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Get Started with Social Customer Service

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Define social customer service.
  • Learn how a social customer service platform improves the customer experience.
  • Describe how your contact center becomes more efficient by offering social customer service.


You’ve logged in to your social media platform to respond to customer questions on Facebook. As a contact center agent for a swanky hotel chain, you’re proud to provide white-glove service. When you log in, you receive a Facebook message from one of your valued VIP customers:

Can you please find my reservation for next week and upgrade to a suite? Please don’t tell me to phone you. I’m too busy and just want this resolved. Thanks.”

Sounds like a challenge. Based on the message alone, you don’t know who your customer is or where they’re staying.

Thankfully, you’ve got Salesforce Social Customer Service at your disposal. You can reply to your VIP knowing exactly who they are based on their social persona. While confirming the suite upgrade, you notice that they often request extra pillows when they stay at your hotels. You send them a link to download your hotel’s app so that they can begin personalizing their stay with a pillow menu and room preferences.

Pretty awesome, right? Great social customer service embraces social media as another customer channel, in a way that feels seamless to your customers. Customers experience fantastic social customer service from forward-thinking organizations, and they begin to expect it. Surprisingly, 57% of contact centers don’t support social media inquiries. Those that do recognize that every social interaction is an opportunity to grow a relationship. 

Social media offers an opportunity for real-time connection with your customer. But if you don't have a clear picture of who your customer is, then you can’t fully leverage social media platforms to give them that stand-out service. Having the right strategy and platform in place ensures that your customers enjoy a seamless level of service, no matter how they contact you.

This unit introduces social customer service, recommends strategies, and describes the Salesforce technology that supports social customer service. 

Why Is Social Customer Service So Important?

Think about the last time a friend recommended their favorite new cafe. Their opinion and experience are pretty important, right? Nothing beats word of mouth for promoting your business, and customer experience drives word of mouth.

To build amazing customer experiences, you need to be where your customers are. More and more, customers are on social media, and their expectations for real-time communication are rising. Forty-two percent of social media users expect a response within 60 minutes. Twitter powers an average of 500 million tweets per day. However, 89% of social messages to companies are ignored because they don’t have the right technology in place to manage them. 

Customers expect you to know who they are when they contact you on social media. They want to receive the same customer service whether they pick up the phone or post on Twitter. When customers make contact over social media, they don’t like being told to make a phone call or send an email instead. Resolving questions quickly and efficiently across all customer service channels sounds pretty daunting, right?

That’s where a connected social data platform helps. Using Salesforce, your organization can bring sales, marketing, and service teams together on a single social media platform, so that they can collaborate together on the customer experience. That means customers have an amazing and consistent experience on social media, no matter if they have a sales, service, or marketing request. 

Customers have so many different ways to contact a company these days. Social media accounts are just as important as email addresses and phone numbers. Using Salesforce Social Customer Service, you can meet customer expectations by understanding who they are on social media.

Social Customer Service for Your Contact Center

Still not convinced how important social customer service is? Let’s take a look at some big numbers.

Statistic Description
Organizations that used social media for service now prefer it over traditional channels
Number of cases social agents can handle over traditional phone/email cases
Companies that plan to provide social customer service by 2020

Let’s imagine that, about a year ago, a chain of hotels, Glorious Stays, spent 3 months implementing Salesforce to manage service cases from every possible touchpoint: email, phone, mobile app, Facebook, and other social channels. By monitoring social media, Salesforce Social Studio automatically flags social posts containing specified keywords, then automatically creates cases and routes them to the relevant department.

Before Salesforce, 50% of the resolutions to customer problems involved a contact center agent. Now only 25% of those issues involve a conversation with a contact center agent. The remaining 75% are now solved with self-service content, deflecting these queries from customer service enquiries. Glorious Stays reduced its service-related operating expenses by 25% annually by investing in online customer service, including social capabilities.