Social Customer Service with Kathy Baxter & Kristen Muramoto

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This week on the podcast we’re speaking to Kathy Baxter, a Principal User Researcher and Kristen Muramoto, a Senior Product Designer. You may remember Kathy and Kristen from their amazing presentation on Social Customer Service at Dreamforce. They’re here to offer lots of relevant insights, best practices, and tips for marketers and admins alike.

More about Kathy and Kristen’s session: Join us as Kathy and Kristen share their insights and delve deep into the strategies they’ve designed for Social Customer Service. We’ll learn why customers are demanding SCS, why companies shy away from it, and what companies can do to bridge that gap.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Kathy Baxter and Kristen Muramoto.

Have a conversation.

“Social Customer service is about reaching out to your customers wherever they are, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook or another global network. It’s about making it easier for everyday communication that’s conversational rather than transactional via phone or email,” says Kristen.

Yet, many companies are slow to adopt SCS. “There’s a fear of change and lack of knowledge. This is why we’re trying to get our experience out there and let people know that it’s not as scary as it might seem,” says Kristen.

 

81 percent of millennials prefer social support.

Customers now demand and expect SCS. “Not only is social really popular amongst millennials, but also we’ve found that 26% of customers will turn to social when they can’t reach a representative otherwise,” says Kathy.

During the design process, Kristen says it’s important to ask, “how do I make it clear in the user experience so that agents can help their customers as fast as possible as I would expect as a millennial?”

 

Prepare your support network.

Kathy and Kristen have come up with 10 strategies for social customer service. The first step is to identify ownership on social media. “In many companies, the marketing department is already out there on social media, but customer support is coming later to the game,” says Kathy. Marketing and customer reps need to come together so they can decide who gets to respond to what issues and what the dividing line is.

“This area is moving so quickly,” says Kathy. To be successful at SCS, companies need to develop deep expertise, be where their customers are, develop a playbook and train their agents properly.

84% of social messages at companies are ignored.

If an admin wants their company to get on social, what can s/he do about it right now? Kathy suggests, “do a search social media and see who is @ mentioning your brand and products. Ask: is it meeting silence?”

“If it looks like you don’t have a social presence out there, go speak with the head of customer support and make a case as to why you need to be engaging in that conversation,” says Kathy. If they don’t have a plan to implement social, ask why.

 

Adapt strategies as needed.

Looking forward, “we want to work with our customers to make sure our strategies are working for them. We then apply them to their success metrics and monitor their changes so we can adjust our strategies as applicable,” says Kristen.

Lastly, share your insights. “We do our best to share out the research and the best practices that we’ve learned with our customers so that they can benefit from it. We don’t just keep it internally. We share it out to empower our customers to be the best they can be for their customers,” says Kathy.

 

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