I spent the day yesterday at an Our Social Times summit listening to a great line-up of individuals and brands talking about how they create and manage their global customer service strategy.
There’s been much talk about the need for brands to be responsive and aligned when it comes to managing their existing customers across the various social channels (and listening out in order to ‘poach’ new customers) and with predictions that 90% of a brand’s customer service will take place on social media by 2020 [Source: Gartner], there’s lots of frantic work going on behind-the-scenes.
As it currently stands – and there’s probably no surprises here – industries such as airline, travel and retail are currently at the forefront and these guys are certainly a good place to start when it comes to benchmarking.
With that in mind there was much talk about ‘how good is good’ when it comes to response rates, with a desire to get above 60%, but as close to 90% as possible (bear in mind traditional call centres only have a 5% abandon rate, so no small feat to measure up to them).
In terms of response times, whilst the global average on Twitter is 6 hours, many of the brands talking at yesterday’s seminar (Nokia, Iberia Airlines, eBay, Spotify, Barclaycard and Citibank) are doing pretty well, with mention of anywhere between 15 – 30 minutes, and Iberia Airlines boasting not just a response, but a solution to an issue within 28 seconds.
So, who are the people best placed to be handling your social customer service? When it comes to global social customer service, you need to have native digital teams in place – people with an expertise in social media and very good communication skills. Social customer service has already claimed a reputation for being more proactive and helpful than traditional customer service and much of this is probably down to the people that are managing social CS and the fact it’s much more public.
Training the teams is a vital part of ensuring you not only have a seamless CS approach across all channels, but also that the marketing and CS voices are aligned. Carolyn Blunt from Real Results Training suggests moving Marketing and Customer Services much closer together within your organisation and tasking Marketing with creating clear Tone of Voice guidance (something we do for each of our clients here at Tempero). Carolyn’s other point – and it sounds an obvious one, but also one that many brands appear to easily fall into – is to avoid generic scripts and templates. Just do a quick search on Twitter for the phrase ‘we’ll pass on your comments’ and you’ll see why.
The final point to think about with your social CS is measurement and analysis. Everyone agreed that vanity metrics such as number of followers/likes are in themselves, pretty meaningless. Customer Effort Score was mentioned and I think it’s certainly a more comprehensive picture than the traditional NPS – although if you’ve clicked on that last link, you’ll see opinion is still divided.
There was a lot more talk around different measurements, tools (the fact there’s no one tool that’s right for the job) and approaches with peer-to-peer support (something Rorey Jones from Spotify talked a lot about and they seem to have nailed pretty well).
It’s certainly an interesting time for social CS and something that many brands will be measuring their overall social success by and with innovative brands like O2 with #Tweetserve it means that sitting in a regulated environment such as banking, doesn’t mean your customer has to channel hop to get the information they require, quickly and easily, which at the end of the day, is what it’s all about.