This is part 3 of 3 for the previous two parts click on the link below:
One of the emerging problems is the shear number of platforms coming to market and knowing when to adopt one or other. Time invested in a platform that gets dumped due to insufficient take-up means not only that this time is of no on-going benefit but that you have a number of customers communicating on channels you are having to pull. This is not very satisfying for those customers.
How you tackle social media with its many inherent opportunities is going to vary from company to company but what is written large is that it must be covered sooner or later. If it is a question of staffing numbers then consider outsourcing to a social media agency. This can be a great fit for SME’s looking at getting a handle on social for customer service as well as marketing purposes.
The one thing that is very clear with social media is that it is a two way channel and you need to monitor how your brand is being portrayed and above all else do not ignore it and think it will go away. It wont, it is here to stay.
You can bet your competitors are monitoring your social comments about your brand even if you’re not.
The next movement has already started and that is into mobile. Everything that has been done on PC’s and laptops is now being done in handheld mobile phones. we use them for cameras, video’s, internet surfing, tweeting, updating Facebook and downloading or posting onto YouTube.
People are more connected than ever before and we have to get our Customer Services to be flexible enough to give the customers the freedom to choose where we have our dialogues. I can see that things are progressing away from text messages (E-mail, sms, letters, etc) and some extent away from purely verbal communication towards video chats through services like Skype. This is a good thing for customers and companies as it is about time that communication is re-humanized.
That irate customer is less likely to scream into a video and the service staff are less likely to pull faces and gesticulate unseen hand gestures while saying sweet things to rude customers. CS personnel cannot keep all disrespect out of the voices if they are acting out like this and this doesn’t lead to good customer relations. Eye to eye contact even through digital devices is better for all concerned. Real people dealing with real problems and not dislocated voices has to be a step forward. Be ready to serve in this manner in 2013/4.
Empower and engage your employees to create great customer experiences. You may have the latest gadgets and your staff trained to use them but you cannot beat a caring member of staff who genuinely wants to solve customer problems. If you can get your staff to this level you must give them the ability to make decisions and stick with that customer through the whole process.
Staff need to be trained and surrounded in a company culture of real and not imagined empathy towards the customer. This is what is meant by customer focused, customer centric, and all the other industry labels that are thrown around. Putting the customers experience with your company as your number one priority.
Be aware as a company leader how you are currently incentivizing your CS staff and your key metrics on what is a good job. It is not the number of complaints/queries handled in a day or so many calls per hour. The real result should be how many happy customers were created today. A customer should be easier to keep than acquire, it certainly is cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one. The sooner the bean counters realize this then the more emphasis that would be put on customer service from the top of the company to the shop floor.