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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 14, 2016

Expert: Why private networks may be better than social

Recently, Twitter announced functionality that would allow businesses to turn their profiles into a social network based customer service option. While some customer service questions can be answered in the social space, one expert believes there is a better CSE option for brands: private networks.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why is 'social service' not a great idea for businesses?

Matt Gillin, CEO, Relay Network: In this new age of communication, consumers expect interacting with businesses to be as easy as talking to their friends. At the same time, more brands are making efforts to 'be where their customers are,' thus the increased corporate presence on social media. Consumers have a tendency to take to social media for an airing of grievances, displaying their dissatisfaction for all their followers to see. And for businesses, the platform is often inefficient. Most problems can't be wholly resolved on social, so service reps end up directing customers to the private channels like phone, email or a portal for more help.

Kristina: What is a better option?

Matt: [Businesses] should use the social platform as a touchpoint to bring customers into their own, private channel to get things done. Only on your own network can you get past incremental requests and offer the things that are really important: security, trust and long-term relationship building. By establishing a private network and a single, personal communications thread with a customer, you are creating the sense of security and trust that is crucial to long term relationship building.

Kristina: Why might this work better for brands?

Matt: When interacting on a company's own network, customers can get the help they need without blasting information to their followers; more importantly, they can feel confident that the information they share and receive will remain secure. [Also] by using one single thread to handle customer service inquiries, businesses can see the full picture of a customer's history, account information and previous inquiries all in one place. This way, any rep can provide better, more personalized customer service - no matter who served them last time. [And] with a 1:1 connection on an 'owned' channel in place, businesses can use data from customer inquiries to anticipate the customer's future needs and deliver experiences that guide them through a specific journey.

Tags: customer service trends, Relay Network, social customer service, social marketing

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