3 Ways to Manage the Social Customer Service Workload

By: Sofie De Beule

November 4, 2016

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Your business needs to be armed with the right resources to deal with the growing volume of social media conversations. This means having the right people, technology, strategy, and metrics.

Measuring your response time to make sure you’re meeting your SLAs is one thing. In addition, you also need a detailed overview of your workload to better manage your team and, if necessary, quickly re-evaluate or adjust your strategy.

Once you understand your workload, you can take steps to create self-service answers, streamline processes, or schedule extra staff to keep things manageable.

Here are three ways to measure the work your team is doing:

1. Track the number of incoming mentions that require an action.
Contrary to popular belief, not every incoming mention requires an action. While some business have adopted a policy to respond to everything, in order to better manage the workload it’s key to distinguish actionable from non-actionable posts.

On average, between 60% to 70% of all mentions about your brand (i.e. both direct and non-direct messages) need an action. This number will vary depending on the industry you’re in. One way to find the messages that need an action is by routing all mentions that contain a question mark to a specific folder.

2. Measure your replies for a specific timeframe.
To gain a holistic overview of your workload, you need to be able to drill down into your data and identify the volume of replies throughout the year, month, week, day, and hour.

  • Measuring on a yearly or monthly basis helps you to identify peak or slower moments and learn which factors have an impact on your workload. Some industries clearly notice significant peaks throughout various times of the year or month (i.e. during the holiday season, at the beginning of each month, over the weekend, during major global sports events, etc.). Use these insights to map out your long-term social customer service strategy.
  • Reports covering a shorter timeframe, such as weekly, hourly, or even every 15 minutes, help you better organize your shifts and divide the workload across your team members.

The airline and transport industries in particular are expected to deliver extremely fast responses. For those industries it’s even more relevant to drill down and measure how many replies they send out every 15 minutes. In addition, it’s useful to pour that data into a dashboard to visualize the workload and identify peak moments. Highlighting these metrics on a screen in your contact center help you understand them at a glance.

3. Calculate how many actions you take before a case is solved.
Customers reach out to a business via social for a variety of reasons. Some questions or complaints are more complex to handle than others. While some customers can be helped with just two responses (e.g. by first acknowledging the issue and then resolving it), there are cases that aren’t as easy as pie, and take a lot more steps to actually resolve the issue.

To help you manage the load, identify how many actions you take and try to eliminate any steps that are redundant and could potentially be too time-consuming. For example, move a conversation directly to DM if you need to learn more about a particular case and ask multiple questions at once.

Managing the workload differs based on the industry you’re in and how much your customers rely on the availability of instant information. In order to make a drastic impact on the volume of incoming social media mentions, you not only need to be on top of key social customer service metrics, you also need to take feedback from your customers seriously. Leverage social media as a soundboard to improve your business and benefit from the pool of customer feedback.

Sofie De Beule is Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. She helps establish Clarabridge as a thought leader for Social Customer Service and Customer Experience. Sofie’s an Engagor expert, Clarabridge’s best-in-class social customer service solution, inspiring brands on how to manage and get their social customer service program off the ground. Sofie holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & International Marketing from Artevelde University College Ghent. Read more from Sofie on Twitter @sofiedbeule.