Without a change in expectations, social CRM is destined to fail

HELPWhile I believe that social media is a great platform for customer support, I think our current views of what is acceptable in terms of response time or expected quality of service for social Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is destined to fail. The expectations I am thinking about center around how many think companies should bend over backwards for a customer just because they Tweet.

Last week a good friend posed a question in a social group about a company not getting back to her after tweeting to them about a duplicate charge. While I felt her pain, I went on a rant of my own about social CRM and the expectations that we have.

Many of us have had a poor experience with a company and have taken to Twitter or their Facebook page to rant. For those of us working in social media, this is a natural process and we often feel like hey I should get an answer really quick.

Therein lays the problem. Being active in the space, we have a distorted way of thinking of how support SHOULD be rendered because it is either what we practice for our companies or read case studies of companies like Zappos who flat out kill it on customer service.

Now before yelling at the top of your lungs take a deep breath and repeat after me:

  • My life does not hinge on my angry Tweet
  • My Klout or Kred score does not matter
  • I am not more important online than I am in person

You see while social media may be vital to what many of the readers of this blog do for a living; social media is actually a small sliver of what businesses are focusing their efforts on. With that said, many companies do not invest in around the clock customer support. Sure that might seem blasphemous in the day and age we live in, but it is a reality.

Without 24-hour support, how can we expect a company to invest the time of an employee managing Twitter or Facebook around the clock if the volume is lower than that of phone support? We can’t.

If we do not take our standards of social media support out of unicorn land, we’ll never be satisfied. I expect to see the social CRM space evolve over the next 12-18 months, for now it is a work in progress. Until we get to that point all of us talking heads in the social media space need to check our collective Klout scores at the keyboard.

Image: loop_oh


9 comments
Art_Hall4
Art_Hall4

@O_Berard thanks for the mention

Genuine
Genuine

We have in essence created our own monster.  We here tales of the guy who gets off the plane to a steak dinner and know that we too have as much "klout" or perhaps our dollars spend the same when actually those incidents are so isolated and so contrived that we have come to expect them in our daily lives.  We don;t get to here the stories of the same thing happening after a handwritten letter to the CEO developed the same response 5 weeks later.  When you turn it on you want it to work.

I would add however that many companies are putting those same customer service people to work monitoring social media while not on the phone talking with angry customers. 

AshleyHin
AshleyHin

The real challenge is convincing the general public to change their minds about when they should receive a response to an inquiry made via social media. The problem is the general public feels entitled to an immediate response to an inquiry just because they posted it on a social media platform. What they're not seeing/understanding is the behind-the-scenes effort that goes behind generating a proper and accurate response. Sometimes, issues have to be escalated in order to get results, but they don't care...

jeffespo
jeffespo

@cargillcreative thank you sir.

jeffespo
jeffespo

@mpace101 TY sir, how you be?

jeffespo
jeffespo moderator

@Genuine Thanks Jim. I agree with you on many fronts pal. The problem is that even double timing it can cause areas of inefficiency, but at the same time you do what you can do. I really wonder how many companies and products really need 24/7 support or social support... 

jeffespo
jeffespo moderator

@AshleyHin define general public. In general I think that folks who don't play in the cat-pee filled (you don't think YouTube cats are poop/pee free you are mistaken) sandbox of social media, any reply is a good reply if it is timely. Too many folks in the place get on a high horse and still don't get the work behind the scenes or conveniently forget... 

mpace101
mpace101

@jeffespo YVW, hanging in there - this has gone on far too long

AshleyHin
AshleyHin

@jeffespo @AshleyHin Hmm, when I say general public, I mean anybody familiar with the internet. I've seen people that don't play in the messy social media sandbox get mad when they don't receive an immediate response.

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