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Using Social Media for Service and Support Sarah Hedayati

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:

@hpsupportforum

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.

@twelpforce

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.

We are advo­cates for pro­vid­ing cus­tomers the best expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble. Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems is the leader in cus­tomer ser­vice skills train­ing and con­sult­ing. Cus­tomer ser­vice is all about the pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence you provide.
Sarah Hedayati
View all posts by Sarah Heday­ati
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