We’re always scouring the web for the latest developments in social customer care, and to see what new ideas thought leaders are coming up with. It’s not always easy to sum up our findings, but this month, the message is clear: Simply utilizing Twitter or Facebook for customer service is not enough.
In order to be truly effective, a social customer care program needs to respond to customers quickly, no matter what channel they’re using. And as much as we’d like to think that everyone’s on Twitter these days, some customers still like to keep it old school. Plus, those customers who keep up with the latest technologies are using new channels practically every day. That’s why it’s vital to develop a diversified approach to customer service. Here are four key takeaways that should put you on the path to diversification.
Don’t replace your call center
In social customer care circles, it’s customary to talk about the revolution of the call center and how social media is well on its way to replacing traditional phone-based customer service. After all, the average cost of an inbound call is $5.90, and call centers on average field about 45.4 billion calls per year. So from a cost perspective alone, call centers appear ineffective. But this infographic from Zendesk shows how important call centers remain, even in the age of social customer care. Not everyone is using social media yet, and some customers still want to be able to speak with care agents over the phone. So don’t go unplugging those landlines just yet.
For some brands, maintaining accounts across all social media channels can be a challenge. But what about 260 social media accounts? That’s another thing altogether, and that’s exactly what the University of Cambridge does to attract top talent, according to this case study from Hootsuite. In 2009, the University began using social media to develop and deepen the connection between the university, its long history, potential and existing students, employees, and wider communities. Along the way, it empowered staff to represent the university themselves over social media. The result? A 400% increase in Facebook followers, and more name recognition and reach than ever before. It’s another example of how a diversified, decentralized approach to social can be hugely effective, especially for big brands.
Wait, didn’t we just tell you not to give up on the call center? True, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore newer technology, either. An integrated social customer care platform is becoming a necessity. But where to begin? John Goodman, a customer experience researcher, innovator and entrepreneur, delivers real insights in this webinar from New Voice Media. We all know that social media is key for customer satisfaction, but keeping up with all of those channels demands smart software. Customer engagement should be the norm, not the exception. That doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think.
Social media can be hard to keep up with. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, a new channel is introduced, or existing channels invent new functionalities. It’s hard to say where social media is heading, but this white paper from Spredfast has some very well-educated guesses. 50 leading brands across ten different verticals, eight social networks, and thousands of pieces of social content are evaluated to bring you insightful and usable key learnings, including: Which brands are top-performers across social networks (and why); Why social care teams should take a goal-driven approach; and much more about specific channels like Tumblr and Instagram. This is an invaluable document that will help you engage customers over the channels they’re using.
How does your brand diversify social customer care? Contact us on Twitter to let us know!