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Customer Service 101

June 14, 2013

There has been a recent uptick (IMO) of Customer Service use within Social Media. I think that is great! I think there are untapped opportunities for Customer Service/Support within this area.

I also see challenges as everyone ventures into this field of play as well.

  1. You always hear/read about the “listen first” tactic. I agree with this, no need to jump in and then have to back-out because you didn’t know what you were getting yourself or your company into.
  2. Be genuine. I think this is vital to your entire program, if you can’t handle the hard stuff then why be there at all. Sure, there are somethings that are really sensitive or require in depth troubleshooting, then take those conversations private but start publicly if at all possible.
  3. Be quick. This I think is beyond important and not in the case of responding to say we heard you and are looking into and then never getting back to someone. Once you realize and have measured how much volume you are going to receive, staff accordingly. There are far fewer things worse than not being able to keep up with the volume of work because of staffing.
  4. Speaking of staffing, it all starts with hiring the right people. Zappos does a fantastic job in this arena and their stories have been retold countless times. If you don’t have a good fit then your team will not be successful. 
  5. Rules of Engagement. Have a plan on how you want your team to respond with “guidelines”, not verbatim what to type but outlines of how to respond in certain scenarios, trust me, it is well worth the time and effort putting that together.
  6. Managing the team, make sure the management team in place understands Social, the different nuances that it has and how it is NOT like a call center. This will probably be the hardest part of everything you do.
  7. It OK to make a mistake. To error is human someone famous said (can’t remember who right now). Mistakes happen, learn from them and move on. If they keep happening, well that’s an entirely different problem and needs to be addressed.

Just keep in mind that Customer Service, regardless of channel is ALL about helping your customer (or maybe your future customer or your soon to be leaving customer) answer a question or solve a problem with the service they pay for. Sure the medium may be typed vs. spoken, but the questions, issues and frustrations are all the same and the experience should be pleasant no matter what. Don’t make your customers jump through hoops because of processes or how behind in workload you are.


Let me know what you think, I’m sure I missed a few things (obviously) but the main point is keep it simple and help the customer.

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