5 Tips on Training Agents for Social Customer Support

Most contact center agents have most of their experience in providing customer support via phone and email. Many of them are experts in private one-on-one interactions with customers.  Social media requires a different type of interaction because each social media channel is unique and public. A customer service response on Facebook is very different than one on Twitter. Whether it’s a new agent or one with years of experience, they can be trained to provide great customer support through social media. Below are 5 tips to keep in mind as you train your agents for social customer service.

  1. Provide knowledge of social channels

Don’t assume that because someone is familiar with social channels they’ve used or fully understand them. It’s important to provide a basic knowledge of how to us5 Tips on Training Agents for Social Customer Supporte each social media service and how to best provide customer service for each channel. Help each agent set up their accounts and provide them with guided interactions.

  1. Train through role-playing and simulation

Develop a series of trainings designed for beginners, intermediates and advanced users focused on skills that will be used at each level. If you have agents already savvy in social media, use them to train and mentor other agents. Simulations or role-playing exercises will give the agents the ability to experience interacting on a social media channel. It also allows the trainers to focus on additional help that is needed specific to each agent. When training with simulation, it’s important to give real-time feedback by offering an evaluation at the end of training.

  1. Establish best practices for all social media channels.

Because social media is public and customer interactions can be shared with millions, it is very important agents are provided the resources they need to respond appropriately to customers. Establish a best practice resource that agents can quickly access. The best Facebook responses will be too long for Twitter. Your resource information needs to include basic responses, phrases and examples specific to each channel.

  1. Determine the brand “voice” for social media interactions.

As part of your guidelines for agents, you need to determine what brand “voice” you want them to follow. It might be business professional or casual and friendly. The agents need to be consistent with this while maintaining flexibility It is important that the interactions seem personal to the customer they are servicing.

  1. Start and complete an interaction on the same channel.

When agents are engaging with a customer through social media, there are often other people following the interaction. This is why it’s important to end the customer conversation on the same channel it began. An agent may have to take the interaction offline because of sensitive information, but it’s important to wrap-up the conversation on the original channel. By doing this, followers will see it was resolved and prevent potential problems.

More and more consumers are choosing social media for customer support. This requires well-trained agents who understand the social channels and how best to interact with customers.  Taking the time to provide quality training to agents will give them the foundation they need to deliver exceptional social customer service and great results for the company.

Stratus Contact Solutions is an expert in social media customer service.  Learn more.

Source:  The Multichannel Agent: A 2014 Contact Center Roadmap Research Report and Best Practices Guide