Social customer care is going mainstream. That’s excellent news, but it’s only the beginning. What defines a state of maturity? Let’s discuss the five characteristics that I’m seeing more mature social customer care teams display.
A plan is good. An integrated plan is better. When defining your goals and objectives, are you taking into account how to work with and for other parts of the organization?
Have you built a shared content calendar with marketing to better coordinate on new product launches?
Have you discussed the kind of feedback your product management team needs in order to innovate faster so you can ensure to listen for this and provide them with customers ideas and feedback?
Do you know what your role is when the company is experiencing a brand crisis?
The more integrated you are with other areas engaging on social media, the more value you can provide to your customers and organization.
Most social customer care teams track metrics but aren’t reporting on those metrics in a way that demonstrates the value they bring. The number of Twitter followers or the number of active members in your community forum are great numbers to capture from a growth perspective, but they don’t actually prove the value of the service to your executive suite. For example, reporting on the number of solutions serviced via twitter and comparing that to cost of servicing over the phone could show a compelling monthly cost savings. Some organizations are even reporting on the number of product changes that are made based on the feedback routed via the social customer care team. With a little thought, you can turn “vanity metrics” (followers, likes, etc) into value metrics (cost savings, customer sat, etc) and truly promote the success of your team.
Triaging the work is a necessary evil. Normally, some percentage of your team is dedicated to sift through all the work to determine what is actionable and needs to be serviced. As the social customer care team scales, they are adopting tools that can automatically do a lot of the triage and assign the right work to the right skill or product queues. This frees up the triage resources to do more fulfilling work like engaging with customers.
There are many awards that recognize companies providing stellar customer service over social channels.
More mature social care teams are aware that winning these kind of awards go a long way to building credibility both externally to the community and internally within the broader organization. It also gives the operations staff a tangible goals to focus on. Knowing that every response will affect the team’s chances of winning an award means the quality of the engagement will inherently increase. Want to know what the secret to winning is? Take some time to research the strategies previous winners employed!
Finally, a mature social customer care organization is openly sharing their successes (and even failures) with the others. This can be as easy as participating in a social customer care forum or presenting a public webinar. The roots of social media are in sharing and teaching through dialog with others. Show your leadership by helping others provide stellar service over social media.