Why Social Media is Important Customer Service Channel? - TELUS International Europe

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  • Why Social Media is Important Customer Service Channel?

    What is social care?

    The rapidly evolving shift in how we communicate and connect with each other requires companies to rethink how they interact with customers. Social customer service is rapidly becoming the new, critical channel to drive satisfaction and loyalty. Our colleagues from TELUS International call this activity “social care” and it’s defined as the efforts employees make through social media to care for customers. social media

    Organizations are at different stages of maturity of their social care programs. Some are only listening to customers via social media using “voice of the customer” information to improve marketing, products and support. Others are regularly engaging with customers and realizing positive outcomes including reduced contacts into other support channels.

    An opportunity not to be missed

    A tremendous new customer service opportunity has emerged with the adoption of social media by consumers and the ability for companies to effectively listen to and track conversations about their brands. Interestingly, these efforts aren’t necessarily confined to traditional contact center agents working in customer service departments. We’re finding some companies empowering not only their well-trained customer service reps, but also a select group of engineers, product managers and even executives. Tapping into the larger talent pool is one of many strategies companies are using to provide positive customer experiences on the social web.

    What are the benefits of social care?

    Social media is opening a back door into customer service, forcing companies to formalize their approach to social care. If customer support is done right, it can generate more positive sentiment than overall brand sentiment.

    Well-executed social care can actually raise the social brand perception for the entire company. This isn’t a surprise when you consider that customer service is a major consumer touch point and, therefore, a driver of overall brand sentiment and a contributor to brand equity.

    Social care is different from traditional voice, email and chat support because social care conversations are public, often permanent and can easily go viral. When people talk about a brand, it’s often about product-related issues or negative customer service experiences. Companies recognize they need to engage customers in social media, but the typical approach is to build a “social team” of marketers and PR managers. While professionals in these disciplines can effectively communicate corporate messages, they aren’t typically equipped with the tools or experience to solve customer problems. Gartner predicts that at least 35% of customer service centers will integrate some form of community/social capabilities by 2013.

    “In 2010, only 5 percent of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes; however, customer demand and heightened business awareness is making this a top issue among customer service managers. At current trajectories, within five years we expect that community peer-to-peer support projects will supplement or replace Tier 1 contact center support in more than 40 percent of top 1,000 companies with a contact center.” said Mr. Kraus from Gartner.

    Providing a good customer experience is more important today than ever before, as positive and negative word-of-mouth spreads quickly on the social web. Companies need to actively shape the conversation by engaging customers before and after purchases.

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