Social media is more than a platform for brand marketing and advertising. It’s also a critical customer service channel that allows customers to communicate with brands in real time and vice versa.

According to the Sprout Social Index ™, 74% of consumers will reach the brands they follow in the social arena for customer service, so social customer care is a priority for every business.

When a brand provides quality social services, 44% of consumers say they stand out from the competition. But what makes “good” customer service? And how do you measure the quality of customer service?

We spoke to four social customer care and strategy experts about their customer service goals, best practices, and how to measure success. We’ll explain the four main goals, the metrics for social customer care, and what they’re supposed to be used for.

Your four main goals are:

  • Provide timely responses
  • Solve all problems, questions and requests
  • Offer 24/7 support
  • Increase customer satisfaction

So let’s dive in!

1. Provide timely responses

Key figures:

  • Average response time
  • Response waiting time
  • Time to first answer
  • Dissolution rate

How quickly a brand responds to social media contributes to its reputation for providing good customer service. While 79% of consumers expect a response in the first 24 hours of contacting a social brand, 40% actually expect a response within the first hour

“The main goal of any social customer support program should be to resolve problems quickly,” said Ellie Buckle, director of digital and strategy at Purpose Media. “Online customer support follows the same basic rules as in person, but many customers expect an even faster response time.”

Brooke Sellas, CEO of B Squared Media, also knows that time is of the essence in providing social support. “The biggest areas we look at when it comes to customer care KPIs are response times – how quickly do we respond to incoming mentions. And also the time to resolution – the tracked time between being mentioned in the social area through internal processes and ending with the social networking cycle being closed since it started for social purposes, ”said Sellas.

The Buckle team at Purpose Media also focuses on the time to resolution, also known as the rate of resolution. “When measuring the speed at which a complaint or question is resolved, it is important to keep a base time in mind. Then communicate proactively with your customers if you don’t want to achieve that goal, ”said Buckle. In other words, don’t let your customers down, speak up.

Sprout Social customer care features like engagement and inbox team reports make it easy for users to benchmark, measure customer service performance, and see if they are meeting their goals for timely responses.

The inbox team report is especially useful when you have multiple people responsible for providing social support through your smart inbox. The report breaks down response metrics by team member so each person can stay informed and accountable about their performance.

2. Solve all problems, questions and requests

Key figures:

  • Response or response rate
  • Total number of responses or response volume

Good quality customer service is not just about response times. You also need to resolve any problems, questions, and requests from your customers that require comprehensive support solutions.

In an effective inbox management, it is also necessary to know which incoming messages are to be answered and which can be marked as “done”. For example, compliments about your content don’t necessarily need an answer. However, when a customer sends a message about a product problem seeking a solution, it is important to let them know that you are on top of things.

“One of our main customer care goals is to make sure that both positive and negative mentions are taken into account. And when we measure the ROI of our customer care efforts, we look at different areas, including response volume and response rate, ”Sellas said.

The response rate is the rate at which brands respond to messages or comments they receive on a daily basis. Not every single comment or message needs a reply. So if your response rate isn’t 100%, don’t sweat.

Check out the social response rate benchmarks by industry to get a feel for how your brand is performing. Once you’ve established your own benchmark, the response rate can be a good indicator of whether you are receiving and responding to more or less support issues than usual.

Instead of manually calculating the response rate, the Sprout Engagement report can do it for you. The report also shows how your response rate and response time metrics compare to similar social profiles.

3. Offer 24/7 support

Key figures:

  • Overall unique users
  • Top received topics and subtopics
  • Most used quick answers

Timely customer service is also a must outside of business hours. In these cases, chatbots can have your back.

“The most successful companies also rely on technologies such as automated chatbots. They make brands less manpowered and able to communicate outside of business hours so that you have 24 hours to respond to all inquiries so your customers really understand the level of service they can expect from you, ”said Buckle.

Quick response to customer service, especially any time of the day or night on social media.

– Rick Nelson (@ Hawk8509) June 26, 2019

Sprout Social’s Bot Builder enables Edison (SCE) in Southern California to improve its service functions and ensure customer support.

“Customers can share details about their problem in one go, as the bot requests this information in advance. It does so before a human agent has to intervene, which reduces the back and forth, said Carollyn Montales, senior specialist in online community management at the SEC. “That makes the process more efficient because less time is needed to resolve this customer request.”

Bots not only shorten the time, but also collect qualitative data and feedback. Sprout’s bot reports allow users to get a complete analysis of how customers are interacting with chatbots and why.

You can use metrics such as the most frequently received topics and subtopics, and the most frequently used quick replies, to help you identify the topics that your audience needs help with the most. For example, if your target audience uses bots to navigate technical support, you can share that information with your product teams and proactively create content that helps customers.

4. Improve customer satisfaction and mood

Key figures:

  • Positive and negative mood
  • Voice of customer data

Social media users aren’t afraid to share their customer experiences online. Social media listening allows you to capture sentiment, collect feedback, and respond even when your brand isn’t tagged.

Oh no! It may take some time to get used to something new. Give it some time! If you have a specific problem or have any questions, please email us at [email protected]

– Native (@native_cos) February 9, 2021

Our own social team at Sprout also uses listening for customer care. “Our main social care goals are to answer all of your questions about Sprout, whether or not we’re engaged in a conversation,” said Olivia Jepson, social media specialist at Sprout. “We always monitor conversations about our content and products so we can listen to feedback, help solve a problem, connect our audience with our customer support team, or even share a new perspective.”

When using hearing for customer support, your primary focus should be on mood. Sentiment analysis, included in Sprout’s social listening tool, measures consumer perception of your products and services and shows how sentiment has changed over time. Sentiment analysis is a great addition to the data you collect from feedback forms and follow-up surveys on customer experience.

If you notice your mood is weakening, you can investigate what is causing the change in perception and correct the problem immediately. For example, let’s say you’ve set up a listening topic to capture mentions of your brand and online orders. When the mood takes a nosedive, you can click to view the messages moving the needle and identify the specific issues your customers are having, such as: B. Shipping delays or order exchanges.

Make outstanding social customer care a brand standard

Whether you are a social media team dealing with social support, part of a dedicated support team, or somewhere in between, base yourself on your customer service goals. Then, when you measure social customer care performance and metrics, you can customize your customers and be more responsive to them.

Would you like to get to know your customers on a deeper level and develop targeted customer care content? Listen to the customer’s voice. Download this guide to learn how VoC data can help you make better business decisions.