Social Media: The Customer Service Channel By the People, For the People


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You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world...

It’s a certainty that no one ever planned for social media to become a major customer service channel. Unlike live chat and help desk ticketing, I don’t think any brands ever thought “we’re going to support our customers here” when Facebook and Twitter first started becoming part of the collective, connected lifestyle.

And that’s really what makes social customer service so special when you think about it – it was a channel developed not by brands, but by the people. Frustrated with waiting in line, on hold or not receiving answers and information, it started as a rebellion of sorts, led by customers tired of systems and processes that didn’t work and who wanted their voices to be heard. And today, it has changed the way we do business, giving more power to the people and making service from big brands more personal and more transparent.

Revolution or Evolution?

While the call for better customer service on social media may have been part revolution, it was also equal parts evolution, notes CRM analyst Brian Vellmure in the recent white paper, Customer Service: 6 Take-Note Trends for 2014.

“Customers aren’t spoiled brats,” says Vellmure. “If we seem more demanding, it’s because our expectations are consistently being shifted by whoever’s doing the next best thing,” he says. “There’s a greater democratization of access to people, products and information, and we can get whatever we need in closer and closer to real-time.”

Expectations such as this are shaped by standouts such as Google, which has done a remarkable job organizing global information on products, services, and community feedback and making it accessible in seconds. Says Vellmure, “This access is now the norm, and service organizations that aren’t positioned to respond to that level of expectation are getting left behind.”

From Exceptional to Expected

In fact, social customer service has become such a common expectation, that analysts are now calling for the removal of “social” from “Social CRM.” “I think we’re at that stage where we can finally drop the ‘social’ from CRM because the social channel is fully integrated in service processes, strategies, and culture. And if it’s not, it should be,” says Brent Leary, partner at CRM Essentials.

Yet according to the latest Social Customer Engagement Index, less than half of brands polled have at least one social channel fully integrated with traditional customer service processes. But for those who do, they’re leading the way in social customer service success with a 360-degree view of the customer, increased customer satisfaction and brand advocacy, and innovative customer-generated ideas for product and service improvements.

A customer service channel of the people, by the people and for the people? It’s no wonder why the popularity and Voice of the Customer on social media continues to grow.

New Parature Whitepaper Details 2014 Customer Service Trends

Parature’s new whitepaper, Customer Service: 6 Take-Note Trends for 2014, explores what’s next for social media as a customer service channel, as well as five other key customer service and customer experience trends we all should be keeping an eye on. The white paper features a wealth of new statistics and key insights from business leaders and well-known CRM analysts including Brian Vellmure and Brent Leary.

Click Here to Download It Now

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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