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Social Media Customer Service

Social Media Customer Service

Katherine Watier Ong

July 27, 2023

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  1. What you’re going to learn today • How to create

    a strategic plan for your customer service launch and all of the elements that you need to address and plan for to be successful. • Are you ready?
  2. Katherine Watier Ong WO Strategies LLC • VP of Online

    Strategy and Market Insights at Ketchum Inc • 17 years of communications experience • 10 years of online marketing experience (SEO, SEM, social media, web analytics) • Built my first website in 1994 • Developed the strategy and led the social media customer service team for NY State of Health (nystateofhealth.ny.gov) during its launch.
  3. Agenda You will learn: • Key elements to creating a

    social media customer service protocol document. • Options for technology that you’ll need for social media listening and management • How to build, train, and manage your social media customer service team.
  4. Why Have a Protocol? • Responses to followers need to

    be prompt • Need to have one company voice even if many individuals are responding on one handle • Clearly outlines employee expectations & senior support • Identifies your main Points of Contact • Outlines how to handle each type of post and when to escalate • Removes the guesswork for your customer service staff. source: https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-for-customer-service-guide
  5. Agenda • Goals for social media • Comment policy (internal

    and external) • Definition & parameters around proactive & reactive outreach • Monitoring hours of operation • Content and tone for posts • Boilerplate responses • Engagement guidelines & escalation procedure • Process for monitoring & engaging off handles • Process for integration with paid online efforts. • POC for all those involved in the effort and escalation expectations
  6. Articulate your Goals Think through why you are launching social

    media customer service & how it will be tied back to the business. This provides focus for your overall work.
  7. Example goals: • Educate and inform customers about our topic

    in a particular geography • Drive customers to website to sign up • Manage our online brand perception • Monitor and participate in online conversations in the larger category • Encourage sharing of website messaging among key target audiences.
  8. Internal Comment Policy Here’s an example: • We encourage commenting

    on all sites. The ideas and concerns of customers are important to support the continuous improvement of our communications and overall visibility in search engines and in social media. • However, our online properties will be managed to support constructive dialogue. This means: • When possible, inappropriate comments will be reviewed before posting. • For social media platforms without a comment approval feature, inappropriate comments may be removed.
  9. External Comment Policy Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal •

    Copyright violations: The unauthorized use of copyright materials. • Hateful, violent, or stigmatizing content: Content that promotes hate, involves direct threats, or encourages shame against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation/gender identity. Publicly post your hours of active monitoring and away messages.
  10. External Comment Policy Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal •

    Impersonation: Use of another individual or [company]’s identity in a manner that is intended to mislead or confuse others. • Media inquiries: Requests for official responses. These inquiries will be directed to the appropriate contact person for response. • Off-topic remarks: Questions or comments that are clearly off topic based on – initiated dialogue. Publicly post your hours of active monitoring and away messages.
  11. External Comment Policy Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal •

    Private, confidential, or personally identifiable information: The unauthorized posting of private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, and any information that can identify an individual. • Political statements: Content intended to influence a decision to be made for or by [company], in short lobbying.
  12. External Comment Policy Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal •

    Pornography or obscenity: Content that contains nudity, sexually graphic material, or material that is otherwise deemed explicit in nature. • Spam/malicious code: Unsolicited commercial messages and malicious software. • Unsupported accusations: Content that accuses and/or its affiliates, including providers, of wrongdoing. • Any other content that could put [company] at risk.
  13. Code Red Content Code Red content will be filtered or

    removed from all hosted web spaces and will not warrant responses on external sites. This content includes: • Copyright violations • Critical information • Hateful, violent, or stigmatizing content • Impersonation • Private, confidential, or personally identifiable information • Political statements • Pornography or obscenity • Spam/malicious code
  14. Code Orange Content Code Orange content will be posted unless

    otherwise specified by the comment policy and warrants a response from the social media team. This content includes: • General Requests: Questions that are not specific to an individual and can be addressed through standard contract language without a significant effort from the social media team. • Misinformation: Content that is clearly inaccurate based on [company’s] policies and other authoritative sources. • Emotional Statements: Comments/posts with a tone or language that suggests intense emotional response to the topic that has interfered with an individual understanding of the topic. These comments should be filtered and responded to directly if possible.
  15. Code Yellow Content Code Yellow content may be filtered on

    sites based on the Comment Policy but does not warrant removal from external web spaces. The social media team should respond based on the guidelines set forth in the Engagement Process. • Individual requests • Media inquiries • Off topic
  16. Code Green Content Code Green content involves neutral or benign

    statements that are generally accurate and do not indicate the desire for a response. These comments should be posted as applicable in the Comment Policy and responses are welcome based on availability.
  17. Engagement Guidelines by Content Classification Category Websites Hosted Independent Response

    Time Review Process *Action requires subject matter expert or leadership approval Code Red Inappropriate content Reject content. Report accusations and threats to the appropriate authorities. Reject/remove content. Report accusations and threats to the appropriate authorities. Do not respond. Report accusations and threats to the appropriate authorities. Reject/remove content immediately. Code Orange General questions, misinformation, or emotional statements Craft response from standard language. Submit for approval before accepting comment and/or posting response.* Craft response from standard language. Submit for approval before posting.* Craft response from standard language. Submit for approval before posting.* Post response within 1-3 hours max. Code Yellow Individual requests, media inquiries, and off-topic remarks Reject content. Send standard response directly to user. Post standard response. Draft and post response from standard language. Post response within the same hour. Code Green Neutral/ benign comments Accept content and express gratitude as appropriate Express gratitude and forward as appropriate to build rapport within the community Express gratitude as appropriate if comments were addressed to social media team members Post response within 2-4 hours
  18. Proactive Outreach Proactive outreach is initiated to deliver information to

