5 Things to Know Before Getting Started in Social Care

 
According to McKinsey & Company, 70 percent of companies are trying out some form of social customer care.  And with good reason, 71 percent of consumers who’ve had a good social-media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. One company, Hyatt Hotels, is setting an example and standard for social customer care. 
 
Dan Moriarty, Hyatt Hotel’s Director of Digital Strategy & Activation, recently shared 5 things he wished he knew before undertaking a social care program. Whether you are just getting started, or you’d like to take stock of your existing social care programs, take these five lessons to heart. 
 

1. Nothing matters more than the people behind it.

When you build a social customer care team, your people really matter. The ideal social care representative understands both your business and social media. Look for internal candidates that already have customer-facing experience such as providing care in another channel like phone, email, or chat. Candidates that are personal users of social media are more likely to understand the context and culture that exists on these channels. 
 
The x-factor? Personality. When we interact with brands on social media, says Moriarty, “…none of us are stupid. We all realize that we're actually connecting with a human who's behind it.” Hiring people that can express their personalities and bring themselves to work can lead to more authentic, personal interactions with customers.
 

2. You need to invest in new methods of training.

Once you’ve hired a team that is great at customer service and has a personal understanding of social media, you need to put the pieces together. According to Moriarty, “There's a big learning curve around some of the benefits that you get out of doing customer care well on social such as earned media that you get from Retweets of customer messages.” 
 
Ongoing training can be used to communicate business context, clarify workflows and process, and keep employees up to date on technology use and best practices. Moriarty has found sharing examples of great social guest interactions to be an effective training tool. Proactively highlighting positive behaviors has meant less need to intervene reactively.
 

3. Picking the right technology partner is absolutely crucial

“You have to pick the [partner] that's right for you. The one that reacts to the needs, the way you are going to staff against this, the global footprint, the hours. All of that sort of stuff has to go into determining the right platform. Make sure that you've got a technology which is not only good for you today, but has a road map that's quite aggressive against where you want to get to.”
 

4. Connection and education of operations teams.

Outside of your customer support center or marketing department, social customer care may still be a foreign concept to the rest of your organization. Don’t forget to involve any other teams that will actually be responsible for resolving a customer’s inquiry. 
 
These team members— everyone from your operations team to sales representatives at your local stores—need to be educated on the value of great social care and the process to make it happen. 
 

5. There’s no such thing as a beta test.

When Hyatt first started out in social customer care, it was an experiment. Moriarty talked to his team and decided, "We're not going to really learn if this is going to work or not until we just do it." 
 
What happened next? “…In our first month, we responded to 7,500 guests. And our CMO came to me and said, ‘This isn't a Beta test. We can't stop talking to our guests. We have to figure how to actually do this now.’” Once you’ve opened up social channels to care requests, you can’t stop responding—it’s the equivalent of leaving your phone receiver off the hook. 
 
Take Dan’s advice and spend time at the outset building a plan with the right people, process, training, and technology in place. This will help ensure your social care efforts don’t fizzle out.
 
Want more inspiration from Hyatt on how to build an exceptional social customer care program? Download this free case study
 
 
cdoman@spredfast.com's picture

Courtney Doman

@cjdoman
Courtney is the Content Marketing Manager at Spredfast. She focuses on sharing smart social ideas and insights to transform the way companies connect with consumers. Courtney is a passionate football fan (supporting Arsenal and the USMNT), curious traveller, and ambitious home cook.