How to start using social media for customer support

You’ve heard plenty of talk about using social media as a channel for delivering better customer support and you’ve been meaning to look into it. Maybe you’ve been putting off getting started because you can’t decide what to do first. Well, here’s a simplified action plan retailers and others can use to get started using social to improve your customer support.

  • Get a trial or demo of a social media monitoring service, like Radian6, NetBase, socialmention, HootSuite, or any of a couple of dozen other choices. (Here’s just one handy list of tools.)
  • Use the monitoring tool to gather two weeks of data about the conversation regarding your brand in social media.
  • Take the data to your call center manager (in-house or outsourced) and devise a strategy for integrating social media monitoring into the call center workflow. Discuss what role the call center can play, what the volume of online buzz is, how many representatives will be assigned to monitor and/or respond to posts, how many hours will be allotted to the activity, and so on.
  • Decide how the customer support function for social media will work with your marketing department or agency as it implements a social media marketing strategy. Will there be a protocol for handing off issues from one to the other? Is that necessary? How will marketing communicate about promotional campaigns or other activities that may affect customer service?
  • As you continue using the tool to monitor the online conversation about your brand, determine what social media metrics are useful to your business for understanding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, the impact of new product releases, the reaction to changes in company policy, or any issue that affects your audience. Track those metrics and analyze them to understand what’s driving the trends you see.

We already help our clients with this process and would be glad to discuss it with you.

We’d also like to hear from you: What are your experiences in getting started with using social media for customer support? Any do’s or don’ts to pass on to other businesses just starting down this road?

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