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Three Social Media Trends in Customer Care

The following is a guest blog post by Jeff Toister,  Founder of Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. Click here to view the original post on the Toister Solutions website. 

A story about United Airlines and leggings recently went viral.

The gist was the airline was accused of denying boarding to two teenage girls because they were wearing leggings. There’s more to the story, but in the rush to share the news, many reporters wrote misleading headlines or got critical facts wrong.

It all started with a tweet from an uninformed bystander.

Tiffany Funk did an excellent job covering the story on the One Mile at a Time blog. It’s an excellent read that reveals many facts and misunderstandings.

What jumps out at me is this story presents a reminder that social media is increasingly critical to both Public Relations and Customer Care.

I turned to the new 2016 Customer Experience Benchmark report from Execs In The Know and COPC, Inc. for the latest trends on this important channel. You can purchase the full report on the Execs In The Know website (it’s a comprehensive read).

Here are some of the highlights that really stand out for me.

Trend #1: Which Department Owns Social Media?

In a situation like the one United Airlines faced, ownership is critical.

It was part Public Relations, where members of the public were outraged because of some false information. It was also part customer service, where the bystander sending the tweets to @united was still a United Airlines passenger.

That means these functions must work closely together, but only 21 percent of companies surveyed share responsibility between customer care, PR, and marketing. Here’s the breakdown:

One positive sign is that more companies than ever before are providing their social customer care agents with training.

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Here’s What’s New In Social Media Customer Service

The following post is a guest blog from Jeff Toister, Author, Consultant and Trainer at Toister Performance Solutions. Click here to view the original post.  

Social media is still an immature customer service channel.

That’s apparent when reading the latest Customer Experience Benchmark report from Execs In The Know and COPC, Inc. This report is the 2015 Corporate Edition and was published in 2016.

I previously analyzed their 2013 report and their 2014 report and came to the same conclusion each year. Most companies still don’t get social media as a customer service channel.

Six years ago, I did my own tiny social media study. That’s back when the Starbucks Twitter profile said that some guy named Brad did the tweeting. Things are pretty much the same as even back then. (Except for Brad. I’m not sure what happened to him.)

In this year’s report, I did see a glimmer of hope that more companies are starting to catch on. Social media customer service is still far from maturity, but it might be entering it’s adolescent years.

Below are three of the more interesting trends revealed in the report. You can also purchase the full report from Execs In The Know. It’s full of intriguing insights on social media plus more traditional channels (phone, email, etc.) and emerging channels like self-service and chat.

Social media concept

Trend #1: Ownership

More customer service teams are getting involved, and they’re getting more resources to do it. It still isn’t great. Here’s the breakdown of who owns the social media function:

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