How to Select the Right Social Customer Service Tool

By: Kate Zimmerman

February 8, 2017

Clarabridge Engage
Digital Customer Service
Social Media
Customer Engagement
Social Customer Service
Social Media Engagement
Social Media Management

Selecting a social customer service tool can be as challenging as selecting the right shampoo. Do you need one for straight or curly hair? For frizzy or smooth hair? For dry or oily hair? Are you looking for a cheap option, or is this an investment that you want to last for a long time and become integrated into your daily routine? The choices in a noisy and crowded social media tools market can be just as confusing.

When selecting a social customer service tool, we recommend looking at 4 areas: listening, analysis, user interface, and engagement. I’ve outlined some important parts of each of these areas below; they should keep you from standing in the social customer service tools aisle for far too long, scratching your head while your milk gets warm.

A social customer service team can only reply to what they hear. Your social customer service tool should be able to listen to more than just tagged posts. You should know when your brand is mentioned but not tagged, and even when a picture of your brand is posted. For example, without the right listening capabilities, Starbucks wouldn’t know that a picture of a poorly crafted drink with a sad emoji was referencing them. Or, FedEx could miss the picture of their driver parked illegally with a frustrated comment about blocked traffic. Both of these are actionable insights that they could be missing the opportunity to address.

Once you’re sure that you’re hearing your customer everywhere they’re talking, you need to understand what they’re saying. Without analysis on incoming posts, your social customer service agents could spend all their time simply tagging and categorizing messages. With advanced insights and filtering capabilities, your messages can automatically be routed to the right agent, making the time to resolution even faster.

Additionally, you should understand overall trends within your data. Use sentiment analysis and natural language processing for deeper insights into your social messages. Your team will then be empowered to make changes and improve processes and offerings.

User Interface
Is your user interface supporting the needs of your team? Make sure your social customer service tool works with the right connectors so you’re incorporating data from all systems. Additionally, it should be easy to use within a large team. You must ensure your agents are working together and not stepping on each other’s toes. Also, security is critical. Make sure that your tool takes it just as seriously as your IT team would.

Finally, your social customer service tool needs to support the workflow and reporting of your engagement efforts. Messages should seamlessly go to the right agents. Each agent should easily understand what they need to handle, how they need to do so, and how they’re performing against their targets. Managers should be able to see how they’re team is doing as a whole. And you should scale all of this across your entire global enterprise team. Your customers aren’t only working from 9-5, Monday-Friday in Washington, DC and neither should you.

Looking for an easy checklist to make sure your social customer service tools meets all these criteria? Check out our Social Customer Service Tools Checklist! Or request a demo of Clarabridge Engage today.

Kate Zimmerman is a Product Marketer at Clarabridge. She focuses on building content that supports CX efforts, product marketing, analyst relations, and has become an industry expert in Customer Experience Management. Kate holds a B.A in Politics from the University of Virginia and can be found on Twitter at @kmzimm.