Social  Media

Best-in-class social media customer care: What our experts want you to know

Are you harnessing the benefits of your social media customer care? Simply put, it’s well worth your investment as a leading engagement channel for today’s optimized CX. In fact, out of 7.7 billion total world population, 3.2 billion use social media—more than 1/3, according to research. And this demographic is estimated to grow 3 billion by 2021. At a recent HGS webinar, HGS VP of Product Marketing, Lauren Kindzierski along with Principal Analyst from ISG Mrinal Rai unpacked the latest strategies and tools to ensure your social media care strategy is “best in class.”

Our experts kicked off our webinar by shedding light on attendees’ perspective of channels. With the understanding that Facebook ranks as number one channel, our Poll One asked, “What do you think is the second-highest social media channel in terms of monthly active users?” A total 46% of our attendees answered “Twitter,” with 38% choosing “Instagram” and an 8% tie for Pinterest and Snapchat. At this point in our session, Lauren shared that recent Pew Research shows that the number two channel is Instagram.

Our Poll Two asked, “Does your company have a playbook for social media?” The majority of our attendees,60% answered “It’s still in progress and needs developing” and 40% of attendees reported that they already have a playbook in place.

From use of contact center AI, chatbots, and analytics to integration of CRM and focus on measurable outcomes, this webinar provided an essential best-in-class playbook. After the webinar, our attendees asked some pressing questions of our experts:
Q1: Can you explain the difference between “owned” versus “earned” volume? What should customer care be responding to?

Lauren A: “Owned” content is all of those posts where customers are directly talking to the brand on the brand’s social assets – on the brand’s Facebook page, Twitter page, Instagram page, Snapchat page – you name it. Customers are going to those brand-specific pages and they are posting on those pages, waiting for the brand to respond back. Those are examples of owned content.

On the flip side is “earned” content, with customers talking about the brand but not necessarily to the brand. I might write a post that says, “I went to McDonald’s today.” But nowhere in that post did I tag McDonald’s.  I am not expecting McDonald’s to reply back in any way. That is an example of earned content. In terms of what customer care professionals should be responding to, the answer is both. A lot of times, brands only focus on that owned content to make sales, and they fail miserably when it comes to earned content. And a lot of that has to do with the number of resources and usually the budget constraints. But when it comes to social media ROI, if you can capitalize on earned content and create those moments of magic, that is truly the power of social media.
Q2: Which are the most impactful KPIs in a servicing environment? What kind of performance indicators do you want to measure? And which metrics do you feel are important at the agent level?

Lauren A: There are a lot of different KPIs that we assess. Clearly, response time is one that you absolutely should be looking at, both at a program level and an agent level. Then when it comes to the resolution side of things, our agents are doing what they are supposed to do, which is resolving customer inquiries. If we aren’t resolving queries according to customer survey results, why not? Was it an agent’s doing or was it the policy that the customer didn’t like or did the customer not like the answer that they were given? Things like that are extremely important to look at.

Mrinal A: Response time and first time to reply KPIs are important. There should be focus, too, on KPIs around brand management, workflows, comparison of brand mentions, and both positive and negative trends. Other KPIs include an analytics report for the social media channel that differs by Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Demographic-related KPIs will also be impactful to analyze your brand audience’s opinion by gender,  location, and age. This information helps both customer care and marketing.

Q3: What hurdles prevent companies from establishing social media strategy? Is it cost? Resource issues? Silos? What’s your perspective on those big hurdles that people need to overcome while trying to create a more holistic social media strategy?

Lauren A: We come across all of the above. A lot of times it’s those company silos that own social media. Iike marketing, customer care, or PR. Other times, it can be budget and organizational priorities. I find, that, especially in the customer service world, it’s typically required that every single phone call is answered within a certain time frame, with staff set up accordingly. But often when it comes to social, it’s usually, “We can afford five resources.” And then there are many customer posts that go unanswered. So I would urge, if this sounds similar to what you are struggling with, to talk to your leadership about the number of mentions you get annually and how many you respond to.  Then take a look at your competition – how many mentions they get and how they are responding. They may be doing better than you are.

I think the more types of data you can use when you build your case for social media, the better. You can usually gain buy-in and open your CEO’s and leadership team’s eyes by showing a missed sales opportunity or customer loss. These are the things that happen without the resources in place.

Mrinal A: Based on our interaction with enterprise clients, we have found that most of the cases show social media ownership issues.  Many times, companies assume that the marketing team would have the required skills to handle it. Enterprises fail to see the strategic and tactical level of approach towards this domain. That’s why we have an entirely different quadrant on social media consulting. It’s helpful to look at social media from a strategic level, and not just at a tactical level or an implementation service. You have to strategize for your audience and then plan how to use social media for your brand improvement and customer experience enablement.

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