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5 Steps to Starting Social Customer Service

Portions of this article were originally posted on the @SoCoCare blog by Sarah Rolfing.  GettingStartedwithSocial2

Your customers are increasingly turning to their favorite social channels to give praise, offer feedback, ask questions and post criticism about your brand or service.  With that, comes new risk. (Who can forget stories like the PR nightmare United Airlines experienced after Dave Carroll turned to Youtube to post his “United Breaks Guitars” songs?

But with the right strategies and the right tools a new set of opportunities to retain customers by answering questions and solving problems before they get out of hand unfolds. You can also uncover new revenue opportunities by converting inbound service requests posted to social channels into up-sell opportunities.

Here are five simple steps to get you on your way to establishing a successful social customer care program.

I also encourage you to attend our upcoming webinar, on Tuesday, December 10 at 10am PST, where we will drill down and provide even more detail about how you can get started with Social Customer Care.  

Step 1: Develop a Strategy

Start by developing a social mission statement that aligns with your social engagement goals, customer service philosophy, and other standards your organization upholds. Next, identify and define the types of social posts you want to respond to. Do you want to exclusively respond to happy posts, negative posts or just those who are looking for help? Establish what criteria make a post actionable while also keeping your organizations customer service philosophy in mind. Continue to circle back to steps one and two to identify the social outlets where you want to be monitoring and engaging. (Hint: this should be where your customers are).

Once a clear strategy has been created, collaborate with marketing and PR to ensure a successful social engagement implementation and cohesive social media voice on all channels.

Step 2: Identify the Right Team

Because social media is a public channel, you’ll want your top dogs on the job. Identify which of your top performing customer care agents are socially savvy and know your brand, products, and policies inside and out.

Step 3: Establish a Protocol for Responding

Create a playbook with guidelines and rules of engagement for your team to follow to ensure a consistent and cohesive operation. If you are looking for some social engagement etiquette advice, check out our Top 10 Tips for Social Media Customer Service Engagement.

Step 4: Listen and Identify Social Engagement Opportunities

Begin by monitoring all major social outlets and identifying where consumers are talking about you. While it is important (and easy) to check your Facebook fan page and @mentions on Twitter, it is equally important to monitor all other social data that does not explicitly tag you. Keyword searches of your product, brand and company names are a good place to start.

Once you’ve concluded that there is a considerable amount of social chatter, identify how many of the social posts are actionable from an engagement perspective. More often than not, there are opportunities for one-on-one engagement with your customers – and studies have shown that engaging on social media will boost your bottom line.

Step 5: Measure

Last but not least, be sure to measure, well, everything you can. Measuring and reporting on your social engagement efforts just like any other customer channel is essential in working towards your goals, improving operational efficiency, and ultimately achieving a ROI. Identify SLAs and be able to measure against them. Measure and compare agent progress and productivity to increase efficiency and identify areas for improvement.

Determine what metrics are important to your organizations success. Measure things like customer sentiment over time or by business issue to get a grasp on customer satisfaction levels. Track volume by topic to understand consumer trends. Keep track of your social customers and your agent’s past interactions with them. These are just a few examples of the types of social metrics that are out there.

Five9 cloud contact center and social customer care experts will host a webinar Tuesday, December 10 at 1:00pm- 2:00pm est. Attendees will learn the right way to bring social media into your contact center. We’ll cover strategic, technology, and operational do’s and don’ts, all aimed at enabling your contact center to do social right. Register here now. 

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