At this point, most companies and organizations have integrated a social media strategy into their customer service operations. This is a must; it’s where most of their customers live. And as social media has become an anchor tenant in the world of customer service, what has followed is the sleuth of social media mangement tools such as Hootsuit, Tweetdeck, or the latest and greatest software du jour.
What has also followed are the permanent, salaried positions of social media coordinators/managers/representatives. Unfortunately, having technology and employees dedicated to social media does not mean that your organization is actually being social with your customers.
Social media strategy is like anything else, the right planning brings the right results. It requires time and thought and enough planning ahead so that it’s coordinated and effective. Unfortunately, social media requires an additional step: the willingness to deviate from the plan.
Here’s why. Planned social media posts are great. You can push out interesting quotes, articles, pictures, videos and facts to your customers on a regular basis. Planned posts give your social media presence a body. However, without the willingness to deviate from the plan, that body will seem like a robot. Who wants to follow a social media handle that only pushes out information? Unfortunately, not today’s online savvy customers!
Being willing to deviate from your social media plan really boils down empowering your employees who run your social media presence. Let your employees answer questions, interact with customers, ask questions that are “off the script.” If social media is actually going to be social, it requires a quick response, the ability to enter requests, or provide information, resolve customer problems and (perhaps most importantly) a personality. When implemented in the right way, customer service through a social media channel should feel like the customer is actually socializing with a customer service representative.
That is the real beauty of a great customer service social media strategy. Customers can “socialize and engage” with your organization and consistently receive a high level of customer satisfaction online.
I would love to hear from you on this topic. What types of customer service social media strategies would you recommend to improve the customer experience?
Rosetta Carrington Lue is the Chief Customer Service Officer and Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director. Follow Rosetta on Twitter @Rosettalue or visit her blog at www.rosettacarringtonlu