Social media is no absolute alternative to other service channels – kapdesk

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Social media is an amazing service platform that has the potential to propel your marketing and customer care efforts in the right direction. However, even with all its benefits, it’s not what people are making it out to be.

If you, as a business, are planning to pour inappropriately large amounts of effort into social media for providing service to your customers, then you should reconsider. At this point of time, social media in so many ways is more glitter than gold.

Social media service is definitely more interesting than the traditional methods of customer support, and it can be a huge asset if understood and executed properly. But, when it starts to drain your resources from the customer service effort, then you are being overwhelmed by its flow, and it’s time for you to put some speed breakers in place.

Essentially, allocation of your resources should be done within the context of the overall experience that you are trying to provide to your customers. This does not mean that you should entirely ignore any and all social media strategies; far from it. On the contrary, this is just a cautionary note as to why you shouldn’t be placing all your eggs into one basket, especially when you are doing it at the expense of helping your customers with their issues and problems.

Social media should be done with the overall customer management in mind, and the allocation should be done after considering the following important points:

1. The number of customers, which includes the potential or current customers in each segment.
2. The relative amount of brand awareness that the traditional channels are generating as compared to that by social media. Most businesses measure the awareness that is generated by social media marketing, but seldom put resources into measuring the awareness generated by the traditional marketing forms. This goes on to create a bias in their minds, which serves no purpose other than putting the wrong resources at the wrong place.

So, you might be inclined to ask, “What’s the solution to this dilemma?”

The solution, other than the ones mentioned above, are quite simple: ensure that you are not aligning your internal operations on the wrong channels.

Supplement your social media with other data sources like service interactions and surveys, and integrate them with your helpdesk database. This not only helps in improving your existing product or service offerings, but also in figuring out the major pain areas for your customers.

Additionally, it is crucial that you incorporate data that is operational and is not lacking in quality to ensure that the experience that you’re providing to your customers is up-to-date. For instance, the operational data that you provide is crucial to describing what you are doing to improve the overall customer experience. This kind of information often allows you to give an amazing service by fixing the issue before it escalates to a complex one; or in other terms, providing a proactive customer service.

A genuine channel of input will ensure that you are on top of the issues that your customers have encountered. Measuring your social media customer support will not only allow you to focus more on providing an exceptional online support, but will also give you leverage and put you in a position where you are better able to utilize your resources, thus strengthening your service arsenal.

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