Brands Still Stumped by Social Customer Service

This week’s CRM Evolution showed that social media is still the biggest disruptor in customer service today. This was evident in the thoughts shared by presenters in New York City this week:

“It’s a mistake to look at social as ‘just another channel’.”

“In some ways, business is moving backward. Social media is making company interactions personal again.”

“Social media is real time, social media is interactive, social media is fast. Be flexible enough to deal with it.”

LiveOps research from earlier this year shows that some 6% of the U.S. population uses social media for customer service today, but that figure is set to hit 11% in the near future, making social media the fastest growing communications channel. Yet majority of brands are still ill prepared for this shift in consumer preference.

David Myron, editorial director of CRM Magazine, shared during his presentation that 50% of companies are failing at social CRM and many are still stuck in the experimentation stage. Myron cited a few of the reasons behind this statistic, as the fact that companies can’t effectively respond to customers and they don’t have progress reports to allow them to measure results and make adjustments where needed. Today’s brands must evolve, or risk being left in the dust.

The same LiveOps research shows that  85% of consumers feel that how a brand handles issues on their website or on social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, is a good indicator of the quality of their service and their overall customer satisfaction level. Contact center agents play a critical role in delivering outstanding social customer service IF they are empowered with the right technology such as the LiveOps EngageTM multichannel, social agent desktop.

During my Fireside Chat session with CRM futurist Barton Goldenberg at CRM Evolution, we discussed the bottom line impact social customer service has on agent productivity, retention, customer churn rate, sales conversion rate, ultimately customer experience and customer lifetime value. We invite brands to harness the social prowess of their agent community for social customer service is simply good business.

For more on trends coming out of CRMe this year, watch my interview with Bob Fernekees of CRM Media: LiveOps’ Ann Sung Ruckstuhl at CRM Evolution 2013

–          Ann Ruckstuhl, SVP and CMO, LiveOps

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at