Customer Experience News & Trends

4 social customer service myths – and how to move past them

Only big companies can do social customer service well, right? Wrong. That’s just one social service myth we need to debunk.

Almost 80% of Americans have some kind of social media profile. They’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat and more. And most of them expect every company they deal with to be there, too.

Yet, some companies don’t take it seriously. They ask customers to “like” them, but they fail to help customers in that same “likable” channel.

Why?

Some companies believe these myths — and use them as reasons for not having a more robust social media customer service presence:

Myth #1: You have to get a lot of followers to make it work

Some customer service leaders think that if they have a small number of customers, there isn’t much point in making social media posts.

Researchers at Conversocial found that social service effectiveness is better evaluated by the ratio of queries submitted to social media compared to other channels. In other words, fewer … let’s say, Facebook … followers doesn’t mean there’s any less interest in getting help from service pros in that channel as there is in other channels.

Myth #2: You need a huge contact center to handle social

Again, size doesn’t matter. Many companies find they don’t need best of breed tools to handle social service. There are low- and no-cost ways to handle online inquiries.

What’s important is the training. Employees who handle online queries need to be equipped to know where to find answers they don’t know quickly, and answer them professionally — because giving real-time answers is one of the most important aspects of social service.

Myth #3: You have to be a well-known brand

Researchers found that for more obscure, niche brands a social media presence and fast, online help is a major part of success.

Major brand names may get the attention for their social media service but companies of all sizes are a fit.

Myth #4: You have to be trendy, edgy

Sure, some companies are known for the rapport they’ve built with customers and their communities because they’re quirky, fun and even edgy. But that’s not for all companies.

You don’t have to sell cutting-edge software, denim or travel destinations to build a following. Small companies, with reliable social service, gain followers and build rapport through consistent, professional — and sometimes a little comedic — online help.

Ask yourself if you’re ready

Now that we’ve debunked some reasons companies are reluctant to embrace social service, find out if you’re ready to embark on it, or make yours even better.

Researchers suggest you ask yourself:

  • Is the customer experience a priority across all channels? If the experience is your company’s driving force, social media needs to be part of it.
  • Does Service or Marketing drive your social initiatives? Social needs to be a viable resolution channel, not just a bullhorn for the marketing messages.
  • Are you ready to (or have you) invested in a dedicated social media customer care solution? The best solutions turn the chaos and noise of social media chatter into streamlined threads and queues that employees can manage quickly and efficiently.
  • Can (or do) you resolve issues in the social media channel? It’s not effective if you have to finish resolutions via email or phone calls.
  • Does your company recognize social service as an equally important channel? If its importance isn’t recognized, you won’t get the resources to do it well.
  • Are you personal or mechanical in your responses? Customers can tell the difference between what’s fake and what’s authentic. Employees must be able to express their personalities professionally.
  • Do other departments collaborate on your social media strategy? Like Service, social media doesn’t work well when executed in a silo. You need other departments’ support so you can respond quickly and effectively. They need to know what customers are saying.

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  • I can relate to the myth of trendy and edgy. Most of the time, customers on social want simple and clear solutions at a snappy minute.