Wait, what? Are you sure? Content has been usurped?
Just ask any one of the SXSW panelists who presented “Facebook Customer Service Challenge for Brands” and the answer is a resounding “yes.” The new saying goes:
Content is Queen. Customer service is King.
In chess, the queen is the most powerful piece and can move in any direction. But as soon as you lose the king … checkmate … you lose.
So why is it that in 2011, 56 percent of the top 50 Facebook brands never responded to any customer comment? Additionally, 94 percent of those pages directed users to a one-way communication page, such as a tab or a closed wall. Does that mean that most top brands are losing the game?
They may not be “in check,” but it would appear they aren’t trying hard enough. The SXSWi panel suggested the following considerations when tackling customer service on Facebook:
- Curtail the impulse to say, “It’s impossible.” While it may seem overwhelming, take small steps to constantly improve. Hire more team members, anticipate posts, develop a response strategy, invest in the necessary tools, etc.
- Anything you can solve in public, solve in public! It shows authenticity and brand involvement.
- Engage your Super Fans. Use them to help respond and solve customer problems.
- Cultivate an open line of communication with your company’s product/service managers. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how good your Facebook customer service is if you can’t use the feedback to improve the source of the problem.
- Encourage authentic conversation and limit automated or canned responses.
And as you prepare for and manage Facebook Timeline, there’s one additional customer service channel to plan for: the direct message. The DM really deserves its own post, but here’s what you might not know: It’s optional! If you’re not ready to handle it, turn it off. You can always flip the switch when you’re ready.
So while it’s easier to broadcast than it is to engage, is the payoff as sweet? And more importantly, are you putting your king at risk?