In recent years, the world has become increasingly socially connected. As of September 2014, 71% of online adults use Facebook, 23% use twitter, 26% use Instagram, and 28% use Pinterest (Pew, 2014). Social media has not only become a gateway for personal connections, but also for business connections. Through word of mouth, consumers are constantly rating, reviewing, and, recommending products or services to their social circles, and most of this is done through the use of social media. 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions (Ogilvy Cannes Study, 2014), and 68% of consumers trust online opinions from other consumers (Nielsen, 2013). Social media has become an integral part of purchasing decisions, and has put customer service at the frontline of company success. Today, help is only a click away, and companies no longer have an excuse for lagging response times or unanswered questions. After all, 40% of cell phone users use a social media site on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day (Pew, 2014).
So how do businesses make sure they’re at the frontline of social customer service? The best way is to ensure that no question or grievance goes unanswered. Today’s consumers have drifted away from call centers, and towards social customer care. For example, Sky customers report that they prefer seeking help via social channels and are more satisfied with their experience because of this. A recent NM incite survey showed that nearly 65% of social media users take the digital route when seeking consumer ratings. This surpasses traditional call center usage which is now only used 47% of the time, email which is now used 45% of the time, and live chat which is now used only 30% of the time (Higher Satisfaction at Lower Costs: Digitizing Customer Care). However, companies can use this shift to their advantage. Social customer service software is a more convenient and efficient way to respond to consumers and manage social at a scale.
What are some ways that companies are managing social at a scale? Combining social channels into one inbox is one way. This makes it easier for agents to respond to all posts about their brand from many different social media sites, and in turn increases efficiency. For example, MoneyGram has increased their number of customers assisted by 46%, and Microsoft has increased their case volume by 230% since switching to a social media customer support tool.
Many companies are aiming to shorten their response times through the use of customer care software. The shorter the response time, the more satisfied your consumer is. Symantec dramatically improved their response time from 24 hours to a mere 5 minutes since increasing their focus on social media customer support. Some companies are also creating specialized agents in order to manage social at a scale. This ensures that the question goes to the agent that is equipped to answer it, and in turn increases efficiency. This system has produced vast improvements in the social care departments of many companies. For example, Time Warner Cable achieved a 57% lift in social agent productivity after switching to software built for social customer care.
Today, a consumer is always connected, and thus social customer support never sleeps. Many companies, such as Telstra, are providing social customer care 24/7 thanks to social customer service software. Other efforts companies are putting toward managing social at a scale involve assigning unique numbers to each post in order to track and maintain them. This routes every post with no human interaction required in order to increase efficiency and reduce response times. This efficient system for responding to questions and grievances has vastly improved social care team operations. For example, since switching to social support software, Comcast has seen a 35% reduction in the need for service visits to customer homes, and British Gas has seen less than 10% of their contracts transfer out.
This recent shift toward social customer care has revealed significant improvements in business operations. If you’d like to learn more about ways to improve social customer care please download our ebook, Eight Essentials for Managing Social at Scale.
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The Sky customer care team had already experienced digital success with a Lithium-powered Community and Lithium Social Web (LSW). However, they were in need of a more effective method for social media agents to efficiently and successfully escalate complex inquiries to relevant business experts.
To achieve these business objectives, Sky trialed LSW’s “Ask an Expert” feature. The results were astounding. They were able to increase the quality of their social responses and empower agents through effective collaboration with subject matter experts. Specifically, they were able to increase agent efficiency by 83% and improve agent response time by 50%, all while providing a better quality of social response.
Find out more details on their successful trial here.
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Apparently, the third time really is a charm, as both Microsoft Mobile and Symantec recently learned.
In 2012, Microsoft Mobile (Nokia at the time) had a presence in social media with Twitter and Facebook accounts; however, many of the cases went unanswered and unaddressed. This was simply because they were not listening on social due to having insufficient tools with their first vendor and an inadequate team to manage social care requests. Microsoft Mobile switched to a second vendor from 2012-2013, but their solution was falling short and they needed to operationalize their Social Care Practice on a bigger scale. That was the tipping point.
In 2013, the business—now Microsoft Mobile after Nokia’s acquisition—launched a critical quest for a new digital solution that offered multiple features and a stable platform that could grow with them over time. They selected Lithium Social Web (LSW) —their third vendor—and have already astounded themselves with impressive results, such as:
Volume of cases managed: 230% increase
Cases solved on social: 95%
# of Facebook pages managed: 66
# of languages monitored: 24
Cost savings: 80% of € per case
Find out how they achieved these digital wins with LSW.
Read the full case study here.
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In 2012, Symantec switched to a new vendor to support their social customer service efforts, however all the positive customer feedback immediately stopped due to the tool’s unnecessary extra layers between them and the customer. This caused extremely long delays in response time. It was critical to seek a better, long-term solution.
In 2013, they switched to their third vendor, Lithium Social Web (LSW), after a thorough process researching a tool that was laser-focused on customer service. As soon as they switched to LSW, the positive customer sentiments immediately came back, due to achieving a quicker response time (from 24 hours down to 5 minutes). Symantec was also able to expand their social customer service team with more agents, multi-language support, and the ability to provide weekend coverage, which wasn’t possible prior to LSW. They can handle more volume with less effort. In their words, “the move to this more managed solution has been groundbreaking for us.”
Find out more about how they revamped their customer care team with LSW.
Read the full case study here.
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With over 300 million users sharing over 70 million photos per day, Instagram is difficult to ignore as an important social channel for brands to engage. Instagram’s online, mobile photo- and video-sharing service, which launched in 2010, enables users to share pictures and videos across a variety of social networking platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
We’re pleased to announce that in the January 2015 release of Lithium Social Web (LSW), we’re rolling out support for Instagram. Now our customers can track and respond to Instagram comments on images and videos-- another way to connect with their consumers across the digital landscape.
In addition, all Instagram interactions are captured in LSW Analytics, which provides real-time data and insights to help inform social strategies.
Instagram is the newest addition to LSW which already supports other social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Lithium online communities. A picture says a thousand words—that’s the power of photos—and we look forward to seeing our customers drive social engagement through our latest integration with Instagram.
For details on how to work with an Instagram post, click here.
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