3 Ways To Measure ROI For Social Customer Service

By Brian Murray The rise of social media has caused a shift in the dynamic between organizations and individuals to one where the power is in the hands of the consumer, but it has also enabled brands to use social as a tool to work with their customers at scale. There are many examples of companies who have built amazing customer service into their culture's DNA. Unfortunately there are just as many brands that have not fully embraced using social yet because they have failed to see the benefits. The truth is people are talking about your brand already, you just need to start addressing them. Here are three benefits of customer service via social:

Customer Service at Scale Many businesses look at customer service as a difficult and time-consuming endeavor, which it is, especially if you are servicing your customers well. Methods such as phone calls are inefficient because an employee is only able to help one person at a time. If the traffic to your call center is high, then you'll need to have a large number of people available in order to service all your waiting customers. With social, on the other hand, it is possible for one person to carry on a conversation with many.  Brands like Zappos have one person managing the channels at a time and if you watch, they are speaking with lots of people at once.

How You Can Prove ROI: If you are tracking inbound inquiries via traditional methods, you can measure if volume and time engaged is lower.

Joining The Conversation There will always be some opportunities that come to you, such as someone writing on your Facebook wall or tweeting directly to you, but social also allows you to jump in without someone seeking you out. By using free products such as Hootsuite, you'll be able to easily keep tabs on your brand and the sentiment of your customers. You can set up alerts to see problems as they occur even if someone doesn’t directly address you or spells your name wrong. I was working with a brand that had a unique name and unfortunately had an underscore in their Twiter handle, but by using Hootsuite I was able to search for multiple variations and thus able to catch situations before they escalated into larger problems.

How You Can Prove ROI: There are a few tools that can allow you to track sentiment around your brand. Using these tools you can show over time that more people are speaking about your brand in more positive terms.

Creating Experiences We want amazing experiences. There will always be problems, whether they be related to product or human errors (because organizations are built by people that occasionally make a mistake). While it's certainly our responsibility to improve these inefficiencies, what's ultimately important is our reaction to them. As people continue to use these platforms more, it gives us the opportunity to improve their experience when something does go awry. If you aren’t using the channels that your customers are using, then you are missing out on the opportunity to get the golden ticket. Creating amazing experiences with consistency is what will get customers to keep coming back--and we all know it's often cheaper to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one.

How You Can Prove ROI: Measure the habits of people that have engaged with you via social platforms. Collect information from them and compare it to your other customers. Your best customers will be those you're creating amazing experiences for.

Have you invested in social as a customer service channel? Which brands have you gone back to because of the experiences you’ve had?