2017 Social Media Customer Service Predictions

Social Media Customer ServiceThis article originally appeared on the FCR blog on January 10, 2017. Click here to read the original.

I recently heard Jay Baer refer to social media as a spectator sport and couldn’t agree more. We’ve had a front row seat to watch the evolution of social media customer service where we’ve bounced from one viral disaster after another. In the process, it has become a viable customer service channel, so much so that the market is full of social media tools capable of scaling with the teams tasked with serving customers.

As we head into 2017, I was asked by social customer care expert, Dan Gingiss to share my predictions for social media customer service. Dan gathered feedback from 28 incredible experts and I was honored to contribute. Here are my predictions for the coming year.

Why do social media marketers need to care about customer service?

I’ve heard so many people say, “Customer service is the new marketing,” that it’s hard to know who to credit with the quote— but it’s true. In an age where customers have a stronger voice than ever, a poor customer service experience can quickly undermine any positive momentum created by marketing. For social media marketers to be successful, they must be fanatical about listening to the voice of the customer and partnering with customer service to create a consistently great customer experience.

Click here to see how the other 27 experts responded to the first question.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in 2016 about social customer service that will help guide your strategy for next year?

Your customers are either contacting you via social media because another channel didn’t work for them, or because it’s their preferred channel. Either way, they are expecting real solutions to their issues and won’t look favorably on clearly canned responses, requests to call or email support instead, or anything else that requires additional effort on their part. If the issue truly cannot be solved on the customer’s channel of choice, it’s our job to reach out to them on the best channel.

Click here to see how the other 27 experts responded to the second question.

What do you predict will be different about social customer service a year from now?

I have two predictions for social customer service in the next year. First, chatbots are all the rage. Some companies with a high volume on social media will find ways to use bots for automation— some good, others not so good. Second, with other channels like text and Facebook Messenger emerging, we’re going to see more symbiosis between these and social media both in customer channel preference and with the software vendors that are creating tools for managing all of these channels.

Click here to see how the other 27 experts responded to the third questions.

One thing is for certain, social media customer service will continue to evolve and most definitely stay interesting in 2017. If you are a customer service leader and are exploring social media as a customer service channel, I’d love to discuss further. Also, if you haven’t already, tune into the Focus on Customer Service Podcast. Dan Gingiss and Dan Moriarty are experts and you will learn a slew of social customer service best practices from some incredible brands.

Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at FCR, the most respected outsource provider. He has more than 15 years of experience as a customer service professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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