    key target audiences. This will be driven by an editorial calendar which will be approved by X. In general, proactive social media outreach activities will fall under one of the following categories: • Sharing information related to our industry as a whole • Promoting various resources and new services • Sharing tips and helpful information to benefit target audiences • Supporting outreach initiatives • Forming relationships with reporters for media opportunities
  19. Reactive Outreach • Reactive outreach is initiated in response to

    a comment or question from a social media user. Responsive activities provide facts and data to deliver information and address misinformation or unfavorable opinions. • Following premium customer service protocol, it’s important to address a comment or question within a 4 hour timeframe. This is helpful for relationship-building and also creates a seamless, enjoyable process for the end user.
  20. Monitoring Hours of Operation Here’s an example: • We recognize

    that the web is a 24/7 medium and comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage resources, moderating and posting of comments will generally occur during regular business hours (8am - 5pm ET) Monday – Friday. • Comments submitted after hours will be read and posted as early as possible the following business day. • Each social media post requiring a response will be responded to within 4 hours, even if it is just to let the person know that their question is being looked into.
  21. Content and Tone for Posts Items you might want to

    include: • Reading level of all posts • Length and tone (casual and friendly, or more formal)? • Does each post need to reference the website?
  22. Boilerplate Responses Examples 1: We hear your concerns and are

    committed to helping you find the information you need: [your website address]
  23. Boilerplate Responses Examples 2: Stay informed by subscribing to our

    newsletter for important updates delivered straight to your inbox: [link]
  24. Boilerplate Responses Examples 3: Thank you for the opportunity to

    assist you. The answer to your question is available here on X website: [url to specific FAQ here]
  25. Boilerplate Responses Examples 4: Thank you for your question. A

    representative will contact you soon. For Twitter: Thanks for letting us know. Please DM your contact info so we can better assist you.
  26. Social Media Listening Why? Some real life uses: • Spotting

    rumors before reporters do so that you can release official press releases and statements online to resolve those rumors before they become ORM issues. • Used larger social media observations to craft editorial content to address common feedback feedback, common misperceptions, and frequently asked questions.
  27. Process for Pausing Paid Social Advertising Case Study: McDonalds promoted

    2 hashtags during a promoted trend – #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories. #mcdstories did not go as planned. McD’s quickly pulled #mcdstories and it was promoted for less than two hours. Within an hour of pulling #McDStories the number of conversations about it fell off from a peak of 1600 to a few dozen. With all social media campaigns, we include contingency plans should the conversation not go as planned. The ability to change midstream helped this small blip from becoming something larger. McDonald's social media director Rick Wion
  28. Outline all Points of Contact (POCs) Be sure to include

    in your protocol document: • All key decision makers with email and cell phones • Make it clear to all listed in the document the hours they are expected to be available • Have everyone listed in the document review and sign • Stress the number of hours you can take prior to turning around a response
  29. Outline all Points of Contact (POCs) Types of people to

    include: • Your phone customer service team (if applicable) • PR lead/agency contact • website manager/agency contact • Lead for paid search/social • Lead for organic social media management • Product support contact
  30. Social Media Listening Tool selection • Make sure you have

    a tool that allows for quick integration into your social media management platform/process (vs. just creating reports). • Brandwatch + Hootsuite (or Spredfast) is what we’ve recommended to clients, but there are other tools that allow for that type of speed as well.
  31. Social Media Listening Key tips: • Monitor for your brand

    and larger keywords • Develop a process for how & what should be flagged (positive and negative) for further engagement by the brand handle/customer service reps. • Outline exactly what type of scenarios warrant proactive outreach.
  32. Hiring a Strong Team Sample of skills needed: • Specific

    platform experience (Facebook, Twitter, Google+/YouTube, etc) • Use of analytics tools (Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Radian6, Sysomos, Brandwatch, etc) • College grad with at least 3-5 years of experience • Previous experience creating social media editorial calendars • Can think on their feet with multiple deadlines • Can collaborate with colleagues at all levels of the organization • Thrives in a fast paced environment • Exceptional writer and editor, able to communicate concisely
  33. Train your team & keeping them up to date •

    Need to understand each platform - use help files, and Google+ communities. • Hootsuite certification (if using) • Inbound Marketing Certification (free) • MarketingLand • Social Media Examiner
  34. Monitor your staff The situation: President Obama mentioned his grandmother

    during the first presidential debate and KitchenAid send this tweet to its 24K followers: "Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president. #nbcpolitics" It turns out a member of the KitchenAid team had mistakenly posted it from the company account instead of from a personal handle.
  35. Internal Customer Service Rep Diaries • Have a source (Google

    docs, etc) where reps can leave each other notes • Log all new information from the end of each shift for the next person monitoring • Share relevant information back to webmaster/product team. • Even better - create a searchable database of answers that customers can use (Desk.com or Get Satisfaction)
  36. Avoiding Burnout • High volume monitoring and responding can be

    emotionally draining • Shifts need to be short -things can be missed with too much screen staring • Emotionally customer service staff need breaks to recharge • Encourage cross sharing of knowledge, stories, and successful tactics within the team. • Highlight successes
  37. Get Started Today • Set up social media monitoring -

    brand and your category keywords • Start to draft your own social media protocol document • Hire, train and set expectations with your staff • Select the tools for social media listening and management
  38. Key Takeaways • Your customers are on social and you

    need to be there to respond • A process and plan insures that your team is coordinated • Be clear about your customer service hours and time period to respond. • Be flexible with your process based on daily diaries. Your protocol is a living document. • Keep an eye on your staff for stress - too much screen time can lead to mistakes.