Profile photo of Paolo Fabrizio
Paolo Fabrizio
December 27, 2015

Social Media Has Become a Customer Service Tool

At this the time of the year we usually read lots of predictions about digital, social and customer service trends for the forthcoming year.

To tell you the truth I prefer to read others’ opinions throughout the year in order to build my own view day by day. That’s why today I’m going to share with you some important facts concerning Social Customer Service that occurred in 2015.

So keep on reading below to learn more…

Facebook winks to Social Customer Service

In 2015, Facebook has introduced several new features to enhance interactions between users and brands. In particular they have offered a badge for virtuous brands to be added on those pages able to answer at least 90% of customer questions with an average response time less than 5 minutes. By doing so, they encouraged brands to use their pages as customer service tools and, at the same time, to raise the bar in terms of efficiency.

Moreover, Facebook enabled users to shift conversations with brand pages in private. Now managers of a company page can also respond to a public comment in private: a specific note next to the comment informs other users that the customer is being answered on a private mode.

TIP: That’s a very important feature, otherwise users may think that the brand is not answering at all!

FB-customer-service-

Image credit: Facebook.com

Then, just a few days ago Facebook launched further features that definitely wink to social customer service. More specifically:

  • Response time: option to display average response time guaranteed by the brand
  • Instant replies: functionality to send automatic, standard replies to customers
  • Contact Card:  full details of the customer who contacted the company (data are obtained from his/her Facebook profile)
  • Away: this feature is a ‘sorry, we’re closed’ notice in case of absence of the page manager; very useful to prevent any response expectation of response whilst service is off
  • Flag: list of incoming messages broken down by sender, ‘flagged’ once managed

Fact → Hyatt hotels turn to Facebook Messenger for Customer Service by Wersm

The rise of Social Customer Service platforms

SCS platform

Image: Exacttarget.com

Since there’s a fast growing demand for social customer service in different industries, there’s a rising number of different platforms. That’s happening in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as in ‘younger markets’ such as Spain and Italy. In my country for instance, in 2015 some big brands (mainly telcos and banks) have launched social customer service via Facebook and/or Twitter.

As for SaaS companies, which are software providers, some of those which had offered just social media marketing tools for years, have now decided to extend their offer to social customer service platforms. Of course the best tools are customized and flexible since they may be used by brands for different purposes according to their own specific goals (e.g. just for social listening activities or also to engage conversations with customers).

Fact → Buffer acquires Social Customer Service tool Respondly by Buffer

Build something truly incredible that solves a very specific need, rather than a solution that tries to be everything to everyone. – Joel Gascoigne, Co-Founder and CEO of Buffer

Your Turn

As Shep Hyken explains in a recent video, brands need to set higher standards of service than ever in order to acquire and retain customers. Social networks are useful tools for this purpose, provided they’re properly managed.

So dear brands, do your best to meet and exceed new customers expectations by delivering an outstanding customer service.

This is not a prediction, the time is NOW.

 

Featured/Lead image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_rawpixel‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Profile photo of Paolo Fabrizio

Paolo Fabrizio

Paolo Fabrizio is Social CRM, Blogger, Speaker. He is a pioneer of online customer service, taking part of insurance start-ups since the 90's. An eclectic gentleman obsessed by Social Customer Service. Multilingual professional, passionate about rugby and serial smiler