When it comes to resolving customer issues and giving them superlative service it has been a topic of debate whether Social CRM scores over Telephonic support. Here is how each can improve the customer’s life.
Social CRM attempts to engage with the customer in a more direct, one-to-one fashion. It is the use of social media services, techniques and technology to enable organizations to engage with their customers. Social CRM incorporates the customer’s social media interaction into the CRM by tracking the customer’s queries, suggestions and complaints systematically using Social CRM tools.
Many experts however argue that phone support is essential. “I’m not sure I would ever recommend ceasing the availability of the phone as a (customer service) channel,” says Andrew McNair, head of global benchmarking at Dimension Data. “The telephone is still an absolute necessity. It’s not a good idea to get rid of the phone entirely.”
Kate Leggett, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, says “If you are focused on customer experience as a competitive differentiator, you may not necessarily want to be eliminating the voice channel,” she says. “Across all demographics, voice is still the primary communication channel used.”
Current research supports this claim. Consulting firm Fifth Quadrant found that for 71 percent of consumers, talking with a live agent over the phone was still the top preference, especially for registering complaints (66 percent), making purchases (62 percent), and asking technical questions (70 percent).
That’s not surprising, given that the phone has the highest query resolution rates, according to Fifth Quadrant’s research.
Part of the reason for this, according to McNair, is that many customer issues have grown in complexity and can’t be easily resolved through an online forum or question-and-answer database.
The benefits of phone support include being able to hear the representative’s voice, talking to an actual person, being able to use the customer’s own voice and feeling the emotions connected while talking; Also many people can talk faster than they can type.
However, some of the biggest headaches with phone support still remain — long wait times, background noise, slow response time, etc. Moreover lack of a toll-free number, unreliable free chat widget and no dedicated staff to resolve queries add to the problems.
For today’s youth, logging into a computer and typing rapidly is second-nature, whereas picking up the phone and actually calling someone is often an alien notion. This helps companies stay up-to-date, hip and connected to young, tech-savvy customers.
Another true advantage of ticketing systems comes with their mobility. Powerful tablets and smartphones and developers of cloud-based applications did not leave any customer support team waiting. Questions can be answered anytime you want and everywhere you want, without people even knowing you are not in the office.
In social CRM, the customer is actually the focal point of how an organization operates. Instead of marketing or pushing messages to customers, brands now talk to and collaborate with customers to solve business problems.
Statistics show that missing out on Social CRM is hardly a matter of choice for any burgeoning business. Customers are much more likely to spread positive word regarding a business if they get quick, satisfactory responses on social media from the business. In another survey, around 43% of customers ranked direct responses from businesses as the most important feature of their customer experience. But even amidst such a high demand, a meagre 36% concur that their online queries are resolved in an acceptable manner. All this shows that there is plenty of room to grow in the Social CRM space. What’s more, customers are conscious of great customer support, and will in fact reward businesses for providing it.
In this day and age, where efficiency can make or break a business, using crm with social media integration to deliver customer support is imperative. The math is heavily skewed in favor of businesses that are able to deliver robust customer experience through Social CRM. Jacob Morgan, co-author of “Twittfaced,” describes the difference between traditional customer relationship management (CRM) and social CRM as “Social brings a new element into CRM because now instead of just dealing with data and information we are dealing with conversations and relationships. These conversations and relationships take place not just from company to consumer but also from consumer to consumer.”
Phone support as a standalone support channel could create major problems, for everyone involved. So while many companies are still making the investment in phone support, they are adopting strategies and infrastructure and using Social CRM to provide great customer service.
Tags: Digital Marketing, Konnect Insights, Social CRM, Telephonic Support