For the majority of brands that take on social customer care, hiring staff to cover every hour of every day isn't a very cost-effective solution. There are always exceptions to that rule, such as the Dutch airline company KLM, that displays their live response time for social customer service.
So how do you manage your customers' conversations if 24/7, round-the-clock support isn't feasible? How can you exceed expectations and enable smooth interactions over the weekend, during and outside peak hours, and those make or break crisis moments?
What works for some companies doesn't always work for others. Fortunately, companies can still draw inspiration from these interesting best practices on flexible working hours, working overtime, crisis management, remote employees, etc.
1. Be Active When Your Audience Is
The hours when your audience is talking to your brand has a big influence on the hours when you yourself need to be active. Do some research on when your community is most active, and decide whether you need to provide support during the weekend or during nighttime.
The first step in understanding this is by monitoring when your community is active. If you notice any peaks during the day, make sure you are providing customer service during these hours.
2. Provide Back-Up During Peaks & Crisis Situations
There are always times when there are more conversations than usual. Not only at a specific times of the day, but also during particular moments throughout the year. Make sure you can call upon extra pairs of hands to help your social media team out during peaks and crisis situations.
Especially in situations where extra staff isn't an option, outsourcing a part of the work is the perfect alternative to cover periods of time when there's a significantly higher workload. Some of our telecom customers call upon extra pairs of hands in sudden crisis situations (e.g. failing network connections, total outages, and so forth).
3. Be Flexible, And Adapt Your Strategy When Necessary
Flexibility is a crucial characteristic for employees and employers. The more flexibility you grant employees, the more they will be motivated to do a great job and be flexible in return.
In any customer service environment, flexibility is key. Flexibility is a crucial characteristic for employees and employers alike. It really works both ways: the more flexibility you grant employees, the more they will be motivated to do a great job and be flexible in return.
4. Business Hours Don't Equal Working Hours
Stress is commonplace in a social customer service environment. High volumes of messages need to be dealt with in a timely manner if brands want to meet their targets. When kicking off a new day, messages have piled up during the night and there's usually a higher workload.
Unfortunately, it's a common misconception that social media team members should start working at the same time your official business hours, typically listed in the social media bios, begin. Brands should create work schemes in terms of workload and not in terms of business hours.
If deemed necessary, have your social media team start the day half an hour earlier to easily catch up on the messages that filtered into the inbox during the night.
5. Communicate Clearly About the Service You Offer
What does a good Twitter bio looks like? Which rules should you follow? Make your Twitter bio stand out, and manage your customers' expectations in relation to your brand.
Customers should know what to expect from the service you deliver. What better way to do this than to give your Twitter bio a crucial makeover? The way you describe yourself online says a lot about how you provide customer service and ultimately, how you do business.
Here's a list of 5 essential elements to include in your Twitter bio to make sure customers know what to expect from your service.
Want to learn more about these tips and how leading companies in the airline, banking and telecom industry do it? Tackle and strengthen your social customer service planning and read all about it here.