By Mike Stiles on Apr 22, 2014
Admit it. Sometimes in the dark of night, when you’re alone and no one is looking, you gripe about how annoying those people who expect customer service on social are. They get in the way of how corporations wanted to do customer service: “Your call is very important to us, please continue to hold.”
Prior to the expectations social customer service brought, it seemed like the goal of most customer service was to actually break down the customer and frustrate them out of wanting help at all, supported by a brand attitude of, “Wow, you sure seem mad. But what are you gonna do about it?”
Along came social, and suddenly they actually could do something about it. We want customer service on social because:
It’s faster…or at least it should be.
53% reaching out to a brand for service on Twitter expect a response within an hour. 32% expect a response within half an hour. And 57% expect the same response time on nights & weekends as during business hours. Sitting on hold for 30 minutes on the phone is regarded as an abuse that older folk had to endure, but that’s no longer tolerable. In fact, J.D. Power tells us 18 to 29-years-olds are more likely to use your social for customer service (43%) than for marketing stuff (23%).
It connects us to a human.
We’re a generation that’s fine with automation and letting robots help us…to a point. What the bots lack is the ability to project caring or a personal investment in the resolution of our problem. It’s hard to have a relationship with automation, but when a community manager saves the day, the customer feels like they have a hero inside the brand. That’s relationship building.
It acknowledges my problem is not like “all the others.”
FAQs and reams of self-help pages project that you, the customer, are nothing special and neither is your problem. It’s a problem someone else has had, and there’s an answer. All you have to do is shut down your work and devote as much time as necessary to finding it. If you find it, hopefully the generalized solution will actually apply to your specific situation. If not, it’s off to the user forums, where the advice you get might take days, and may or may not come from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. The extent to which brands try to keep from interacting with you makes quite an impression.
It more aggressively seeks to resolve my problem.
55% of customers get frustrated if they have to repeat the same info several times to several different people. 65% get frustrated if they have to contact the brand twice for the same issue. Managers of brand social channels know they have no such luxury to put a customer on ice or pass them around like a hot potato. The public is watching the interaction, so there must be a timely, happy ending to each customer service story. Integration into CRM systems helps make that happen.
It empowers and sets us up to publicize mistreatment.
American Express says the average number of people a social customer will tell about a good customer experience is 42. The average number of people they’ll tell about a bad experience is 53. Increasingly, customers feel it’s nothing short of their duty to warn people about you. 58% are more likely to share their customer services experiences now than 5 years ago.
It empowers and sets us up to publicly express pride in the brands we like.
Likewise, your customers want to be happy and proud to be associated with you. In addition to the advocacy and the help marketing your company, when you execute good service on social, those delighted customers spend 20% to 40% more with you. Take that to the next social ROI conversation with your boss.
So splash that customer service email or phone number everywhere you want. Force people into fix-it-yourself trees or open forums. People are still going to go on your social channels seeking customer service. Questions on Facebook Pages alone are up 85% over last year. And if the experiences don’t match up to modern expectations, you’re largely in the disappointment business.
BONUS EYE-OPENING STATISTIC:
70% of Marketing departments are involved in social, compared to a mere 19% of Customer Service departments – Ragan