Trends in outsourcing social media

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So much is happening in the social media customer care industry. This week, watch the key learnings from the recent Future Care debate and read the most interesting articles from since the last newsletter.

Is there room to be funny in social customer service?

(Brafton, February 3, 2014)  The customer is always right. Right? Well … even though we try to put customers at the centre of our organisations, the customer is NOT always right. Contact Centre directors in Future Care often mention how stressful it is to deal with an angry or impatient customer. Since hanging up the phone is not an option (especially on social media) what about a little humor? There are a number of examples which show that humor tanks when insensitive, but well-tuned and timed humor can be immensely successful. And, the payoff multiplies when hundreds or thousands of people share posts which show a customer service agent is a human being. AMC Theatres’ witty response to a Tweet from Oreo about sneaking cookies into theaters got over 1,800 retweets.

So the question is: Is it worth of effort and risk of letting your agents joke? Read and decide by yourself.

Waiting for a customer to call is so yesterday – and so unsocial

telephone

(Brand Embassy, March 6, 2014) I recently wrote on the Brand Embassy blog on how the shift from telephone to social media creates issues for customer service. The problem is that today’s customers are not just demanding, they’re getting lazy – and they have smart phones. Traditional processes used in contact centers for IVR do not work on social media. It’s public, consumers control it – not the brands – and there is always the risk of a communication crisis. This post introduces six steps to making social media customer care far more effective than IVR. It’s worth reading for anyone dealing with an increased volume of social customer service inquiries.

WhatsApp: best for customer service?

whatsapp

(The Guardian, Feb 26, 2014) This post requires a bit of out-of-box thinking about the next potential steps for WhatsApp.

Research shows that Facebook and Twitter are used by millions to escalate customer service inquiries previously called in via phone or sent by email. The reasons for this are clear: It’s a convenient place visited many times daily, it’s easy to find a brand and post requests, and it’s public so we can get support from our peers.

Companies usually don’t know more about the customer than his nickname and a profile picture. It’s tricky to ask for a customer ID on a public social network. However, switching  to a private messaging platform like WhatsApp is easy and comfortable both for the customer and the company. But, of course, only if the company has integrated its social networks with this messaging app. With Facebook acquiring WhatsApp, I am sure these two platforms will soon be used integrally. This creates a huge opportunity for companies to bring  their customer-centric service up a notch and launch a WhatsApp enabled social media customer service offering. Who has the guts to do it first?

Let’s care more.

Vit Horky
CEO of Brand Embassy, Founder of Future Care Initiative,

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