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4) Social Media’s Relevance Hangs in the Balance

6th December, 2016

Social Media’s Relevance Hangs in the Balance: Between 2013 & 2016, the number of businesses choosing to use social media as a customer service channel decreased from 36% to 29%. Without the right solution set up, it can often take too long to address issues and so the customer becomes frustrated waiting. As opinion stands today, customers tend to use social media mainly to complain about a service or product, rather than wanting, or expecting resolutions.

Research shows that out of all the service channels, social media had the highest rate of abandonment in 2013 & 2015, where this stat went from 32% to 42%. This is due to social media being handled by a dedicated tool or a separate team and the impact of this, being that the agent cannot quickly resolve the issue due to not having a complete view of the customer journey.

Instead, contact centres should be integrating social media customer interactions into their agent’s desktops, so that it becomes part of a single customer service system. Having separate teams, departments or systems for social media is inefficient, as without a 360° view of the customer journey, agents can only see a fraction of their case and issue and so fail to resolve either effectively.

To resolve complex issues in real time then, an agent needs to have access to all live, as well as historic communications from all channels; the status of cases and all customer data within the same application. Viewing all interactions in real-time, while dealing with the current issue, the agent will be able to provide a more tailored, efficient and personalised service by acknowledging any previously related correspondence.

In summary, we predict that social media as a service channel will be tested once more in 2017. If companies are able to get it right, by successfully collating these communications into a unified agent desktop, the relevance of this support channel will thrive once more. Consumers do not show signs of backing away from social platforms and therefore nor should businesses. If, however, companies are not able to channel the productive changes that are necessary, social media will continue to only work best for quick fixes and not complex issues; thus seeing a decline in this behaviour over the course of the next 12 months.

As an alternative to social media, companies could shift their focus over to the messaging apps, in order to provide customer service that still feels like a social engagement between both parties.

📋 Recommended Reading

For the rest of the 2017 Customer Service Predictions, visit our contents page here

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