social media customer service concept image with social media logos hanging from a tree

Customer service has changed drastically from the days of telephone-only call centers. From automated systems to chatbots to 24/7 online service, there are certainly a lot of new ways for your contact center agents to provide your customers with excellent service.

But what about social media? Are sites like Twitter and Facebook perhaps the real future of customer service? And if that’s the case, how can your agents make sure that they’re providing the best possible service over social media? Over the past several years, social media has grown to become almost as important an element of the customer service field as those other innovations, and it’s crucial for your center to provide the best possible service through these new avenues.

Here are some tips on how to do so.

First, determine which platforms fit your needs

The first thing a contact center has to do is figure out what social media outlets to use. Which one of the many different platforms are your customers using most?

Whichever they may be, those are the ones where you need to make the most resources and agents available. While Facebook and Twitter might be the most obvious choices simply because of their overall popularity in the general population, don’t forget that there might also be concentrations of your customers on sites like Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google+, as well.

Make use of monitoring tools

There are plenty of tools out there that allow companies to keep track of their social media mentions. This capability is often built in to customer feedback software, like KOVA’s Enterprise Customer Feedback Management Software. Listening is, after all, one of the most important factors in providing excellent customer service, and there have been consumer studies done that indicate that consumers expect business to monitor their social media outlets for both positive and negative comments.

What are the issues that seem to keep coming up with the product or client your contact center is providing service for? Knowing the answer to that might help your agents provide customers with faster solutions to their problems.

Make timely responses a priority

Speed is important in every aspect of customer service, but social media is an arena where a contact center’s response has to be even faster than normal, simply because of the consumer’s expectations. The immediacy of platforms like Twitter and Facebook have conditioned people to expect their queries to be seen and answered certainly within a day, and sometimes a matter of hours.

If you neglect these channels, your customer already has the best possible platform on which to express their displeasure, and they’re virtually guaranteed to do so if you don’t respond in a timely and satisfactory fashion.

Train your agents to put their customer service skills to work in this new format

What makes a contact center agent an excellent customer service provider? It’s their ability to provide comfort, understanding and knowledgeable solutions in a quick and professional manner, right? Those skills might not be easy to find, but once you have agents who can do all of that, it stands to reason that they would be able to transfer those abilities to another area beyond telephone work.

These are ultimately the skills that will help you provide great customer service regardless of where you’re doing it from.

Know when it’s time to transfer the service conversation to another channel

Although social media can be an effective way to handle many customer service issues, it’s important to know when you’ve reached the limits of what an agent can accomplish in this format. Make sure your agents know when it’s time to complete the conversation via private chat or on the phone.

Most issues brought up on social media can be solved there, but some can’t, and an escalating discussion with a customer is best handled in a more private setting, both to give the customer more individualized and focused attention, and to end a potentially damaging public thread of comments.

For more on bringing your customer service fully into the 21st century, read “Omnichannel Customer Service Should Span Both the Physical and Virtual Worlds.”

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.