All organizations, regardless of industry or size, must strive to provide high level customer service and support. The internet has made it easier than ever for consumers to find an alternative product or service if the one they are using is unsatisfactory. Successful customer service can win back an upset client, while poor service can drive away an otherwise loyal one.
David Taber, writing for CIO, recently argued that social media should play a key role in any organization's support services, and that a social customer relationship management (CRM) system can greatly improve the firm's ability to use this medium.
One of the most valuable aspects of social CRM for customer support purposes, according to Taber, is the greater degree of access it confers.
Not that long ago, an individual seeking support from a major organization would have three basic options. First, he or she could call the firm and hope to reach someone who could help solve the problem. This has the potential to be effective, but call centers are costly and, as a result, often understaffed. Consequently, call-based customer support rarely resolves issues in a timely manner. Email has the same issue, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree.
Company websites can be an effective method, especially as they can include frequently asked question sections. However, websites can also be confusing to navigate for many people, especially if they include many pages.
As Taber noted, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites are familiar to most people by this point and provide an easy means of contacting an organization, making them an appealing customer support option for individuals. And numerous studies have shown that people are increasingly expecting organizations to offer social support.
By implementing an advanced social CRM solution, an organization can streamline its response to support queries issued through social media, improving its overall quality of service.
Additionally, social media presents a means for organizations create communities that help out one another. This can save time for the firm, as well as providing a space where common issues are clearly resolved and easily accessible.
The key to successful implementation of social CRM in these situations, according to Irving Fain of Betanews, is that organizations focus on the customer, rather than themselves. If the overriding goal of the organization is to save itself time, it will likely overlook aspects of the customer experience, producing feelings of resentment or dissatisfaction.
Organizations interested in upgrading their social CRM capabilities to better implement these solutions should consider investing in association management software. These programs feature advanced, integrated social CRM tools that can help an organization to expand and improve its social media presence.