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#Engage 2016 pt 1 — Social customer care

Our key takeaways on social customer care from the Socialbakers Engage 2016 conference. Private messages on Facebook are now five times the volume of wall post

Last month, we attended the Socialbakers Engage 2016 conference in Prague. There were ~1,200 people at the conference from 50+ nationalities. This post has a recap of our key takeaways on social customer care.

Message volume is growing fast

According to Jim Edwards from Business Insider, private messages on Facebook are now five times the volume of wall posts (Full report)

Slide from Business Insider

The upside of the growth of private messaging is that social media fails are less likely to be public. The downside is that if you are doing a good job of customer care, you will be less likely to get praise in public.

Conversation length is longer in private messages. For public conversations, there are an average of 3 posts as compared to 5 posts for public messages. This implies that people are solving more complex issues in private messages.

According to Gert Wim Ter Haar from KLM, They have seen 250% YoY growth in messages and they are receiving a total of 13 messages per minute with 5 questions per minute coming via Facebook Messenger. KLM has a team of 200 employees handling 100k mentions per week. They provide customer care on Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, WeChat, LinkedIn, Vkonktate, Instagram, and KakaoTalk. KLM is the first airline to do deep integration with Facebook Messenger. They sent 115,000 boarding cards and booking changes through this channel in the first month (Video)

KLM social customer care

Companies have mixed feelings about bots

Gert Wim believes that automated bots on their own are not the solution. The right path is to combine people with bots. The answer should come from agents who are supported by the technology. There should be a bot on one end to handle automated questions and a human on the other end to do the personalized pieces.

Luca Deplano from Shangri-La Hotels said that they are not using bots because when customers connect with their hotels through social media, it is usually because the customers want to customize their experience. This makes it difficult to give standard answers

Some best practices from the presenters

Each hotel should build a team that can react on social. For example, there was a power and water outage in the city of Doha in Qatar. The Shangri-La Hotel in Doha was listening and made a post on Twitter to offer a 50% discount for that night. 250 people took advantage of the offer and stayed at the hotel that night

At most large companies, there is a dedicated social customer care team. According to Lawrence Yu from Lenovo, at the computer and electronics manufacturer, the product and sales people curate the complaints and feedback from customers and respond directly

KLM did an internal survey and found that when customers make a claim for compensation for a negative experience, they value empathy much higher than the actual monetary compensation. Essentially, showing customers strong empathy in a negative situation is much better for the customer than giving any compensation at all.

KLM has been able to generate 150,000 EUR per week from sales to service activities. They invested 3,500 EUR in a social payment link that customers can use for making booking and in some conversations they send the link to customers

Check out Part 2 of the recap for our key takeaways on social media marketing

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