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Social Customer Service Strategy

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Key components

The key components of a successful social customer service strategy are:

  • Vision and mission statements. Determine exactly how to treat your customers and ensure a high standard of delivery. So, how important is customer service to your business? How important is the way that you communicate with customers, the kind of emotions that you portray, the kind of language that you use? You don’t necessarily have to get that specific at this point; but it’s good to just ground yourself in that broad mission and vision statement of the business.
  • Channel availability and prioritization. Ensure you are interacting with customers through the right channel – one that is convenient for them and enables the right resolution to be possible. Obviously, there are a lot of options. Consider the channels that are available in your region. If you are very heavy in China, for example, you should look at WeChat. And consider the channels that your customers are using. Particularly, where are they interested in engaging with you as a business?
  • Technology solutions. What technology solutions might allow you as a business to develop customer service through your channels? There are a lot of different solutions available.
  • System integrations. Determine how best to talk to customers across platforms and also join up systems to ensure you have a holistic picture.
  • Resourcing. Accurately forecast and staff up to ensure that service levels are being met at all times.
  • Brand alignment. Be consistent with the brand and how customers expect the company to talk to them.
  • Metrics and reporting. Ensure that accurate tracking mechanisms are in place. This is all about ensuring that there’s a feedback loop back into your business, so that you know that your customer service channels are on social media, they’re working for you, you’re constantly improving, and you’re able to make business decisions off the back of that.
  • Activation plan and timeline. Determine robust timescales for your social customer service plan. If you are the person driving it, you need to know, in detail, how you are going to achieve your goals and make your plan a reality.
  • ROI and business case. Create a realistic business case for the need for social customer services. If you are trying to introduce it in your business, you should definitely be able to make a business case for it, and know the expected ROI. It’s a good way to get senior management in your company to listen to you.

Phases of creating a social customer service strategy

The phases of creating a social customer care strategy are:

  • Discovery. Where the organization determines there is an issue – for example, a customer leaving a comment on Twitter about a poor experience
  • Development. The company determines the extent of the issue through further investigation
  • Double-checks that it has identified the problem accurately and if it has identified the root cause
  • Creates an action plan to solve the issue and puts the plan in motion
  • Constant monitoring and repeat of the action to ensure the issue is not repeated

You have to constantly iterate what your strategy is, what your approach is. Because digital channels are changing very, very quickly. The way that customers are engaging are also changing very, very quickly. So, you need to be on top of these changes and you need to make sure that your business, across the board, is set up to handle them and make the most of them. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.

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Christian Polman

Christian Polman is a General Manager at Eone, Europe. He has driven digital marketing strategy through analytics and research to solve strategic and operating challenges and develop business plans for Fortune 100 brands.

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    Social Customer Service
    Christian Polman
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the concept of social customer service and highlights the social channels that are most often leveraged for this activity. It provides you with best practices you can follow to create and implement a robust social customer service strategy – and to manage it effectively. It also provides best practices for measuring customer satisfaction with the social customer service they receive, and for training social customer service agents. Finally, you learn how to build, grow, and maintain online support communities.