30 to 40 million social media interactions take place in one day according to Catriona Wallace from Fifth Quadrant. Companies are getting on board to offer service and support through various social media channels.
According to a Zendesk infographic by Tiffany Maleshefski, “A majority of consumers are already using social media channels for customer support, and many would be open to using social media for support in the future.” The infographic shows that 62% of consumers have used social media for customer service issues and 76% of consumers say they would be more likely to use social media for customer service if they better understood the tools available to them.
Who’s Using Social Media for Service & Support?
Many companies have taken the idea of social support to heart and have equipped their employees with the tools they need to offer assistance to customers through social media channels. According to a study Telus International conducted about the social media support activity of seven fortune 500 companies, the most common social channel used was Twitter.
Take a look at a few examples of companies incorporating social media into their customer support:
HP developed a Twitter handle for customers to discuss their support needs. It acts as an online community where customers can ask questions, ask for support, or answer fellow customer questions if they have encountered the issue themselves.
Best Buy created a Twitter handle to use as a service tool. All employees have access and they have found employees enjoy tweeting even when they’re not at work. The tweets respond to customers’ concerns and prepare customers for changes that may affect them.
Consumers are posting comments on various social media and call [center] forums and, even more important, they expect to get a response when they do so. Companies lacking a ready method to monitor and respond to all forums face a potential backlash, while those that can quickly identify root causes of a burgeoning problem – on, for example, their Facebook pages or via Twitter – can then track the problems through to resolution and create a competitive advantage. Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Technology services organizations will need to be alert and responsive to customer needs with teams of well-trained technicians ready to engage with customers.
So Who Should Respond?
Now that companies have decided to engage in social media support, who does the responsibility fall to?
Some companies believe the call center should monitor and respond to customer inquiries through social media. Other companies, like Dell for example, have started training employees in social media. Dell launched a Social Media Command Center and trained over 5,000 employees. Keeping up with customer’s expectations is crucial. Rachel Miller says, “Technology services organizations will need to be alert and responsive to customer needs with teams of well-trained technicians ready to engage with customers.”
How to Start Social Media Support
If you’re looking to start your own social media support plan, keep the following tips in mind:
- Develop a plan for responding to customer inquiries through social media
- Empower your employees to offer assistance
- Follow Up in a timely manner
Post #9 in the Top Ten Customer Service and Support Trends for 2012 series.