Measuring the Success of Social Customer Service

By: Guest Blogger

December 2, 2013

By:  Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst, Customer Experience & Interaction, Ovum

One of the most important questions around social engagement campaigns is how to measure ROI and which metrics to use. While social advertisements can be linked directly to sales, it is more difficult to measure the impact of responding to questions and communicating with customers on social media. But information shared between customers and businesses on social media contributes to customers’ perception of the business and should therefore be monitored closely. Businesses need to track customer satisfaction and agent performance in order to influence and improve that image. Key metrics for understanding customers’ social behavior include:

  • number of interactions,
  • type of query (complaint, feedback, recommendation, support question, response),
  • customer value,
  • customer sentiment, and
  • customer effort to resolution.

Measuring the number and type of interactions helps determine the popularity of social sites. Businesses need to know how quickly customers are adopting these channels in order to staff agent teams effectively. Tracking customer sentiment will help businesses understand customers’ thoughts about the organization; customer satisfaction can be determined by comparing the number of complaints to positive feedback. Businesses should ask customers directly through social media whether they are satisfied with the support they receive; providing surveys are not intrusive and should be kept short and to the point. Social interactions can also be linked with NPS scores and more formal customer feedback via web surveys.

Businesses should track the way in which customer satisfaction changes after implementing new social programs. And in order to get some indication of the financial benefits of social customer service, they can estimate the value of each customer and look at how social media affects customer loyalty and advocacy.

As with any other customer support channel, enterprises also need to ensure that agents are responding and resolving social customer service questions effectively. Agent performance should be measured by tracking:

  • response rates,
  • time to resolution
  • number of channels to resolution, and
  • cost per response.

Businesses should compare agent performance for social media with that of other channels. However, they will need to take into consideration the serviceability of queries on social in addition to response and resolution times. Customers and agents will need an efficient way to switch from social media to a private phone call or web chat in order to resolve queries that require private information to be shared. For these more private interactions, businesses will need to measure customer effort and time to resolution to understand their success.

Customer satisfaction is typically related to agent performance and businesses should review how customer feedback is impacted by agent responsiveness. Customers are more likely to be loyal and provide higher satisfaction if agents are effective and helpful on social media. They should use metrics to find issues in the support process and improve social engagement. This in turn should help improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately encourage customer recommendations and sales.