Great post, Mark! The demand for social customer service will definitely continue to increase over the next year, and those brands who do not recognise this will be left behind. Social networks were set up for people to engage with each other, and customers are often looking to have two-way communication with companies on these platforms. Publicly ignoring customer complaints and queries on social media is detrimental to a brand. Every Facebook and Twitter user can see if a company neglects their customers and ignores their queries. When a crisis hits, customers will turn to social media to voice their frustrations. We have see this happen recently with NatWest and O2 and we have learned that if there's no social customer service team set up to respond to issues, it can snowball out of control. The NatWest problems continued to worsen, while O2 was able to smoothe things over with their customers by responding to even the most negative tweets being sent their way.
At Conversocial we have recognised how rapidly the consumer demand for customer service is growing. Combining research that we have conducted, and feedback from our customer base, we were able to establish a best practice guide for social media teams that will deal with costomer service. The Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service lists out the practical steps that it takes to set up a social customer service team and to deliver exceptional customer service via Facebook and Twitter. Companies that put social customer service teams in place can greatly increase sentiment, and it will ultimately establish stronger relationships with their customers, turning them into brand advocates.