5 reasons social customer service belongs in the contact center

As how we use social media continues to evolve, so does the role that social media fills in consumer interactions with brands. When companies first started engaging in social media, the approach was much more passive. Even just five years ago, companies used social media more for monitoring and brand awareness than for direct engagement. As a result, social media was often considered the sole responsibility of Marketing.

However, as we discussed in our previous post, customer attitudes toward social media have changed. Consumers no longer have the patience for companies that use social media as a 1-way speaking or listening tool, instead they want to engage in quick, 2-way customer service engagement to resolve customer service issues. As such, it’s time for many brands to re-think where social media “lives” in their organization. The rise of content marketing means that social media will remain a core area of Marketing departments. But as social customer service continues to grow, companies need to separate content and promotion from social customer service, and divert that traffic to a dedicated digital customer service team.

Some key reasons to consider:

  1. Not assigning social customer service inquiries to dedicated social customer service agents dilutes the effectiveness of your Marketing team. It leaves your Marketers with an ugly choice: either they take time away from the time-consuming (but very important) work of content marketing, or they actively ignore customer service requests that come in over social as “not their responsibility”. Diverting customer service inquiries received on social to a dedicated social customer service team will ensure quick responses, which will keep customers happy, and free up your Marketing team to maximize their inbound marketing efforts.

  2. Contact centers are already equipped to handle high volumes of interactions in a timely manner. While there are notable differences between phone-based customer service and customer service over social media, the nature of the interactions remains largely the same. Contact centers already have tools in place to handle a high volume of interactions, which can fluctuate greatly, while ensuring accurate and timely responses.

  3. Consistent customer service requires staff dedicated to that function. When surveyed, consumers often identify lack of consistent customer experience as a top frustration with customer service over any channel. Expecting staff from departments outside of Customer Service to handle customer service inquiries simply because they come in by a different channel will only lead to further inconsistencies and increased customer frustration. Assigning social customer support to a dedicated digital customer service team will ensure inquiries are handled by agents with the proper training to provide excellent customer service consistent with your brand.

  4. Customer interactions can’t be properly logged, tracked and analyzed when they are handled by different departments. To compare apples with apples, customer interactions need to be handled by agents with comparable training and tools. Additionally, social interactions can’t be measured for quality assurance if they are being handled by a team that isn’t equipped with the tools to systematically assess interaction quality.

  5. Without consistent data captured from all customer support channels, your customer journey map will have large holes. When all customer support channels are handled by the same department, it results in data that can be used to understand the entire customer journey. 

The benefits are clear

Splitting responsibility for Social Media Customer Service from Social Media Marketing will benefit all facets of your organization. It will improve the effectiveness of your Marketing team, boost customer experience, and allow for consistent data gathering, which can be used to improve interaction quality and assist in long-term strategic planning.

Do you have questions about how best to integrate social media customer service into your contact center? Contact us to speak to one of our digital engagement experts or request a demo to see our digital customer service platform in action.

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About the Author: Anna Kreider