Most organizations having customer service support/care have been following the best practices, six sigma approaches to measuring efficiency & productivity of their customer service agents — how much time to close a call, how many tickets closed, what is the throughput, how fast the transactions are happening, etc. The emphasis is on ‘closure‘ the reflex action is to ‘respond & close’. The organizational structure, processes, metrics, rewards & ethos/culture is built around this philosophy of ‘efficiency‘. It doesn’t matter if the channels are the internet based ticketing systems, call center based support, email bases support or even brick & mortar support — everywhere the emphasis is on efficiency & productivity.
Enter the Social World:
With almost every organization embarking on a social media strategy, they find themselves using the same philosophy, yardstick, approach of the traditional customer service approach — a transactional approach, on social media. Somehow organizations don’t realize that the playing field is different and the rules are different now.
In the social paradigm, organizations need to realize that the key is to have meaningful conversations that can lead to insights for actions. Customer service agents need to take time, think and actually hear people out before engaging in a dialogue with your customers. This calls for a new way of thinking, a new approach, a new philosophy — where the organization & the customers are speaking in a shared and common language. Where the organization is part of the audience, where it is OK to accept mistakes, where it is OK to be ‘human’ & empathize with the customer, where it is OK to have small talk with customers and not just focus on closing the call ASAP.
This now calls for the organizations to measure their call center agents on ‘how many conversations‘ they had, how much dialogue they are having. Not only just with the customer but even internally within the organization on linking what the customers are saying to various parts of the organization — how much collaboration are employees having internally?
This calls for organizations to be rewired for the right processes, metrics, training, coaching, ethos required in the social world.
Social is a totally new mindset — one of ‘effectiveness‘ and not just about ‘efficiency‘
So, if your organization is starting out on a social customer care journey, do understand the difference between efficiency & effectiveness.
That will ensure that you know the rules of the game & the playing field before your begin the game