We are in a moment of technological break with the advent of social networks to our world that we do not know very well where it is going to take us, although we know that we are not going to stay as until now we were more or less comfortable, more or less Accustomed to doing things. Little by little we are learning from our mistakes and good practices, as well as those of others.
This change of modes, forms and ways has a special relevance also in customer service, which has found in the social networks another side of the polyhedron.
What not to do?
First, if we provide a service or sell a product 24 hours a day, we must have an assistance or customer service 24 hours a day. It may happen that while we buy a plane ticket, our computer suffers a problem and we need to contact the company. It may be that the customer service does not open until 9 a.m. the following day, and then we may go to Twitter or another social network and that, likewise, we can not get anyone to take care of us.
It would not be at all strange if the answer to our complaint in social networks arrives well the day and that we are asked to return to explain our problem or to call a telephone number.
If a customer uses social networks it is because he has already exhausted the traditional channels or because he does not want to use them. If in the answer we give we are telling you to call a phone number, it is quite possible that the customer has already done so at an earlier time, so we would not have needed to enter Twitter. And all this to answer a simple question as to know if the reservation of the ticket has occurred or not.
What is there to do?
Brands that can have clients very aware of time and urgency, such as airlines or financial entities, need to monitor their accounts on social networks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If this is not going to be the case, they should make it very clear to their customers and limit their possible service expectations, indicating in their Twitter profile the hours of attention and how much customers should expect to get a response. Something as simple as a line in the Twitter profile or a message at the beginning and end of the day.
Answering on time is very important. If every morning the company teams must analyze each and every one of the different mentions, we may need more resources. There are no excuses. In addition, we can also use monitoring tools that allow our equipment to filter according to their urgency, but urgency of times, not as far as influence is concerned. Each and every one of the clients is important, regardless of the possible number of followers with whom they count on Twitter.
All brand names must be monitored using some kind of suitable tool. Many people may be having conversations about our brand without being mentioned directly. These customers must also be taken into account.
It is important that our teams are trained to know how to handle complaints that occur in any of the different channels. If we open a channel and try to create a community with our customers and we want there to be engagement, we must expect criticism, and we must create and implement a strategy to deal with them.
We must provide our team with the tools, knowledge and ability to serve customers effectively. Providing a phone number that should be visible on the webpage is not enough. Asking me to explain again my problem is not appropriate. A client expects to be answered, even though the answer is “we are investigating”. And he hopes that communication with him or her will be the most appropriate. Ask the customer how he wants to be contacted, whether by Twitter, email or phone, and let’s do it that way.
If the conversation is transferred to a third person, we must send you a complete transcript, we do not ask the client to explain his problem again.
Let’s identify. If the client is having a conversation with us, he must always know who he is talking to. Messages must be signed by someone, not generic. Customers know how to appreciate the treatment and attention, when they are waiting for treatment and care, or they seek the automatic interaction or self-service when they want automatism or self-service.