your organization’s customer service message across on Twitter:
1. Think Inside the Box (specifically, a YouTube screen). When Warby Parker launched in 2010 with a policy that it would respond to every customer question and comment no matter what channel it came from, they made it work, even with Twitter’s limited word count. Read More
Brands and organizations that can respond quickly on social media may have more going for them than they realize. A March 2013 Simply Measured study of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands on Twitter shows that if an organization is able to consistently respond to customer questions and issues on Twitter in under an hour, they have a true customer service differentiator on their hands.
The new study looks at the Interbrand Top 100 Brands in the world and how they’ve interacted with social customers over the last three months. It found that the 30 brands in the top 100 with customer-support-dedicated Twitter handles (including Nike, Ford, Microsoft, American Express, Dell and others) have received more than 198,000 inbound tweets in the last quarter and delivered more than 82,000 support responses.
Eight of the top 10 brands have improved their response rates over the past three months, but only three – Nike, American Express and Microsoft – have also reduced their average response times. Yet just one brand, Microsoft, has been able to consistently deliver customer support responses in less than one hour – improving their average response time by 73% over the last quarter. Read More
Facebook just made it easier to engage with social customers, announcing new threaded conversations and direct replies this week. The new feature, which has been tested over the last few months with select Facebook pages, allows both Facebook users and page administrators to reply directly to specific comments within a post, and begin separate conversation threads to keep relevant topics and conversations connected under the original.
Facebook brand page administrations will be able to opt into this new feature through the Page admin panel in the Manage Permissions section. Administrators will see a Replies prompt on the screen with a checkbox to allow replies to comments. Once opted in, you will be able to opt out until July 10, 2013, when all pages will have this new feature enabled. A note to larger brands: the new replies feature will be automatically turned on for profiles with more than 10,000 followers. Read More
A new study shows brands that can both walk the walk and talk the talk (deliver effective service and produce effective marketing) on social media are moving ahead of the pack in terms of satisfaction scores, driving purchasing decisions and attracting a new generation of customers.
The inaugural J.D. Power and Associates Social Media Benchmark Study is based on responses from more than 23,000 U.S. online consumers who have interacted with a company via social media and measures the overall consumer experience (marketing and customer service) of more than 100 U.S. brands across six major industries: airlines, auto, banking, credit card, telecom and utilities.
The report notes that of the consumers who were highly satisfied with both a brand’s marketing and service delivery, 87% say their online social interaction with the company “positively impacted” the likelihood that they’ll purchase from that brand. Key to higher satisfaction levels were the availability of quality content and responsive service representatives. Out of the six industries reported on in the survey, the automobile industry was found to be the best in balancing both marketing and servicing engagement (which includes answering specific consumer questions or resolving problems). Read More
“Nobody puts baby in a corner.” It’s one of the most-quoted lines from the now classic movie “Dirty Dancing.” Patrick Swayze’s character walks in and extends his hand to pull Jennifer Grey out of the shadow of her attention-seeking older sister, disapproving parents and all the fears and misconceptions that have been holding her back for her much-anticipated moment in the spotlight.
I keep waiting for a similar scene to unfold for social customer service. There’s so much potential there, and the audience wants it to happen, but somehow, the older sister (in this case, social marketing) keeps grabbing all the attention while social customer service remains sitting in the corner.
More than one billion people like and comment on Facebook posts and pages an average of 3.2 billion times every day. Are they liking and commenting on your brand’s posts and pages – and is your brand responding? Because engagement just got a lot more important.
This month, Facebook announced its new Graph Search. Graph Search is to your network on Facebook what Google is to the web. When released, it will appear at the top of every Facebook user’s page to provide the ability to search for businesses, organizations and more based on location and/or the recommendations and activity of friends, family and connections – and that information is extremely powerful. Consider these statistics:
In a worldwide Nielsen survey, 92% of online consumers said they completely trust or somewhat trust recommendations from people they know. 70% said the same of any consumer opinions posted online.
61% consider purchasing or using the product or service that has been recommended by a brand advocate. Read More
According to the Acquity Group’s December 2012 Brand Ecommerce Audit, 71% of big brands are still leaving customer tweets unanswered. The study examined 50 of the United States’ best-known retailers highlighted in Interbrand’s Best Retail Brands 2012 report including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, GameStop and more for their multichannel customer service responsiveness. The overall results for Twitter were hugely disappointing.
The report showed that while 90% of the 50 big brands are active on Twitter, only 29% currently respond to customer tweets on this highly-visible channel. Read More
Like it or not, social media has become a mainstream communications channel. What makes it so appealing for consumers is that it’s usually the shortest distance between them and a brand – no account number, security password or wait time required to connect, and it’s especially gratifying for those wishing to vent their frustration.
Even while recognizing social media’s proliferation and the power to alter the public perception of a brand with a single post, most businesses have not moved to incorporate social media at an enterprise level. Forrester analyst Zach Hofer-Shall says that will change in 2013.
“In 2013, the trend will be about bringing social media into the business itself, not relying on a separate social media function,” notes Hofer-Shall. Read More