How to integrate social media with customer service — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Travis Kenney of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

10:15 —'s Kurt Vanderah introduces Rogers Communications' Keith McArthur, Rogers Communications.

10:16 — Keith: If you're going to try to help someone, make sure you're really helping them. You may take complaints on a form, but is your customer really being helped? How?

10:17 — Keith: 150 million tele-com customer service calls in Canada each year. At least 5x a year, a customer calls their provider with a question. That's at least $5 cost per call — it's a big opportunity to use social media.

10:18 — Keith: 92% of people say customer service rep's happiness impacts the brand. 89% want to get the same feeling through the brands' social channels.

10:19 — Keith: Sell it. HIPPO = highest paid person's opinion. When it comes to customer care, make sure you're aligned with what your executives want.

10:20 — Keith: Why are you doing social customer service? To improve customer satisfaction? To lower call center costs? To learn from them about how to improve products and services?

10:21 — Keith: Or just jump right in — that's what I did. For the first few weeks, I just watched the flow of conversation and didn't respond. I wanted to understand what our customers were concerned/talking about on our social channels. What key words were most common?

10:23 — Keith: Build it. When it comes to customer service, there is assisted support. How can we help? Authenticate customers and help them. Unassisted support: provide social media content or forums for customers to help each other.

10:24 — Keith: Scale it. Take what works really well. Triage/routing system. Use software to determine which channel issue should be routed to.

10:25 — Keith: Measure it. Deferred calls/costs. # accepted solutions, # users, customer satisfaction scores.

  • ROI = Net benefit – costs
  • Net benefit = % resolved x % deflected x total visits x variable call rate

10:29 — Keith: Master it. Mortons steakhouse case study: connect customer service stories with your PR department. How do you/can you tie a customer's social profile to your CRM?

10:30 — Keith shares the Westin story: No shampoo — it all started with a Twitter exchange and then took it offline. Came back to a bunch of shampoo. Tied his Twitter account to his Westin account. Found out he likes Diet Coke and BBQ chips and had them waiting for him on his next stay.

Q & A

Q: Where is the line between awesome listening and creepy listening?

A: Keith: People find listening/responding via social channels less creepy than a few years ago.  People know brands are listening. You need to understand the relationship  Are you interacting with a blogger/influencer or is there a relationship established yet?

Q: How is your social customer team structured?

A: Keith: Hub and spoke model. First couple of years, helping people but social team didn't have access to customer accounts. Now we use Lithium's socialware that will triage the messages.

Q: When you pulled people from traditional call center roles to social customer care, did you do anything to change their mindset?

A: Keith: We did extensive training and took senior people from call centers who we knew would conduct themselves well.