March 12, 2012

Help! I dropped my iPhone in The Toilet!

Customer Service: An Overview 

Customer service (CS) is one of the fastest emerging social technology solutions that brands and consumers are demanding. CS is rapidly transitioning from traditional call centers and native websites to the social space – as a result vendors are scrambling to fill this need.

Vendors range from traditional call centre technologies building out social solutions (e.g. Parature) to social CS startups and even social media management systems rushing to add CS product features (e.g. Sprinklr and Radian6).

Social Customer Service Technology

Brands are demanding solutions that mimic the traditional call center with product features that include: ticketing, real-time conversation tracking, incoming and outgoing volume, speed to answer, workflow tracking, FB and Twitter support, flagging, team analytics, governance and permissioning user logins, audit trails, voice chat, geo-targeting, CRM integration and more. Building out platforms to meet these demands will require at the very minimum, dedicated CS product teams, and preferably, dedicated social CS companies.

Social CS is today where SMMS vendors were 24 months ago. Over the next 6 months we are going to see the market flood with CS vendors and SMMS vendors who build add-on CS features. At some point, the market will be consolidated (just as we saw 15 years ago with web CMS technology). Winners will be those who gave it everything they had.

Why Social CS?

Outlined below are the top reasons why brands need a CS strategy and technology solution:

• Consumers no longer want to go through automated phone systems and customer service waiting lines.
• The social space is where consumers are spending the majority of their digital time.
• Brand Facebook pages and brand Twitter handles are currently flooded with CS support chatter. Opening up alternative hubs for CS, whether it be a dedicated Facebook tab or CS Twitter handles allows brands to use the pages for engagement and interactive promotions.
• Leads to faster and more effective CS response times.
• Moves from reactive CS to proactive CS i.e. CS embedded within social allows brands to listen to cues and concerns from customers before they blowup.
• Improvement of brand sentiment and social health.
• Above all, it leads to satisfied customers!

There are a number of brands tackling the Facebook CS hurdle with significant success. Below is a snapshot of Walmart’s Facebook CS tab:

Social Customer Service

Walmart’s CS Tab on Facebook

Walmart’s tab takes consumers complaints off the main wall and enables consumers to: ask questions, share ideas, report a problem and give praise.

Be sure to also check out: Facebook CS on Rosetta Stone and Nike.

Michoel @Twabbi

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