From walking into a store with mobile coupons to following influencers on social media, today’s consumers have more control than ever over how and when they interact with brands. Just as marketers have to meet consumers wherever they are, consumers have the same expectation of their customer service experiences.
A report from Software Advice discusses the importance of developing integrated omnichannel customer service strategies effectively for a consistent brand image online and happier customers overall.
One of the key challenges is adapting the process for each channel. According to the report, customers may be willing to wait a few days for a response to an email, but they expect a much faster response on social media. Unfortunately, as the number of social customer service inquiries has risen in recent years, response times have continued to be abysmally slow; sometimes there’s no response at all. Clearly there’s a disconnect.
Software Advice recommends choosing a system that allows you to set rules based on the channel, while still keeping the ticket management centralized. They also recommend using specialized social listening tools to keep track a wide range of social signals, including overall sentiment about your brand.
Sometimes the biggest challenge to integration is the allocation of resources. In many cases, the assumption is that social media is a channel for the young. Software Advice explains:
Since 2008, the portion of U.S. adults who use social media has more than doubled. In some age brackets, it has increased more than tenfold in 10 years. Today, the population on social media is a much more accurate representation of the population as a whole.
Despite the growth in customer service requests on social, marketers are still largely in charge of social channels. As such, Software Advice found that most companies are quicker to respond to inquiries about future purchases, than to inquiries about past purchases. This creates an inconsistent public images and undermines the customer experience.
Whether or not a question on social media gets answered, and how quickly it gets answered, shouldn’t depend on whether the person asking is a current or a potential customer. The best customer experience comes when all questions and complaints receive equal priority.
Ultimately, Software Advice recommends bridging the social customer service experience gap by using tools that integrate into systems already being used. In this way, companies can develop consistent response strategies across departments.
Check out the full report for more data and insights.