While there are many internal controls you can implement to get a handle on your customer service options, much of it is based on external factors such as receptiveness, presence, channel use, etc. The customer service of an era gone by is not the same type that works today.
Make no mistake, the intent has not changed. However, there has been a paradigm shift in the way the world works, specifically where communication is concerned. Long-form and less instantaneous means are progressively becoming obsolete, while more instant ones are taking their place.
Today’s customers would much rather use an instant messaging service instead of picking up the phone and having a long-form phone call. In fact, for simple inquiries consumers are often ok being served by a bot, circumventing the need for human interaction altogether.
Even if a business does not necessarily agree with the direction that customer requirements via communication channels have gone, it must adapt if it hopes to stay relevant and maintain excellence in customer service.
With that said, here is a look at some of the ways leveraging social media for customer service can yield effective results.
Greater Options for Outreach
While much of the outreach methods available are not under the traditional umbrellas, the total does add up. The presence of messaging facilities from companies such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Meta, and Twitter, provides you with a broader base of communication options.
If nothing else, it means that you can lower your response time, especially if you require that your patrons submit different contact information options at the start of business dealings.
It’s important for you to start seeing opportunities in advancements, even if the transition is not always straightforward.
Public Crisis Management
One thing that’s synonymous with Gen Z’s entry into the market is rapid and public expression of their customer experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. In a bygone era, a disgruntled customer would typically reach out to the business’ team and relay the point of contention privately.
While dissatisfied customers have never been straightforward to sort out, closed communication meant that the company could avoid public scrutiny, since it was usually possible to handle the point of dissatisfaction privately.
Though such channels remain available, you find that the current crop of customers is more likely to take to social media and voice dissatisfaction for the world to see.
On the one hand, this could be a huge problem, as it now puts the potential shortcomings of the company out there for the public to see. On the other hand, it is an opportunity. The world is not only watching the complaint that’s launched. It’s also paying attention to the response.
Note that choosing not to respond is indeed a response and not a good one. What you want to do is show off what top-tier customer service looks like by expertly handling the matter. Brownie points are important in today’s business landscape, and you can certainly gain them by responding effectively in these situations.
The shift to social media as a pillar of customer service can be beneficial for your staff just as it can be for your customers. The only thing that is required for communication via these channels is an internet connection and a compatible device.
This means that you can take advantage of a diversified and distributed workforce. While you can have other teams on-site, you could theoretically save on physical real estate by using a remote workforce to handle customer service.
Doing so should be incredibly effective in helping you reduce overhead costs associated with housing employees in a physical building. Additionally, you could use this to the business’ advantage and lengthen customer support hours by adding more shifts.
A night shift may not have been a good idea as there may have been concerns about the safety of a commute. However, if your night shift team is working from home, suddenly, that challenge is no longer present, and your customers can get access to extended support.
Access to Feedback
Feedback is essential for the continuous improvement of any business. Soliciting customer impressions used to be a lot more difficult than it is today. However, the advent of social media has made this process much easier in more ways than one.
First, it’s no inconvenience at all to reach out to a customer via an instant messaging Channel to request feedback. Furthermore, it’s just as easy to make the same request of multiple customers at the same time, thanks to broadcasting messaging functionality.
Additionally, there is indirect feedback that social media management and monitoring staff can use to help the business improve. Remember that customers today are known for putting their feelings on products and situations out there on social media for the world to see.
These comments are often centered around services that businesses offer. Keyword searches can help you to find these comments, and even in the absence of them, direct tags and hashtags are often used, which should provide notifications that your team can use to check the comments being put out there.
Depending on the nature of your business, there may have been an impression or negative effect that the firm was not aware of, and one or more comments on social media brought it to light so the business can react accordingly.
While there are some challenges associated with the way today’s customers prefer to use social media, there are opportunities present that businesses can capitalize on to ensure that the impression surrounding their customer service offerings is positive.
The entrance of Gen Z into the market continues to push the envelope forward, and effective businesses must adapt. The question is how does a firm effectively manage multiple social media communication channels while providing support?
This is where a unified customer service platform comes into the equation. It’s an omnichannel offering looping in different social media services, such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Meta. Though your team uses a convenient dashboard, the customers experience communication wherever they prefer.
With dedicated branding, a support center, and automated chatbot functionality, electronic customer support has never looked so convenient.