Social Media is no longer something that can be overlooked by companies. And presence in social networks is not enough. Customers are not just expecting but demanding that companies engage with them via Facebook, Twitter, etc. But companies still struggle to manage those channels and find it very difficult to manage the volume and type of interaction.
Some pioneer companies and social media specialists have been doing it for a while. And it is definitely worth looking into what they are doing, and adopting similar strategies and approaches, to address the different challenges.
- Which messages are actually worth responding to?
- Could those messages be segmented in some way?
- To whom should those messages by assigned to?
- Where can responses be composed and recorded?
I would advise companies to respond to as many messages as possible, negative and positive. To definitely segment them by type, in order to assign them to the team or person that can provide the best (or more accurate) response. Here is a good approach (from Symantec):
- Request: customer is requesting help to resolve an technical issue. These should be assigned to the Technical Team, for them to troubleshoot and respond, as soon as possible (ideally within the hour).
- Question: customer is asking a question, that is not necessarily pressing but needs an informative answer. These should be assigned to the Support Team, for them to provide the right answer (possibly in a knowledge-base).
- Abuse: customer is insulting your company, and may have a basis for doing it. These should be assigned to the PR Team, for them to assess and take any necessary brand protection actions.
- Praise: customer is praising your company, after a wow moment. These should be assigned to Marketing Team, for them to take the opportunity to leverage the advocate customer and her story.
- Lead: customer is hinting that he may switch from competition or considering buying from your company. These should be assigned to the Sales Team, for them to follow-up and convert the opportunity.
- Suggestion: customer is requesting a product enhancement. These should be assigned to the Product Management Team, for them to consider if it is worth to add to the roadmap.
- Fraud: customer is engaging with an unauthorized provider of your product. These should be assigned to the Legal Team, for them to follow-up with official and/or legal action.
Finally I would suggest all engagements take place in, and from, the Customer Management (aka CRM) platform, or alternatively from a social media management and engagement platform, that can easily be integrated with the CRM, so that your company can enrich the customer record, creating a full and complete view that will help and support future engagements and initiatives.