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Future of Social Customer Service. #social

Times have changed. The social media revolution started and we got Facebook, twitter and all the other social media tools. The marketing teams in all these businesses wanted to ride on this wave and created twitter handles for their organizations.

Businesses are now required to monitor both the social media channels and also maintain their call centers for their customers who still would like to talk to someone who don’t have a social profile yet and would hence like to talk to someone at the business.

Now, there is a choice for the business:

  • Continue with the status quo and manage both the social and the call center channel
  • Re-look at the contact strategy

While most of the businesses so far have been taking the 1st option, more and more businesses are now looking at the 2nd option. One of the options that businesses have if they decide to re-look at their customer contact strategy is to make the social channels the main channel for all customer contact and use the call center as the secondary channel. There are some distinct advantages that this strategy offers:

Improved customer service :

  • You are now forced to have an exceptional service which in the long term will help the business.
  • When other customers see that you are providing a great service, this improves the brand value of your business and creates a positive spiral.

Reduced cost:

  • You could use technology solutions for monitoring and responding the queries on social media.
  • You could re-deploy some of the call center agents in more productive roles and reduce the overall cost of managing the service team.

Improved brand equity:

  • By making the social channels as the primary channel for contact with customers, you are now enabling or ensuring that your customers connect with you on these social channels. This will enable you to identify your customers and their influencers. You can now participate and engage them in productive dialogues.
  • This will also make your social foray sticky in your customers minds.

Opportunity to re-design:

  • There has been a lot of talk about social businesses and how social channels have now provided an opportunity for businesses to re-design their work culture. Businesses can now become more agile and nimble on their foot to enable them to adjust to the changes in their environment.
  • This probably could have the biggest impact on both the topline and bottom-line of your business.

The only medium for customer support then becomes the social channels and email marketing. Having a separate channel for service and brand on the social channels can increase both stickiness and brand transparency.

There is an element of risk involved here. If you don’t get this right the first time, every time, there lies an opportunity for a PR disaster. However, if done well, there is also the upside of tremendous positive word-of-mouth, which in my opinion is a big enough upside to take the plunge.

Do you think that businesses should adopt this strategy of completely moving away from the call centers?

Please feel free to provide your thoughts and feedback by leaving your comment below.

Thank You!

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