Over the past decade, social media has redefined the role of customer service. The changes in consumer behaviour, interaction preferences and new technology have elevated customer service to an indispensable aspect of the brand experience. According to a recent study from Facebook, more than 80% of customers now expect brands and businesses to have established social media channels for them to communicate with. The predecessor of our customer service used to be mainly associated with after-sales services, a channel mainly for product enquiries, troubleshooting or filing complaints. Some brands’ management still couldn’t justify devoting substantial resources into this line of work, nor do they see the immediate value of their investment. Their attitude is: “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.”
Picking the right platform
There are many tools that serve similar management purposes. The difference is that if a platform is developed with a “social” mindset, it means that a brand just expands it to more than a “customer service platform." To us, customer service doesn’t stop at after-sales services or first-time enquiries. Instead, we treat it as a continuous overview of a customer’s entire journey or experience with the brand, a true single customer view for the omnichannel. From campaigns interactions, reactions on posts, offline purchase details to chatbot-driven sampling campaigns, preferences-gathering footprints on eCommerce sites, everything is centralised and systematically documented for admins to process or conduct further analysis.
With this holistic view of customer service in mind, we’ve devised a scalable enterprise solution, Chatnroll , to have all the necessary management functions and many innovative flexible modular functions to be integrated to facilitate new marketing or sales-related activities.
It boasts some standard functions, including tagging, labelling, sentiment detection for comments, notification protocols in case of a PR crisis, administrative authorisation levels. The solution enables seamless collaborations between teams and business units, allowing them to detail findings with data visualisation for quick or comprehensive insights.
Reliability is just as important as functionality for a customer service platform. To put it into perspective, we assisted our airline client to handle enquiries during two typhoons in 2017 and 2018. The incident began when planes got cancelled and a wave of enquires flocked to all of their service channels, such as inbox, wall level comment sections, and phone calls. During peak time, there were more than 10,000 enquiries a day. Our system could handle the load and our emergency protocols teams assisted in filtering and labelling enquiries in the platform for customer checking for plane departure time, layover hotel enquiries, ticket refund and negative comments. We prioritised various ticket enquires and automated the repetitive process with a modified campaign module to handle ticket refunds and speed up the process. Meanwhile, we monitored the sentiment level of negative comments on various platforms, inboxes, forums, and public media to formulate strategies to neutralise via personal messaging or seeding to help our client recover.
Customer service transformed
The value of customer service isn’t just assisting the brand’s marketing operations. Instead, enquiries and comments gathered over the years are sources that they can fully leverage to understand their customers.
Brands need to change their mindset to stop viewing customer service as just a touchpoint with your brand. They need to set a broader vision to understand what this channel can offer. As third-party data diminishes and there are less reliable sources to target new customers, your best option is to start with what you have, to build your database because the more you know about your customers, the more you will be able to retain them.
Nonetheless, reaching the stage where you can transform your customer enquiries into valuable insights requires a proper setup, which can be used to collect the right data and design campaigns that integrate these data collection modules.
This article is contributed by Clement Lee, digital strategist of Prizm Group.