We’re on the road!
Social Media Explorer is reporting live today from Incite Group’s Customer Service Summit in NYC. We’ll be live-blogging the best advice we hear from customer service experts at the conference — in real-time — so be sure to check-in throughout the day for updates (and watch our list get longer)!
1. “WOW” to “EASY”
Conversocial CEO, Josh March, suggests the goal of customer service should shift from delighting the customer to making the customer service experience as effortless as possible. He argues that customers turn to social media for service because it is easy. Making things easier for customers on these platforms will boost their satisfaction and loyalty. A way to measure this approach is the NetEasy Score, which surveys how easy your customers find it to interact with your business.
2. Get Off the Phone!
Aishah El-Amin, Senior Director of Customer Care Digital Channel Operations and Development at Visa, calls on attendees to increase customer service volume without scaling their workforce. Visa’s solution to this is live chats. While a customer care representative can only serve one customer at a time over the phone, with live bots they can service three customers at once.
3. Money Isn’t Everything…at First
Zappos Director of Customer Service Technology Systems, Todd Martin, emphasizes that brands should listen to their customers and act on their (reasonable) suggestions, even if they aren’t monetizable. Martin cited Zappos’ partnership with Soles 4 Souls, in which they pay for customers to ship their gently-worn shoes to be donated to those in need. The venture was inspired by customers’ requests, and while it isn’t directly profitable, the customer loyalty it has sparked most definitely is.
4. Your Brand is a Concierge Service
Drew Neisser, Founder and CEO of our publisher, Renegade LLC, concludes that brands should treat their customers like members. By understanding and then anticipating your customers’ needs, your resolution delivery on social channels will be faster and more efficient. Being proactive about predictable issues changes a brand’s approach to customer service from cost to revenue.
5. Use Social as an R&D Lab
Dan Gingiss, Humana’s Head of Digital Marketing, cited electronics accessory company OtterBox as a great example of using social platforms beyond marketing and customer service. OtterBox released a waterproof phone case after observing on social media that many of their customers were using their phones to play music in the shower. By utilizing the public conversations that happen on social platforms to their advantage, OtterBox was able to anticipate the needs of their customers.
6. Outsourcing Is Controversial
Some of the experts at today’s conference butted heads over whether customers preferred U.S.-based service over overseas-based service. Dan Gingiss explained that Discover used its status as the only credit card company with U.S.-based customer service as a selling point for potential customers. On the other hand, Symantec Corporation’s Richard Gianvecchio argued that customers just want their problems solved — they don’t care about the location of a call center.
7. Social Media Fraud Is Real and Scary
Proofpoint’s presentation by Raymond Kruck definitely made the Summit’s attendees panic a bit. Kruck shared that 19% of social media accounts associated with the Top 10 brands are fraud. With social media, companies are vulnerable to fraud more than ever before, especially those in the insurance, banking, and healthcare industries. Kruck advised brands to be proactive by educating their employees about what fraud looks like and how to handle it.
8. Don’t Count Twitter Out Just Yet!
Twitter is the place to be for customer service, according to its Head of Social Care Initiative, Jeff Lesser. Twitter is a unique platform for customer service in that customers can hold brands accountable by tweeting their concerns on the public platform. While this might seem like a negative for brands, it actually allows their social support messaging to be organically amplified to reach a much wider audience. For example, a thoughtful reply to a Twitter troll can make other users/consumers see the brand in a more favorable light.
9. Spam is Not Your Friend
Rogers Communications’ Margaret Tsuji spoke about the many obstacles to customer service presented by social channel spam. Spam can crowd your brand’s social support platforms, making it more difficult to identify and help customers in need. Rogers tackled its Facebook spam overload by making their channel searchable only in their business region of Canada. This eliminated globally-sourced spam and brought actual customers’ communication to the forefront.
10. Agents and Bots are BFFs
The VP of Software Products at LiveWorld, Frank Chevallie, gave Summit attendees the 411 on bots. He emphasized that the success of a bot depends on its relationship with a human agent.
Bots and agents must collaborate to determine which tasks they are each best suited for. They must also understand when it is appropriate to transfer a task to their counterpart. A united bot/human customer service approach results in 3x more resolutions than bot service on its own.
And that’s a wrap! Thanks for reading our live blog of #INCITECS. Stay tuned to Social Media Explorer for in-depth articles about what we learned at the Summit!