If you’re anything like me, your first port of call these days for finding out what’s going on in the world probably isn’t newspaper or TV, it’s Twitter and Facebook. Social media has taken over our lives so much that for many people, it’s the first thing they check when they get up, and the last thing they do before going to bed.
This shouldn’t be lost on contact centre professionals. With using social media almost as instinctive as breathing for some people – particularly among the younger generation – it’s vital that this channel is an option when they want to get in touch with a company.
But making this work requires much more than simply setting up an account and finding someone to keep an eye on any messages. With this in mind, here’s five key tips you need to remember in order to make social a success.
- Be in the right place
Often, we talk about ‘social media’ as if it’s one homogeneous channel, but it isn’t. The type of crowd that hang around on Facebook will be completely different to those that frequent LinkedIn, while users of Twitter and Instagram will again have different expectations about how they expect brands to interact with them.
Choosing the right platform for your brand is therefore the first critical step in making social media work. Sure, you can cast a wide net and try to cover as many channels as possible, but if your audience will primarily be engaged with just one or two, why waste resources? This is where it pays to do the research and really know your customer.
- Speed is of the essence
You might think that if someone is simply leaving a message on Twitter or Facebook, they’re not experiencing as urgent an issue as if they’d picked up the phone, but you’d be wrong. Younger people in particular are increasingly likely to turn to social media as their first port of call for queries large or small, and they expect a swift response.
Just because a message arrives through social media, it mustn’t be treated as low priority. The majority of people will expect a response within the hour, and if they don’t get one they will feel as though they are being ignored – a situation no contact centre wants.
- Don’t be afraid to ditch the script
To deal with these demands, many firms have chosen to stick to a rigid – and sometimes even completely automated – script in order to reassure customers their message has been received. But this can backfire if it becomes apparent the contact centre hasn’t grasped what the customer is trying to say.
Social media is a place for personal interactions, so this should be no different for brands. Often, those that are most successful are those that are prepared to throw away these scripts and offer a more human response. We’ve seen time and time again how positive social interactions from firms can go viral, as people will be keen to share positive, personal experiences.
- Listen, listen, listen
As I’ve said above, a boilerplate response that does not address the actual issue will only infuriate customers, which is why it’s vital that contact centres listen closely to the messages they get on social media and tailor their responses accordingly.
But responding to their specific request is just the start. With so little space to work with, it’s critical that agents can recognise tell-tale signs in social media messages that can indicate their tone, so agents can respond in kind. Connecting with customers and understanding their state of mind is how great relationships are formed.
- Don’t wait to be spoken to
Finally, it’s vital that contact centres take a proactive approach to social media, and not just sit back and wait for their customers to contact them. Often, it may be the case that a frustrated user will vent online to their followers but not address the firm directly.
This is a great opportunity for a brand to step in to solve a problem or offer suggestions, to show that it is listening and is ready to help. It needs to be done carefully, but get it right and you can turn an angry customer into a happy one – who may well go on to become an advocate for your brand to their followers.
Find out how the right solutions can make your social media engagement a key part of your customer experience.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Sarah Quennell – View the original post