Social media customer service team

When it comes to social media customer service, the voice of the customer is heightened nowadays. More and more people take to social media to make a complaint, give feedback on a product, rave about a company, etc. This evolution presents a really difficult challenge: how can a company deal with these 'issues' and still create an engaging and personal customer experience?

By creating specialized social media teams that dedicate their entire time to answering every single incoming social message, companies gradually start seeing the benefits of providing real-time social media customer service.

What is the first step?

If a company is just starting to implement social media customer service, it's important to have your bases covered. This means make sure you reply to every message. Quantity wins over quality in this situation, because customers show no mercy for unanswered messages. Moreover, don't overdo it on KPI's in the beginning, implement a few and evolve as needed. Same applies to resources: start small and build organically. Don't bring in new people to whom you can't give the appropriate training.

Which basic methods for real-time measurement should a company apply?

1. Volume of incoming messages

The total volume of incoming messages gives a clear idea of how big the real-time workload on social media actually is, and how many people you should hire. In the longer term, it's important to keep an eye on how the volume of message evolves. If numbers increase, more and more people direct their questions to your social media channels. In that case, you might want to consider adding new people to your team.

2. Time to resolution

Time to resolution refers to the period it takes a customer agent to find the right information and resolve the query. In cases involving more complex issues, questions need to be directed to a specialized department. The answer has to find its way back to the customer agent who is handling the case on time. This method is especially beneficial to measure the individual performance of the customer agent.

3. Time to answer

Time to answer begins from the time in which a customer agent is assigned to a newly incoming message and lasts until the agent provides an answer and sends it out to the customer. On average, this should take about 16 to 17 minutes.

4. Number of responded posts

Any company has to strive for 'inbox zero'. Dealing with incoming messages and giving an appropriate reply to all of them, should be any customer service team's focal point. When dealing with real-time customer service, keep your attention to increasing the number of replied messages.

Make note that the speed with which every incoming message is handled, is key. It gives your team a clear indication of how well it's organized. Look at it from both angles: the speed of your entire team and the efficiency of an individual employee. Make sure your focus lays on both aspects.

How can social media customer service elevate customer engagement?

It's important not to be too repetitive when dealing with every incoming tweet. However, canned responses work fine to optimize the workflow. But, engaging with each individual by sending them a personal message, should be your goal when dealing with one-on-one communication.

Secondly, bare in mind to help the customer at the point of need. Don't redirect every customer to your social media channels once you've introduced your social media customer service team. Customers still want to reach out to a company on several touch points in the customer journey to get answers. For example, social media customer service and live chat work really well together.

In short, it's key to engage in every decision point of the customer journey and detect conversations about your product. To optimize your social media workflow, introducing a social media customer service team helps a company to direct every issue to the right department. This helps the customer at every touch point.