Paolo Fabrizio
February 8, 2022

Less Social, More Customer Service Please

More Customer Service

While messaging and video are on the rise, social media is getting old. The main reasons? Time flies and most early adopters are not kids anymore, and youngsters prefer apps because they consider social media as boring. Such a shift in the last 2-3 years wasn’t nearly as fast though, from an organization’s standpoint. In fact, too many brands are still approaching social media conversations as if we were still in 2015!. So let’s analyze two main stumbling blocks to be avoided, and how to instead leverage social media for customer service.

1. Social Media Conversations ARE NOT Handled By The Right People

The typical situation I observe is marketing owning social media. They set up and execute a content plan to get customers and prospects engaged and that’s absolutely fine. Afterwards, though, engaged customers interact with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram content in various ways:

  • Praising. Adding phrases, words, or emojis to express their appreciation
  • Adding non-contextual comments. E.g. the post is about a new insurance cover, but a customer asks for information about another one.
  • Asking for support. Customers use social media to report their issues and get it fixed.
  • Complaining. They’re urging their issue over social media as a last resort.
  • Ranting. They publicly voice their dissatisfaction and/or spoil a brand’s reputation.

As you can see, the above behaviors generate actions that may belong to marketing, communication, or PR skill-set. Others, however, are fully customer service-related. Those who did not clearly decide who is entitled to reply, provide poor and inconsistent customer experiences over social media.

Suggested read: The winning link between customer service and marketing.

2. Right People But Not Properly Up-Skilled!

In this second scenario, the organization has decided what conversation topics shall be managed by marketing or customer service. And that’s an important step! However, something vital is still missing. The fault here is in not understanding that in order to successfully handle social media conversations, ad hoc skills are paramount. Accordingly, they don’t invest in training and let their staff deal with customers like a sailor in a new ocean at night…with no lights. In fact, when interacting with customers over social or public channels, you need specific traits. These are to those necessary over the traditional support channels (see digital agent identikit in the infographic below).

digital support agent identikit

Important: when it comes to social customer service, both managers and agents need to get digitally up-skilled based on their specific roles. Learn how I help them with customized training and coaching paths.

Over To You

How are you currently using social media? Are you already leveraging conversations to build and consolidate customers’ trust? Be aware that you can achieve such an ambitious goal only by developing cross-department synergies!

Have great conversations.

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Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. Paolo has been helping companies to harness digital customer service as a business driver. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture, author of books and speaker at conferences in Italy and abroad. Lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan