For many people, it may well be easier and preferable to connect with your business via a channel that they are already active on versus picking up the phone or initiating a live chat. In recent years, social media was moved swiftly into the realm of means by which businesses can deliver customer service – moved by customers. Complaints on Twitter and Facebook are easily seen by many, and so must be addressed faster. Unfortunately, such contacts are most often escalations of service requests that failed via regular means.
So, what are these new social channels?
Gone are the days when social media was virtually synonymous with Facebook or Twitter. Instead, today’s networks include a plethora of social messaging apps—many of which are garnering far higher volumes of traffic than traditional social platforms.
Consider your own experiences as a customer here. If you need to contact a company’s customer service department, do you really want to do it in a public forum? Your discussion may reveal personal details that you do not want the world to see. On the other side of the equation, do you really want to air your dirty laundry by letting everyone see and hear the rants of an unhappy customer?
WhatsApp sees about 700 million users each month. Both WeChat and Facebook Messenger enjoy roughly 600 million each. Compare that to 316 million users on Twitter and all of a sudden the reality of how many more people you can reach via social messenger apps becomes quite clear.
Additionally, the one-on-one communication that apps like WhatsApp, LINE or WeChat offer is inherently more social than the one-to-many communication afforded by social’s founding fathers—and more appropriate for customer service deployment.
Most importantly, though, wide communications capabilities provided by all of these apps, much wider than phone, e-mail or web chat, are making life easier to both customer and your representative: just think of privacy of communications in public, positive identification, multi-media communication (e.g. escalating to a phone call or sending a photo of a document), sharing a location and more.
The new social media mix
Facebook and Twitter can—and should—still have a place in your social presence but maybe not for customer service. Twitter by nature is virtually ready-made to be a broadcast news service. Harness its power by announcing news, shares or retweets. Facebook is as much about legitimizing your business as it is anything (except for the Facebook Messenger App, which is essentially is a social messenger).
Integrating messaging apps into your customer service software gives you the power to serve people personally and more efficiently.