How Social Customer Service Is the Most Pressing Strategic Priority

By: Sofie De Beule

June 13, 2016

Businesses that are known for their immaculate customer support are here to stay. Responding in real-time to customer inquiries and resolving concerns through social is one of the most efficient, rewarding ways to outsmart competition. Thus, according to Forrester, 67% of companies are putting social customer service on top of their agenda to make drastic improvements to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty–both in the short term and over the long haul.

ROI is easy to measure. Some strategic decisions take time to start showing positive results. Contrary to popular belief, social customer service isn’t one of them. Typically, businesses notice significant improvements in key KPIs after just the first few months of taking on a social customer service program. If you want to improve customer satisfaction and make a lasting impact, you need to start looking at the right metrics.

Firstly, response time is by far one of the most obvious returns. The speed of reply is vital, especially in those industries where customers are depending on real-time information like the airline and public transport industry. This is why most customers are turning to social for support. Within just 3 to 6 months after starting their social customer service program, companies can improve their response time by 200 to 500% and reduce it to a whopping 15 (or even 5!) minutes.

Secondly, you must look at social sentiment. Social media is a great place to pick up on how customers feel about your product and/or your service. That’s why lot of companies really put an effort to double-check the sentiment of each incoming mention to see how their efforts are paying off. You can start measuring customer sentiment from the start of your social customer service program and compare after 6 to 12 months to notice a decrease in negative sentiment over a period of time.

The cost-effectiveness of social customer service cannot be neglected. What really wins companies over for social customer service are the enormous cost-cutting effects on your entire customer support budget. Not only are your customers more social than ever–more traditional channels like email and phone support are expensive and complex to manage.

The financial advantages reach very far: on social, each customer interaction only costs 1 dollar, whereas telephone support costs 6 dollars. It’s generally acknowledged that call center support could cost a company 5 to 10 times more.

Companies are realizing they need to take on social customer service now. If you haven’t tapped into social customer service, make sure you do it now to cut down on costs and save valuable time. Social customer service not only offers you quick and easy wins in the near future, but allows you to achieve success in the long term.