How to Incorporate Social Customer Service Into Your Organization

By: Sofie De Beule

August 25, 2016

business metrics
business objectives
customer journey
customer touchpoints
Forrester analyst
Forrester research
social customer feedback
social customer service program

Many companies provide excellent social customer service, but unfortunately there are still companies lagging behind. A lot of companies get praise for adopting the “putting the customer first”-principle in social customer service, but when it comes down to putting this idea into practice, they fail.

It’s important to see social customer service as a key part of your business, and make sure it fits right into your business objectives. To help you realize this, Forrester has identified 4 ways to incorporate social customer service into your organization which are crucial for any business.

1. Asses how to integrate social customer service into your existing structure. Building a social customer service program and social team doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Contrary to popular opinion, social customer service doesn’t differ all that much from traditional means of customer support. Take advantage of your customer service, marketing, and CRM departments and benefit from their knowhow and resources.

In addition, allow yourself the time to explore and allocate the proper resources. Companies are often biting off more than they can chew. To help you kick off social customer service, start with just one channel first (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and learn more about overall customer expectations. This will allow you to get a better perspective on the resources you will need.

2. Focus on company-wide benefits. Social customer service is just one of the many customer touchpoints aside from in-store experience, website experience, etc. as part of the entire customer journey. Social is now the preferred means for customers to reach out to your business. As a result, it’s become one of thé most important sources for feedback to improve your business.

To help make the case for social customer service and make it an integral part of your business, use every social interaction as an opportunity to capture and save information. By measuring and analyzing social customer data, you will be able to improve any future interaction — no matter on which channel.

3. Link metrics to your overall business objectives. As part of the large pool of different sources for customer feedback, social KPIs can help you better understand and make sense of overall business metrics to help shape the future of your business.

Capturing your customer’s voice on social will help you make more metrics-driven decisions. For example, if customers are complaining about specific product issues or annoying website fails, you will hear about it first via social. This type of instant feedback will help you address issues in short order and learn more about the way your customers are using your products.

4. Learn from real-life examples. As a last tip (but not least), don’t go too far to learn how to integrate social customer service in your overall business goals, objectives, and values. Examples of companies doing well are just around the corner. Keep your eyes and ears open for it and regularly take a step back to reflect and learn how other companies are excelling. As an often underestimated factor, tap into the resources that are out there and take some time away from your desk to attend events and connect with fellow professionals.

Integrating social customer service into your overall business strategy is the way forward. Read more about assessing your social customer efforts service and how social customer care can improve your brand in the recently released Forrester report Build Customer Relationship with Social Customer Care by analyst Erna Alfred Liousas.

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.