The face of customer service and customer satisfaction has changed in recent years. It used to be that customer service was managed as an in-store experience, then telephone, then the web and now customers have experiences across thousands of touch points or more. Social media has changed the way the customers want to interact and certainly the pace by which they expect to be interacted with. The numbers are there, hundreds of millions of active blogs, over 175 million registered users on Twitter, Facebook gets over 600 million visits /month and media outlets like Huffington Post reach over 30 million people / month. All of these sites offer the ability to easily post anything to entire networks of loosely coupled “friends” in a way that creates a permanent digital record that is easily accessed by any search engine.
If customer satisfaction is a result of the combined experiences that a customer has over time, then every touch point presents an opportunity to improve or diminish overall satisfaction. The challenge is the daunting amout of new possible outlets that customers use for those experiences that companies have to contend with. As noted above, the numbers of people using social media and the amount of new social media channels being rapidly adopted are simply impossible to keep up with.
Up to now, dozens of vendors in the space have customer satisfaction indexes, net promoter scores, customer service measurements, etc to help companies keep track of their progress with customer satisfaction. They all use different techniques to measure and capture sentiment including “secret shoppers”, exit surveys, online questionnaires, complaint websites and even better business bureau scores that are reactive in nature. In today’s ever connected world, companies cannot afford to measure their effectiveness quarterly or even monthly. The social web never stops working and customer service departments need real-time or near real-time measurements to stay on top of emerging issues.
So what is a good customer satisfaction score? Today companies throw parties if they reach the 90′s out of 100. However, having just one un-satisfied customer can be REALLY bad like here and here. With the rising level of engagement using social, is it even reasonable to strive for 100% satisfaction? To answer that question, you would have to assume that every customer is equal. With new ways for customers to publish content, there are also new ways of measuring the quality of a customer as well. Should you treat customers with a high Klout score differently than customers with a lower one? Does an unpopular tweet by a customer with 30k followers make them more right than an unpopular tweet posted by someone with 50 followers?
The social web has certainly changed the way that customers expect to be treated and, consequently, the way that companies now have to start to manage customer satisfaction efforts. How this ultimately plays out is still unknown as companies are still at the very first stages of trying to solve this vexing challenge. To help us better understand the issues and help us start to discover possible solutions is our host this week Meg Fowler. Meg manages public relations/social strategy for @Sametz and is a treasure trove of great information. She will moderate our topic today and questions:
Topic: Changing the Approach to Customer Satisfaction with Social Media
Q1: What is a good customer satisfaction score today — and why have/haven’t our goals changed?
Q2: Is the customer always right in social media?
Q3: How can companies shift to respond to the new reality of customer satisfaction?
Please join us in this online chat on Tuesday, May 3 at noon ET. Follow #sm109 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live. The format will stay the same with the first question starting at noon and a new question coming every 20 minutes at 12:20 and 12:40.