Almost 50% of customers seek assistance via social media channels? No shock there. It’s probably lower in B2B spheres. Much higher among students and consumers.
Our social service crews cater to vast and diverse constituencies including enterprises (B2B), SMBs, Students, and consumers. So not unlike Autodesk as a global business bellwether company, our social services also taps into various swaths of social populations and behaviors. And we draw appropriate lessons - and experience - from addressing such varied market segments.
Frequency of social service requests is an interesting figure. Does it mean you have significant product or service issues? Or does it mean you’ve done a really good jobs building a “humanized” conversational front-end to your brand? Or all of the above?
We do get a small set of rather frequent “engagers” on Twitter. We don’t see this on other channels as much. The most persistent ones are either professionals or students. Bless their hearts - we’ve actually made real “friends” in both communities. And truth be told, some portions of our online engagements are indeed purely conversational. Sometimes even emotional. I like that.
Response “effectiveness” has been a real focus point for us because we realize that “engagement velocity” alone is not enough. It’s nice to acknowledge customers within minutes of a problem. But it’s even nicer to actually resolve their issue and “close” the deal, as we used to say in sales.
And in social service, there are a lot of deal makers but few “closers”. This is likely why people rate social service as “ineffective” - a placebo of sorts. In the “old days” customer service would close cases from an internal perspective. In other words, a support rep would decide that the case was resolved and close it. Pretty normal since auditing usually revolves around case closure rates (a questionable metric if you ask me).
But I find that approach less than ideal in social support. Why? Because on social channels it’s easy to get a “confirmed hit” by asking the customer straight-up in real time. So not doing so is lazy at best, IMO. Why assume when you can be sure?
It’s true that doing it outside-in affects deflection metrics - you “deflect” less cases because people don’t always get back to you - or they “hit and run” with a question, and you never know what the outcome was. But intellectually, I feel better using “resolved” if, and only if, the customer confirmed it was or inferred resolution is unambiguous to any reasonable observer.
I’m convinced this approach greatly improves overall customer experience (instant response time or not) and corresponding NPS scores. I also know it makes “deflection” scores look worse internally - at least initially - but we should be in this business to improve customer experience. Not beef up pretty internal dashboards. Social service is a tough gig. It punishes shortcuts.
Stay social my friends :)