Just last year, I was exploring an opportunity for my grad-school project – in needs assessment and analysis for training and development – and I was looking to work with a prospective client (a local bank) that I had on my mind. I’d worked with them before so, I knew them well. I wanted to check out the bank’s website, social media profiles and any other results that drew up on search engines. I found something really weird happening on social media. A lot of people were talking about the bank’s bad customer service on twitter, Facebook and online forums. (I was surprised)I thought this wasn’t right, something is amiss – and turns out it was! This is a reputable bank of UAE and the middle east as well, I figured that it wasn’t the lack of good customer service rather lack of attention to those customers trying to reach out on social media platforms.
So, this just meant that someone WASN’T paying attention to the concerns of the customers on social media, not intentionally, mind you. Finally, when I did grab the needs assessment project, I gathered some great insights (I would love to share numbers but the confidentiality agreement doesn’t allow me to, sorry!). What I can tell you is that a lot of customer relationship managers weren’t aware of the social media handles so forget about the client interactions. Customers were extensively interacting on social media and even laying their concerns there. So, this was an opportunity to not only implement the change but also manage it more effectively! Also, raise more awareness regarding how relationship managers can communicate with customers through this media.
So what can you do in this situation and make amends to manage the change?
- Acquaint the staff regarding customer experience on social media: Nearly 40% of the customers today, want to interact on social media. The rest do it on telephone, emails, text messages, through apps and only a bare minimal want to go to the branch to talk it out! So, certainly, the staff needs training, to understand and manage this medium. Since it is a change from usual customer service face-to-face interaction it needs to be managed efficiently. Dealing with customers online is different than face-to-face communications or others. The communications are also required to be different, while on social media, thus the representatives need to be made aware of how they need to manage customers.
- Get an internal job and process analysis done: This is integral to ensure that the “right” people know who is responsible for what role in the customer service experience. It will cause the relationship mangers or the customer facing staff to feel a little less distraught. In the process, the customers will also be looked after more easily and will feel happy and more engaged. Customer service staff needs to understand the segregated job roles through effective internal communications to ensure internal stakeholders are aware and accountable for the work and the deliverables.
- Interact with customers and LISTEN at all times: Once the accountability is in place, ensure and check if the customers are engaged. There might still be complaints but there is an effective way to deal with it when the “right” people are trained for it. It is important to listen to what exactly are the customers are worried about, such that it could be communicated to the right department and action could be taken.
- Address the call to action for customers: Once the customers facing staff know the problem, it should be acknowledged. Then, a solution is sought, which should be addressed to the customer. Finally, an appropriate call to action should be generated on the social media platform itself to ensure that the customers are given an assurance of their voice being heard.
- Seek feedback and provide support: There is a great chance that the customer would respond faster on social media. Thus, seeking feedback from the customers, is easier and faster. Also, more empathetic and compassionate support can be provided in real time on social media.
Did you notice that not only have I pointed out the steps to getting great customer experience online on social media but I have also provided you with an outline for great instructional content. You’re welcome!I’ve used these effectively within this bank and it has been an award winning initiative, which even snowballed to three different online training modules.
Providing a good customer experience on social media platforms are definitely challenging, however, it can ensure great customer service, once the processes and instruction is in place.
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