Monitoring Is So Yesterday - Customers Demand Problem Resolution Via Social Media

The role of social media for business is rapidly evolving. Through 2010, most companies were just using social channels for marketing. This was the era of Social Customer Response, where businesses would only identify customer complaints and requests on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.

But consumers were quick to demand more, expressing dissatisfaction with Social Customer Response, which frequently forced them into traditional offline interaction channels involuntarily when seeking problem resolution.. To stay competitive, businesses now need to engage in resolving social inquiries, without dragging customers to offline channels or making them wait for a delayed response. 

Social Customer Care Increases in Popularity

In a recent survey, we learned that one out of three consumers prefers social customer care to offline channels. This number continues to grow each year, at a rapid pace. It’s fair to assume that more consumers will move to social as the preferred method of resolution as the channel rapidly matures. Customers cite two primary reasons why they prefer social customer care: 1) I did not have to talk on the phone, 2) I received my answer quickly.

Customer care pundits have predicted the demise of the phone channel for many years, but the ultimate dinosaur is email. Blame social media, which has raised the bar in resolution to customer issues.

It’s About Time

In the recent past, customers would send a support request via email and be pleased with a response in 4 to 24 hours. This timeframe has been deemed unacceptable by modern standards, where half of respondents to a recent Oracle survey expect a response within two hours of posting. On industry-best campaigns, consumers receive initial responses to threaded social media interactions within 15 minutes.

What’s next?

Mobile will play an even greater role in customer care. We’ve already seen the dawn of the “Digital Natives” generation –  who prefer to conduct all online interactions through mobile devices and have a preference for self-service whenever possible. Brands will need to do a better job of addressing the immediacy afforded by social media resolution on mobile, and also need to deliver optimized experiences that enable a seamless escalation to human assistance when self-service applications prove inadequate.

Key Takeaways

Here’s the prescription for success with a social customer care resolution program:

  • The omni-channel approach is critical. Customers involuntarily forced from their desired channel are dissatisfied.
  • Solve the omni-channel technology challenge with a unified text queue and a social response platform. Don’t assume the best technology solution for marketing is applicable in the contact center. 
  • Develop a secure resolution strategy, with escalation via a secure channel such as live chat to prevent needless cross channel escalations to legacy voice channels.

  • People make the difference. Consistent and flawless execution comes from hiring  digitally savvy agents and providing proper training. And, don’t overlook the value of excellent text based communication skills.
3 comments about "Monitoring Is So Yesterday - Customers Demand Problem Resolution Via Social Media".
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  1. Patti Sellman from LiveWorld, May 28, 2013 at 4:48 p.m.

    Can you refer me to the specific study you mention where "1 in 3 consumers prefer social customer care.


  2. Dan Bergeron from Napkin Labs, May 28, 2013 at 6:33 p.m.

    It is interesting that our expectations as consumers have changed in terms of response time. Social media allows for real-time feedback and responses from brands and it's always nice to get fast replies from brands that 'get it'.

  3. John Bryson from Sitel, May 31, 2013 at 3:15 p.m.

    Patti, there are multiple sources claiming this statistic but attached is a link to download a survey we've referenced in the past. Hope it proves helpful.

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