Three Reasons Why Social Media for Customer Service is Important

When I read the title of ExactTarget’s report “3 truths every CMO needs to know about social media and the customer experience” I thought it was about from a business-strategic point of view. But what it’s really about is the infusion of social media to the customer service strategy, going beyond listening. Read further what their three reasons are and my opinion.

To get the full value, marketers need to go beyond listening. The three reasons why organizations should infuse social media in customer service are:

  • Responsive customer service via social media is critical for customer loyalty and retention
  • Social Media turns good Customer Service into great marketing
  • An efficient Social Media Customer Service Program impacts the bottom line

I think it’s good that ExactTarget has pointed out how social customer service must fit in any cross-channel digital marketing plan, but at the same time, they focus on social media only, and this is tricky.

Why?

Because social media cannot turn good customer service into great marketing IF a holistic approach is not taken. Social media cannot magically create great marketing if people for instance already tried to contact the company via phone or mail. The last effort, via social media, is then a ‘desperate’ attempt to get in touch.

The same counts for the first point, responsive customer service is critical to loyalty and retention, only if it’s a consistent and coherent experience with the other channels!

I do agree with the bottom line impact, but that will have impact, again, if there’s a holistic multichannel customer service experience.

As mentioned in this article, social media is often business-agnostic, too tactical and focussed on social media itself.

How to be succesful with social media?

  • Align social media strategy with business objectives
  • Build internal capabilities
  • Tailor organizational design to operations
  • Create a culture of sharing, accountability and learning

So in the case of social customer service, look how social media fits customer service strategy?

Has the existing workforce the right capabilities?

Are processes designed in a way that in the end it will positively impact the bottom line?

Is there an open, sharing culture?

All-in all I think social media can be very important to customer service and therefore to the differentiating power of an organization, but only when it’s integrated well in the rest. Social media is not a magic bullet or a troubleshooter for other poor performing customer service channels.

Source: visual.ly via Damarque on Pinterest

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