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How Sweet is Your Social Customer Service?

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Dec_19_2013 When your staffing customers go social to get service from you, is their experience like eating a batch of freshly baked Christmas cookies – or sucking on a lemon?

Your clients are growing increasingly impatient. Before the advent of social media, people would typically tolerate a 24-hour waiting period before expecting you to respond. But in today’s always-on, real-time world, customers expect immediate response – and it’s your job to provide it.

How can you make sure your social customer service doesn’t sour clients’ opinions of your company? Here are 6 tips you can use:

  1. Set clear goals. Are you looking to speed up resolution? Create brand ambassadors? Lower service costs? Know what you want to achieve before starting.
  2. Appoint a social media team. Assemble a monitoring and response team with people from each department within your staffing firm. Create a set of policies for responding, including: acceptable response time frames; rules for social engagement; processes for resolving or escalating service issues; responsibility and accountability. Once you have your policies in place, train your team well and empower them to deliver great social service.
  3. Choose your weapons. If you’re new to social media, or if resources are an issue, start small. Concentrate on doing an excellent job over just a few channels, rather than spreading yourself too thin and dropping the ball.
  4. Develop systems for keeping tabs on conversations. Great customer service starts with effective listening. Use social monitoring and management tools to stay on top of what’s being said about your staffing service. (Of course, Haley can help with this!)
  5. Triage new conversations. Your social customer service resources are finite, so you have to tend to the most serious problems first.  Read this post to learn the best ways to triage your service issues.
  6. Find ways to scale your response. Depending on the size of your company, it can become impractical for your employees to effectively handle the sheer volume of social media conversations. So turn your best clients and candidates into brand advocates for you. Consider empowering a select few “ambassadors” with social management tools that (after filtering out messages best suited for employee response) send automated alerts and incentives for them to respond.
  7. Treat your customers as collaborators. By solving their problems through social media, you can generate more favorable commentary about your staffing brand. And in an increasingly transparent business environment, positive social media exposure is one of the most powerful forms of marketing.

At the end of the day, your staffing clients want amazing experiences. Sure, there will be occasional problems. But when those occur, what’s ultimately important is your reaction to them. As you develop your social customer service skills, use the tips above to create truly shareworthy experiences. Do that, and you’ll create real brand champions who are customers for life.
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