“Social conversations are skyrocketing,“ said Alana Cutler, the principal social expert at Salesforce, speaking at Dreamforce 2018. “Sixty-seven percent of people who use social for customer service prefer it to traditional methods like phone or email." It's a no-brainer that businesses need to focus on this. “It's a priority for enterprise," she said. According to Cutler, when implemented correctly, social customer service can boost agent productivity four to eight times more than email. Here's how you optimize the process.
Build Your Business Objectives
There are a number of things you can measure with social, such as volume, response rate and sentiment of responses. Cutler emphasized that while social can track similar things to other platforms, you should be cognizant that you'll need to shift expectations. “The language of social can be very different from email when it comes to sentiment analysis," she said. Accordingly, you'll need to invest time in customizing service for social.
Deeper Damage Control
Social monitoring lets you get instant updates on public sentiment and allows you to track mentions by influencers. When influencers post negative sentiments, an adept social customer service system can get this escalated and addressed quickly. “One person's tweet can have a negative viral effect," she warned. “Manage conversations from influencers carefully."
—Alana Cutler, principal social expert, Salesforce
Different departments pull social data from the same accounts and it's important they're aligned with their datasets. “It can feel like herding cats with departments that don't interact on a day-to-day basis," Cutler said. “But if you get everyone on board and working off same datasets, you have confidence and consistency in metrics from all departments."
Improve Agent Productivity
Including social into your customer service plan helps to reduce the workload on your agents. They can process four to eight times the number of social cases as compared to email cases. That's because it's much quicker to respond to a direct message than an email—sometimes all customers want is a link for a website. “There's an expectation from people who use social to have a quicker response," she said.
If a customer is having a service issue and working through a complaint with an agent, the last thing they want is to get served advertisements recommending that product. “Think about the broader picture," Cutler said. “If there's a case open you should suspend that person from all other inquiries till it's closed." The opposite is also true: If someone is commenting about similar products on social, you can use that as an opportunity to upsell them. “It can lead to valuable insights and understanding social selling opportunities can dictate how we go to market," she said.