The Struggle Over Social Media Strategies Around Customer Service

November 30, 2010

Service organizations are looking to deliver customer service and support through multiple channels, such as contact centers and the web (e.g. e-service, instant messenger, live chat, social media), either through remote support or in the field. The ability to provide a consistent and effective experience across these channels is key to ensuring a greater level of customer satisfaction, preferably at a lower cost.

As a result, leading service organizations are heavily invested in the integration of processes and information across all channels. This means it is more important than ever to train and equip their service workforce with the right tools to deliver a specific customer experience, regardless of the channel. The idea isn’t necessarily to force the customer to a specific channel, but rather to deliver effective service via the channel that the customer chooses.

When It Comes to Social Media, Most Organizations Lack a Strategy

Most organizations are still struggling with the development of a strategy around the use of social media tools and communication platforms to provide service information. From a strategic perspective, only 38% of organizations in a 2010 Aberdeen survey stated that they have an organization-wide strategy regarding the use of social media tools, regardless of the business function. The lack of a strategic focus on social media service delivery will not suffice as organizations are increasingly looking to delve into the space in the next 12 months. More importantly, their customers are looking to increase their use of social media tools to seek out service information. Nearly a third of all organizations see an increasing proportion of service requests being generated via company-branded social media channels, nearly half of which see that proportion increasing by more than 5%.

More Than a Response Tool

Currently, those organizations that do leverage social media tools for service are primarily more concerned with reactive response to customer inquiries via social media as opposed to proactive customer feedback management or proactive service information delivery. These proactive steps form the key themes for a Best-in-Class strategy around the use of social media.

A roadmap built around proactive service information delivery and one that relies on the key Best-in-Class capabilities (highlighted in the published document), will assist organizations in getting around challenges associated with developing a customer service strategy that builds on the value afforded by social media tools. As organizations truly integrate social media-generated information and content into their broader customer management systems and initiatives, they will begin to see a larger ROI associated with proactive service opportunity enabled with the use of social media tools.

Check out Aberdeen’s results and learn how Animoto is developing a social customer service strategy.

Sumair Dutta is the Senior Research Analyst for Customer Service and Support at the Aberdeen Group. His areas of coverage include the contact center, multi-channel customer support, field service and remote support. Sumair is also responsible for the development of a community of ‘Chief Service Officers’ to share and present best practices surrounding the ascent of service in today’s global organization. Contact him – Sumair.dutta@aberdeen.com

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