Over the course of time, influenced by digitisation and globalisation, products and services from companies have become increasingly interchangeable. Companies have to use innovative business models, unique buying experiences or excellent customer service to set themselves apart from the competition and gain an important competitive edge.
Different studies show that the fastest way to convert customers into fans of a brand or company and get them to recommend a brand or company to others is to get the customer service right.
Figure 1: Why are you a fan of a company? (Source: PIDAS Benchmark Study)
With the start of the digital transformation, customer service has fundamentally changed. Thanks to mobile devices, consumers are constantly online, predominately on social media, and are increasingly using these media as channels for communication with companies. In doing so, they require companies to extend their customer service to these channels as well and have become increasingly demanding especially where response and processing times are concerned.
We have collected the most important factors for a holistic and successful customer service on social media in a extensive White Paper and divided them into three different blocks:
- Internal organization: preparation & implementation
- Dealing with customers and interested parties
- Dealing with the platforms/networks
To give you a little preview, you can already read the first topic in this blog article. To get a comprehensive overview of how to structure social customer care successfully, we recommend to download the White Paper at the end of the blog post, which contains the two other main topics.
1. Internal organisation – preparation and implementation
💡Develop a strategy
Before adding new channels (e.g. networks and platforms) to your existing communication/service channels, it is a good idea to develop a strategy for each channel. This strategy defines your objectives for the channel in question, the target group and how your brand will be presented on the channel. You should also establish a resource plan and define dependencies and responsibilities. Within the strategy it may be helpful to draw up a phase plan in order to have a structured approach to establishing a new service channel.
🔎 Which channels should you use?
The answer to this question will be different for each company. Use of social media and service/communication channels greatly depends on your company’s environment and especially its target group. So before you add new channels to your communication strategy, you should analyse your target group in detail and see what channels they mainly operate on. It is also beneficial to investigate how your target group uses these channels and for what purpose. Conduct this analysis on a regular basis to ensure that the services you offer are optimally tailored to your target group.
💬 Inform your employees
It is important to keep your employees in the loop when developing and then introducing new service and communication channels. Inform them internally about new channels as well as the strategy and objectives on which the respective channel is based. This approach creates a solid basis of understanding for the channels and sets forth a framework for how each individual channel is treated within your communication strategy. Define clear roles and responsibilities and specify contact persons for the different channels.
Moreover, give your employees an insight into the publication plan for your social media channels and campaigns, so that your team can prepare for any questions and reactions.
📚 Train your personnel
Especially when adding new service and communication channels, approaches to these channels and the language used on them must be adapted and often learned or tested afresh. Set forth a communicative framework and train your personnel in terms of how individual channels are handled. It may be useful here to analyse the competition’s activities on a channel and draw up a list of dos and don'ts. Regular communication with your employees is important in this process. Find out what works and what doesn’t, and incorporate this insight in future training sessions or workshops. The results of the training and workshops should be available centrally to all employees, in order to encourage a collective understanding and ensure that interesting insights are accessible to everyone.
📊 Measure the success of your service channels
Measure the success of your service channels in regular cycles in order to make certain that you are offering your customers the right channels for communication. This approach helps you avoid overlooking trends and developments. You can also further optimise your channels based on the results of the measurement and improve your customer service on these channels. Key performance indicators for measuring success include, for example:
- Volume of queries
- Response time of service employees
- Processing time of queries
- Customer satisfaction
Integrate short surveys or rating scales at the end of conversations to measure success, for example, and use analysis tools to monitor your service quality.
Download the complete White Paper "How to structure digital customer service successfully" now free of charge