With modern technology, customer service has become more accessible and interactive via various social media platforms. Due to ever changing consumer behaviour and expectations, it has become the norm to send enquiries on social media in a bid to get a faster response compared to using email or the telephone.
In today’s business world, it is a common sight to see businesses availing themselves on different social media platforms besides email and telephone. Some of the highly popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok etc. This multichannel approach enables businesses to cast a wider net in an effort to try to capture more customers.
Though it is considered a good approach to provide many options for customers to reach you, as with every decision, there are always pros and cons. And one of the biggest cons is having to manage the mass influx of messages and/ or emails in multiple platforms.
According to data released in January 2022, 4.62 billion people around the world now use social media and 424 million new users have come online within the last 12 months. 42% of the population is spending longer on messenger services with an average time of 2 hours 27 minutes. Additionally, 319.6 billion emails are sent and received per day worldwide and on everage, employees get 121 emails per day.
Moreover, in a multichannel approach, an agent who connects with a customer by Facebook may not have any information about that customer’s previous interactions on another channel. Coupled with customer complaints, logistics issues, telephone enquiries, manual tracking of customer enquiries and input of information into the customer relationship management (CRM) system, it is without a doubt, a time consuming and inefficient process.
There is only so much that can be done within a day. It not only makes your team highly unproductive and stressed but also risks losing customers due to the slow response times and quality of customer service provided. So are there any tips for managing this mad influx? This is when message management comes into play.
Message Management In A Nutshell
What you need to do first is evaluate what you are using to respond to customers. Eg. Facebook and Instagram. Are you still using the native Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messaging app individually? Do you find yourself constantly rotating between them and wasting time, browsing through them manually?
To manage incoming messages, you need a way to track them or check regularly to respond in a timely manner. Facebook’s single inbox compiles the Messenger, Facebook posts and Instagram comments into one view where you can respond conveniently. You can also create a free chatbot for use in the Facebook Messenger especially when you have a high volume of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
However, if you are dealing with messages across multiple channels, a single view that consolidates messages in one place like Rych’s omnichannel platform where you can switch between sub profiles on multiple channels effortlessly and respond readily, grows your brand’s presence effectively. It helps to save time, disables the need for app switching and enhances more consistency as well as focus in responses.
Best Practices In Message Management
1. Set aside and stagger a specific amount of time
When it comes to facing the message inbox at the start of a work day, the time spent is critical to managing the day effectively. Set aside and stagger a specific amount of time to organise the messages by priority, category and assignee so everything is sorted out and filtered accordingly.
If your colleague is in charge of refunds, you can categorise and assign to him/ her immediately, reducing the number of messages in your inbox and giving you time to focus on your work.
2. Respond according to priority
Reply to urgent messages and those that can be resolved easily. Keep replies short and simple, to the point so whoever takes over in the next shift will be able to grasp the issue immediately.
When you have done the first best practice above, it makes the overall team workload easier to handle. When messages are labelled correctly in order of priority and assignee, they can be resolved faster.
Delete spam messages immediately and defer replying messages when you are not sure what is the appropriate response with a reminder to resolve later during the day.
3. Implement automation according to scenario
There are some predictable scenarios when it comes to serving customers. Eg. Frequently asked questions (FAQs). Customers are usually concerned with shipping, payment and size etc.
You can set up message templates to align with the specific questions, even infographics to indicate the answers the customers are seeking. If your brand is a clothing brand, you can have infographics for sizing charts for various types of clothes by gender so the customers have all the information at one go.
Another great automation tool is using chatbots. They are extremely useful during breaks, non-business hours and public holidays. The world of ecommerce does not pause at all, it is 24/7. When you have chatbots installed, customers will still be able to shop with ease and convenience, regardless of the timing and season. They can get their answers quickly via chatbots and make their purchases anytime they like.
An Omnichannel Platform Can Help Manage Messages And Improve Customer Service
Many companies are using the multichannel approach, thinking that they can capture more customers in this way. However, this is the wrong approach. Customers’ attention span is getting shorter due to advancing technology, inherent consumer behaviour and the availability of competitor brands in the market today.
They expect quick responses and unless your brand is offering something unique, it will soon become part of the mass monochrome aka large pool of sellers when answers to their questions are delayed, prompting them to buy from your competitors instead. I am sure you experienced it yourself personally as a buyer. When you send an enquiry, it takes minutes, hours or even days to get the answer to a simple question.
A great solution will be implementing an omnichannel platform for your business. Why? As similar as it sounds to the multichannel approach, it is in fact, quite different. An omnichannel allows you to access all the messages from various channels in one central place, they are consolidated in a single view so you know what is happening and how to respond in real time.
It syncs and merges the messages into one place, so you know the customer’s enquiry or reason for getting upset even when he/ she uses different channels to send an enquiry or to complain when there is a delay in answering. The chat history is readily available for resolution and/ or escalation to the management when necessary.
So instead of tracking different platforms and compiling the “conversation bits” before analysing and providing a solution, everything is there for easy accessibility to the team in one central server.
According to Invespcro, more than 80% of customers use social media to engage brands. 51% of respondents said they were very likely to become a repeat customer to a brand that answers their question on social media and 37% of consumers who use social media to complain or question brands expect to get an answer within 30 minutes. Engaging in customer service requests on social media is expected to bring in 20% to 40% more revenue per customer. Therefore, using an omnichannel platform is imperative to improving customer service and boosting sales.
In conclusion, when you use an omnichannel platform like Rych, it helps to improve your team’s communication as it provides access to an unlimited number of members. Available as a desktop and mobile app, your team is able to respond efficiently anytime, anywhere, amplifying the overall customer experience. Customer demographics, trends and team performance can also be tracked and analysed through data reports, making it hassle free and deeply insightful.