If your brand is taking on social customer care, the hours your audience is most actively talking to your brand will have a big influence on the hours when you yourself need to be active. Typically, this is highly dependent on the industry you're in, so 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're providing customer service during these hours.
When brands take on social customer care, an important question that pops up is:
Do I need to provide social customer care during the weekend?
Here's an example to illustrate this:
In the travel industry, customers engage the most with brands after business hours, at night, and during the weekend when they're most actively looking for holidays and encounter questions and issues. That's an entirely different story for public transportation where most inflow will come in during the early morning and around 5pm in the afternoon. Moreover, there will be a lot less inflow during weekends. It's clear that creating your social customer service planning is very specific to your industry.
If your community is most active during the weekend, the answer is, "Yes, you of course need to provide customer care during the weekend!" On the other hand, if you notice inflow is rather low on Saturday, and especially on Sunday, you have two choices. You can either choose to put someone on standby (and check the social inbox at regular intervals to reach out to customers) or exclude the weekend from your business hours completely. Just make sure this is openly communicated to your customers.
Keys Steps to Providing Customer Care Over the Weekend
Once you've determined you need to provide customer care over the weekend, you need to make sure you have everything thoroughly thought through and planned. Social customer care is often a hectic working environment, so be prepared at all times. Here are some essential steps to follow:
- Determine the hours you need to be most active during the weekend. For example, this can be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. If you notice there's a big difference between the workload on Saturday and Sunday, make sure you provide enough backup.
- Flexibility is key. Create your customer service strategy far in advance so that it's easy for customer service agents to switch shifts.
- In a lot of cases, the option to work from home is a great alternative to make sure shifts are easily covered. In some cases, introducing a BYOD policy (i.e. employees have their own laptop at their disposal) might be worth giving a try to allow agents to be on standby during the weekend. People can easily go about their normal activities but always have instant access to your brand's social feed.
To showcase an example, I did an in-depth interview with 3 important industries: Banking, Travel, and Telecom. Get to know more about their unique way of managing their social customer care strategy and read more about it here.