Helping Customers Where (and When) They Want

Steffani Cameron

March 18, 2019

In his 26 years of digital strategy, Hall of Fame speaker Jay Baer has helped Fortune 500 brands shift into a web-driven world. That’s why we asked him to deliver our service strategy webinine. If you haven’t watched our nine-minute video, we recommend it, whether you’re already using ICUC’s services or not.

The webinine introduces what we believe are five customer-service “must-haves” as we move toward 2020. We’re grateful our clients love our community management services and our social moderation offerings, but we do much more than that. We’re here to help when it comes to creating your complete digital presence, start to finish.

Let’s talk about some must-haves and how we can make them happen for you.

Go Where the Clients Are

Customer service is somewhat a product of the 20th century, but times have changed. If brands don’t give customers the service they want, where they want it, they won’t have to worry about coverage for long, because customers will ditch them for brands who are easier to reach on their fave social platforms.

How brands have dealt with customer service over the last century brings to mind a couple iconic movie quotes. The first is Field of Dreams“if you build it, they will come.” Brands built giant call centers for customers to phone, usually with Eastern biz hours, inconveniencing half the country with hours that sometimes ended as early as 1 p.m. Pacific, and while that was an earth-shattering move forward in the 1960s, it’s practically prehistoric today.

In another flick, Maltese Falcon, there’s this great scene with Humphrey Bogart and a protesting Peter Lorre. Bogey slaps Lorre’s face as he barks, “You’ll take it and you’ll like it!” Got a problem? Call our center. Nope, we can’t call you back, but call back if you get disconnected. Even today, with many brands on social, when customers complain, they’re told to call a service center or send an email. It boggles the mind!

If brands ignore social channels, they do so at their peril. Customers aren’t taking it anymore, and they certainly don’t have to like what brands are serving up. Today’s public knows the market better than ever, and if they don’t get what they want from you – including easy, attentive service – then they’ll turn to your competitor, who’s already actively circling their social waters.

That’s why we deliver equal, comprehensive community management across all social networks. With our social-listening skills, we know where your customers are, and if there’s praise to be heard or complaints to mitigate, we ensure your clients know they’re not shouting into the wind.

Switching Channels

Part of going where clients are means helping them where they are. There’s nothing more infuriating for a customer than to reach someone on Twitter or Facebook who fields their concerns or complaints, then gives them an email address or number to call. The client has already contacted you, they’ve already paid their money for a ticket to ride, so why are they getting the runaround?

With proper staffing and solid training, plus behind-the-scenes systems for handling in-channel care, there’s no reason for the runaround. We’ll give answers and solutions when (and where) the customer wants them.

The reality is, customers won’t always be happy with the solution, but if you make it easy to learn the solution, Jay Baer says there’s a 25% greater chance that they’ll still advocate your brand, because they’re happy you made it easy. On the flipside, make them switch channels and complicate the resolution, then even a positive result can have a negative impact on your reputation.

Machines + People: Tag-Teaming for the Win!

Avoiding channel-switching is one way to satisfaction, but another critical aspect is the handoff from scripted automation helpers like Chatbots to humans. Don’t misunderstand us – we love bots and think every brand needs bots to ramp up their quality of customer service. But – and it’s a big “but”bots are not a stand-alone solution. They absolutely need human helpers.

Many problems get easily resolved with bot intervention, but many don’t. When a problem switches gears and needs a human to save the day, many bot-integrated service systems bungle the hand-off.

If a customer gets a bot and thinks they’re about to have their problem solved, only to find out they’ve stumped the bot and a team member will reply via email “between 9 and 5,” it’s the same negative result you get with switching channels.

It is switching channels, but worse, it’s bait-and-switch. It plays out like, “I’m here to help! Oops. Nope. You stumped me, tricksy customer! But a human will happily reply via email during bankers’ hours, with one-way communication that further inconveniences you if it doesn’t solve things. Sorry.”

That’s why we’ve created our Bots + People solution, which we’ll tell you much more about soon.

Flex Those Flex-Capacity Muscles!

These are all why our flex-capacity solutions are so popular. Our flex staffing can ensure your customers are heard 24/365, in every time zone on the planet. We can do this even better when we’re creating your digital strategy, doing your social listening and managing your communities.

Beyond basic flex capacity, there’s crisis management. In a perfect world, your team operates at 80% with a 20% reserve for crisis management. If they’re going full-tilt daily, you need flex capacity abilities. That’s where we come in. But like we say, that’s only one of many ways we help you keep your existing customers while attracting more of them.

Ask us about dark-hours coverage, seasonal holiday solutions, or even just pitching in so your team gets the relaxing weekends they deserve every week.

Blend all that with our community management, social listening and moderation services, and that’s a winning package your customers will happily take and definitely like.

Please, check out our webinine and give Jay Baer a listen. There’s so much more to consider. If you’d like to talk to someone on our team about how we can customize solutions for you, drop us a line.

Community Management and Social Media Ebook