There’s a great deal of excitement in the Twitterverse over the past week — Apple Support finally joined the party! We are in 2016 afterall 🙂
Kudos to team @AppleSupport – Zero to 100,000 followers in the first day, now that’s impressive! Clearly there’s pent up demand from Apple customers around the world.
As an interested party, I am of course keeping watch. And I can just about imagine what day one at the Apple HQ has been like. 🙂
HP’s been providing technical support and assistance to customers on social media for a number of years now, and we went live on Twitter via @HPSupport in 2009. Today, we respond to customers globally in 8 languages, and are very close to delivering 24/7 operations. Stating the obvious, the internet never sleeps; and we know this is important.
At HP, we listen and respond to over 100,000 incoming posts each month across 20+ social networks globally. I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect on what I’ve learnt so far:
- Growing pains – As our operations continue to scale, it’s critical that we address things that get in the way of taking care of customers, while delivering best in class response times. These barriers to growth include rapid integration of new social media channels in our support environment, in particular messaging apps; tracking and reporting a consistent set of operational metrics across various channels, keeping the number of agent tools to a manageable minimum, integration of these tools with our core support services CRM, easily identifying top issues across multiple languages, among others. Having a clear vision, and laying out an IT architecture that takes these challenges head on is key.
- Customers deserve to be heard. Discover where conversations around your brand are taking place, respond to those customers, and learn from the feedback. Every customer matters, every conversation counts. That’s it!
- Learn quickly – I spend time with my team keeping up on all things social, educating others across the organization forces me to stay up to date, observing our interactions with customers enables me to learn and improve our social support experience. Jay Baer’s SocialPros and Dan Gingiss & Dan Moriarty’s Focus on Customer Service podcasts make for interesting drive time listening, on those long Bay Area commutes.
- Be grounded in facts – Social Customer Care is relatively new for most companies and teams. Be prepared and come to meetings with facts – number of customers served, traffic patterns (across channels), incoming (relevant post) volume trends, response time vs. SLA, impact to brand sentiment, social agent efficiency vs. traditional channels (phone & chat), and social care cost per contact all help make the conversations at work easier. Where internal data is not available, go out and get some industry benchmarks or ask your vendors for insights.
- Partnerships matter – In social customer care, partnerships – broad and deep across the organization – are critical to success. Most of my days are spent working with teams across our customer support function (regional contact centers, web and on-product support, quality, customer experience), social marketing & PR, product management, internal IT, our technology vendors, and of course, our high octane social care team!
And most importantly, have fun! A world gone social presents incredible avenues for brands to engage with customers like never before. To be at the heart of the reinvention of customer support – where communications, technology and communities converge, is incredibly exciting!
Each day we work fast and smart to listen to our customers, take care of their needs, and in turn earn their loyalty.