10 questions for social media customer service

August 5, 2011
Posted by: Matthew Hammer, VP- Marketing

Written by former LiveWorld employee, @BryanPerson.
We regularly work with our brand clients on scenario and workflow planning for customer service and brand response on social channels, particularly Facebook. Social media is transforming customer service, and we find that many brands are still catching up and adapting to the always-on, public, and conversational nature of social networks.
As a start, these 10 questions help brands to think through how they are already set up to manage social media customer service, and what steps they will need to take to improve:
1) How are you scaling coverage for monitoring and brand response, including on nights and weekends?
2) Which customer service duties can/should be outsourced, and which should remain with the brand?
3) When should you respond to customer comments/questions and when should you stay silent, either because it would be overkill to chime in all the time or because your fans/brand ambassadors could jump in on your behalf?
4) Considering both customer expectations and what’s manageable/reasonable from the brand side, how quickly should you, and can you, respond?
5) What is the appropriate tone for your responses?
6) Are there any regulations or requirements (such as for pharma) that dictate how or whether you can respond?
7) When is it appropriate to respond publicly, such as on the Facebook Wall, versus moving the exchange to a more private venue (email, phone, 1:1 direct messaging)? How will the approach differ by channel? (For example, DMs work well on Twitter, but are more complicated on Facebook.)
8) Should customer service reps initially respond from a brand account or their own profile? Can they take a hybrid approach, as Southwest Airlines often does?
9) How will high-priority customer service issues be escalated within the organization?
10) Should a worst-case scenario or crisis erupt online, including on your Facebook Page, who is on your crisis management team? And does that team include stakeholders from across the organization?