Digital Customer Services- Best Practices
Digital customer service is amping up to become just as important voice support. Your organization needs to be using social media. It’s hard to support all of your customers if you aren’t offering digital support. New ideas, new technology, and these new communication channels often get a lot of pushback as they are being suggested and implemented.
If your company is being led by someone who doesn’t see their value, you may need to help explain their worth. Such as, how digital chatbots like the ones you can integrate into Facebook Messenger are great tools. Chatbots can answer some really basic questions for customers. Most of whom are pretty comfortable with using digital technology. They like being able to get some sort of an answer at 3 AM, even if you are not a 24/7 shop.
Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help your organization gear up to use even newer technology that is coming out, like Google’s AI platform and Agent Assist which can help your company with real-time analytics and transcription. Your GenX and Millenial customers are all active participants on social media–your company needs to be, too.
Twitter — You need to have someone assigned to watch your account activity. Users will either tweet at you or about you. If a Twitter user has a problem with your company and uses the @ symbol to talk to you, someone needs to respond quickly. If someone is mentioning your organization in their tweet and talking about your company, you need to be aware and engage with them.
Facebook — Customers may use your business page to find your e-mail address to contact you. But, they will probably just post on your timeline or send you something through Messenger. Keep in mind, the more upset a customer is, the more public they will make their complaint. They won’t complain behind the scenes, they want it to show up on your timeline so everyone else knows about their problem, too.
Instagram — Someone needs to be watching the comments sections of your posts. Customers may make a negative comment on a random post that has nothing to do with their issue; so, someone needs to be reading the comments and addressing problems as they arise. Customers can also DM your Instagram account with questions, comments, or concerns.
LinkedIn — This really isn’t a channel you need to monitor as much as a service channel. People do not generally go to LinkedIn to complain. This site is more for B2B marketing and branding. It is also used for networking among businesses and potential employees.
WeChat — China’s largest messaging app with nearly 900 million users is gaining popularity in the United States. It is more than just a messenger app. You can use chatbots, make payments, send files, engage in group chats, and even play games. This program works with iOS, Android, and Windows products. If your organization is international, you should really look into using WeChat for your customers.
WhatsApp — The world’s largest texting and voice platform. It is used by more than one billion people in over 180 countries. This program also allows free international calling and texting between devices no matter the platform. This is another program that is very popular globally, and up and coming in the US.
Lines are being blurred between service and marketing with all of this digital technology. If you’re not actively listening for your brand to be mentioned, how long will a nasty message go unchecked? Too long! How many people will see it? Too many! As your organization begins to integrate digital customer service into your daily work, keep these best practices in mind.
Take the public, private. In a perfect world, only good things happen on your Facebook or other public-facing social media pages. Negative messages should take priority over others. If your organization is tagged in a negative post, you need to reply to them quickly. Then, chat in DM so you don’t get defensive on your public channel. On chat, people can be irritated, but there isn’t an audience watching. But, on a Facebook page, everyone can see this scene that is being created.
Use a Service Handle. Create a username, or handle, that will be used to communicate with customers. If the business is KJ’s Gym, use something like “KJsGymSERVICE” to interact with customers. You want to funnel people towards messaging the service handle if there is a problem, instead of making everything public. This will allow you to really watch this specific handle and be able to respond quickly, even as you still listen to other channels.
Be Proactive. Don’t let negativity fester on your page. Respond to a negative post, and tag them by saying, “Hey, @SallySmith, I’m sorry to hear this. Please DM us so we handle this for you!” Most of the time the customer will do this because they just want to be heard. They’ve already tried multiple other avenues and not gotten the resolution they wanted, so they turned to social media to vent.
As an omnichannel contact center, our reps can go in and out of different channels. If a customer is on a chat and says they don’t understand how to do something, our agent can launch a phone call to more easily walk them through a solution. The agent can then pop back into that chat to check in with the customer later. As more digital channels come along, omnichannel support will continue to integrate those channels into their platforms making for a great customer service experience.
When the big boys (NICE inContact, 5/9, Genesys…)are telling your organization to get these digital channels mainstreamed into your platforms, you need to listen. All the major contact center software companies are coming out with formats that will integrate every digital channel into their platform as they come to popularity. At Expivia, we will be able to pick and choose which channels we want to use. These will work just like our regular voice, chat, or email channels. Interactions will be routed just as our phone calls are.
Your upper-management will either be really eager to incorporate digital channels into your organization, or they will really drag their feet. As long as there is momentum in the right direction, integrating digital customer service will only help your business expand. As you are migrating into the digital realm, your AI will begin to merge all of the newly available technology together.
When you are still in the early stages of creating your digital customer services, listen to your customers. Listen to what they are saying about your brand and how they want to communicate with you. As you become digital, you also have to listen to what they are saying about and to you on a public-facing digital social asset–there are even products that will do this for you. Be prepared to respond quickly and privately.
Your social pages should be used for building up your products, communicating with your customers, and learning what the customers want. This wasn’t a deep-dive into all of the available platforms. But, this information and these best practices should help you focus on which channels may be best for your organization.