With clients like General Mills, NMBS (Belgian railway), QoQa, it is no secret that Clarabridge CX Social offers one of the best social media management tools on the market. We talked to Dimitri Callens, Director of Product Management at Clarabridge, about the evolution customer service went through this past decade and some best practices that can be helpful for any company.
How communication works nowadays
Remember learning about synchronous and asynchronous communication in school? Well, the fundamentals still apply today. But, compared to 15 years ago, it’s a lot harder to sort media based on these two characteristics.
Where live chat and a telephone conversation are synchronous or communication with the sender and receiver on the same clock, email and old-school letters are examples of asynchronous communication, where the sender and the receiver are on different clocks. Modern day messaging apps are both. Which makes them a lot more practical to use in day-to-day customer service applications. But monitoring them might be another challenge.
“In the early days, companies just wanted to push marketing messages on social media. It was a means of driving social engagement. At CX Social, we never believed in that approach. Social media is, by definition, a conversational medium. Customer care through social channels was the way to go. And in recent years you can see a shift in consumers contacting companies via private messages instead of public ones.“ says Dimitri. 2015 marked the first time messaging apps had more overall traffic than the most popular social media websites, proving this vision was accurate.
Meet your customers where they are
Clarabridge CX Social does things you didn’t know you needed. Not only does it allow you to efficiently monitor your companies social conversations (public and private), CX Social tells you if a message needs urgent attention or not. And this is where it really gets interesting. (Remember our back to school-flashback?)
“The core idea behind a good customer service is that companies need to be able to answer consumers’ questions through the channels the consumers prefer. You need to meet your customers where they are. These days it’s near impossible to monitor all your companies social channels separately. There are too many messages and conversations and it is easy to miss out on a lot of them without the right tools,” Dimitri says.
“Monitoring messaging apps became more and more relevant for customer service. Messaging apps can both spark a synchronous and asynchronous conversation. We recently released the monitoring of apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat.”
“WhatsApp is reluctant to have advertisements on their platform. So its use by companies is very restricted. Whatsapp has to pre-approve bulk messages and usually only allows service messages (e.g. boarding passes, delay messages, …). When a client takes the initiative to contact you though, you are allowed to reply, and it needs to happen within 24 hours. Thankfully, with our smart AI text analyses, Clarabridge lets you know which messages need your urgent attention.”
3 pillars of excellent customer service
Besides the medium, what are some best practices in customer service? Dimitri gives three pointers to pay attention too:
One person of contact
Try not to transfer your customer to another colleague. Nothing is more frustrating than having to repeat your story over and over again.
Have a unified view of the customer
You need to know who the client is without having them explain it. A lot of companies still work with unconnected databases. But to be successful, you need a unified view of your customer. Anything a company can do in order to connect databases, should be done to be ready for the future. Connecting data can also help you be GDPR-compliant. You need to be responsible with data, and the best way to do that is to know how and where everything is stored in your systems and business apps. A unified view can also help you make the right decisions and draw the right conclusions.
Provide your customer with a timeframe asap
A problem doesn’t always require immediate fixing. But consumers need to have an idea about what’s going to happen and when. This means responding quite quickly to questions and delivering an accurate estimate of when a solution can be provided. The resolve time for an airline will have to be a lot shorter than for example a company that sells kitchen appliances. But both need a fast response time.