Connecting Your Social Media Efforts Across Marketing and Customer Service

Guest Blogger: Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst at Ovum

One of the biggest challenges with being a socially aware enterprise is managing ownership of social data and responses. Social media impacts many parts of the customer lifecycle and, as a result, it also impacts many departments within the enterprise, including marketing, customer service, product and strategy teams. These internal teams will need to collaborate, share trends data and define who will handle different types of social communications. 

At a very simplified level, social marketing teams should deliver targeted advertising campaigns, make product and service recommendations, monitor customer sentiment, promote positive feedback, and prevent the spread of negative comments. Whereas social customer support teams should use trends data to respond to complaints and queries, move interactions to chat or phone if needed, and connect customer social profiles with existing case records. However, it is not always clear which category social communications fall into and it can be difficult to ensure that interactions reach the right agent.

For example, someone complaining about a flight cancellation on Twitter could be routed to a marketing agent or a customer service agent. Marketing must manage the complaint and ensure they respond to prevent public damage, whereas customer service has the responsibility to handle the booking or provide compensation, if appropriate. If the customer is satisfied at the end of the interaction and provides a positive comment, marketing can then use this information to promote their efficient service. The customer considers this to be one issue and only really cares that they receive a timely, helpful response. Whether the social agent sits in marketing, customer service or a collaborative customer experience team, they need to have the power to resolve a customer query whatever the outcome and whether it needs to be transferred to a private communication channel or not.

Businesses should look to existing processes that are working well as a point of reference. They can look at how upsell opportunities or complaints are currently handled via phone to determine how similar interactions will be handled in social media.

Tracking success

As with any other customer engagement channel, marketing teams want to understand how social media activities alter customers’ brand perception, sentiment and whether they are recommending products and services. Contact centers need to track agent performance, and how quickly issues are being resolved in the channel. However, all departments and teams should be working towards the same overall goal: improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Social customers value realtime communications and open discussions, and their experience in social media will influence their perception of the business. Irrespective of where social teams sit within an organization or who is responsible for managing data, businesses should monitor customer satisfaction and how it changes as they offer more social media support capabilities.

You can follow me on Twitter @diteb.

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