Customer service has been rather slow to react to the rise of social media and, in their absence, marketing teams have become the dominant force when it comes to engaging with customers online.
The problem there is that marketing and customer service teams tend to have very different skills, work towards different goals and have different tools at their disposal. As this infographic (below) from social customer service solution, Sentiment, outlines:
“Marketeers push out information and generate positive engagement, with the aim of increasing brand awareness and generating leads.”
On the other hand:
“Customer service agents listen and respond, with the aim of helping customers, improving customer satisfaction and increasing customer retention.”
This really emphasises the need for social to sit across the entire organisation and not within one single department.
In terms of skills, marketing staff might be great at content creation and be highly creative, but they won’t necessarily have sufficient knowledge of the product/service should a complicated or technical query arise. This is where the patience, problem solving and knowledge of customer service staff is essential.
Customer service teams also need to be heavily involved in the discussion about software. Whilst marketers will likely be focused on content curation and creation, customer service agents will need many of the features they’re used to from the contact centre. For instance, CRM integration; personalised routing to ensure queries go straight to the right agent; supervisor visibility; and access to back-end systems such as billing and deliveries. Organisations should be looking to implement systems that cater to both.
There is a lot that these twin disciplines can learn from each other and with Gartner predicting that 90% of businesses will use social media for customer service by 2020, a lot of work to be done.
(click infographic to enlarge)
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