Social-Service Evaluation Framework

Products that Monitor Social Posts, Identify Customers’ Questions and Problems, and Help Deliver Answers and Solutions

April 5, 2012

Here we present our framework for evaluating social-service products that help organizations deliver customer service to the social web. Looking at four top-level criteria—customer service best fit, analytic functionality, customer service integration, and viability—helps you analyze and evaluate offerings’ capabilities in an apples-to-apples way, and makes it easy to determine which solution is the best fit for your customer service challenges. This framework also offers insights into how you can offer the best service to customers via the social web.

NETTING IT OUT

With so many customers spending so much time on the social web, it makes sense that there are now solutions that provide customer service through that venue. Social-service products help businesses deliver customer service to the social web by providing capabilities to monitor customers’ social web conversations, by finding posts about your company and its products, by routing questions and problems to your traditional customer service processes and systems, and by facilitating interactions with the customers who are using these social media channels to post their questions and concerns.

This report presents a framework for evaluating the social-service solutions that offer these capabilities. In addition to helping you analyze and evaluate offerings’ capabilities in an apples-to-apples way, the framework helps you determine which solution is the best fit for your customer service challenges, which one offers the best analytic functionality, which one integrates best with your firm’s customer service systems, and which of these products and companies are the most viable.

This framework is valuable not only if you are evaluating specific social-service offerings, but it also offers insights into how you can offer the best service to customers via the social web.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Answer Customers’ Questions and Solve Customers’ Problems

Customer service products help you deliver answers to your customers’ questions and solutions to their problems through their case management, knowledge management, account management, and social network management capabilities, capabilities that support self-service, assisted-service, and social-service channels. These products help answer and solve customers’ questions and problems about products and services, business policies, processes, and practices, or about the elements of their customer relationships such as accounts, bills, orders, and contracts.

Customer Service on the Social Web—Customer Social-Service

These days, customers spend so much of their time online on the social web. Some of that time is spent on the products that they use in their lives or that they use to do their jobs. They want help from their peers to learn about those products and the products’ suppliers, to get advice on purchasing decisions, and to get answers and solutions to questions and problems in installing and using the products. In other words, customers get customer service on the social web.

It certainly follows that businesses should deliver customer service to the social web. After all, following your customers on the social web makes you aware of their conversations about your business and about your products and services. You should therefore strive to ensure that the answers and solutions that customers receive from their peers are correct. You should also deliver the answers and solutions yourself, directly to customers, using the social web as a new customer service channel.

To help you do this, look to social-service products that are specifically designed to provide these capabilities:

• Monitor customers’ conversations within the volumes of posts on across the social web.

• Find and identify conversations containing questions and problems about suppliers’ businesses, products, and services.

• Route the posts containing questions and problems to traditional customer service systems and processes for appropriate handling.

• Facilitate interacting with the customers who post those questions and problems to deliver answers and solutions to them via the social web.

FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING SOCIAL-SERVICE PRODUCTS

This report presents a framework for evaluating products that offer these capabilities. The framework has these top-level evaluation criteria...

(Download to read more, such as the key characteristics for fast evaluation of Customer Service Products and Services...)


Sign in to download the full article

1 comment


  • ruthann.swain@gmail.com
    Ruthann Swain on October 31, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.
    It seems to me that companies are obtaining tools for the sake of obtaining them, so I love articles like this that walk them through the initial "what are you needing it for". But I also fear there is a real risk in believing the tools will be the fix, rather than the know how on what to do with the data the tools produce. Do you see this as a trend? I ask because I am job hunting and many requirements revolve around the knowledge of a tool (and they get really specific) and not really asking "do you know what to do with the data that comes out of the tool". In other words, do I have experience with Radian6? No, but I know what it does and I know what to do with the data that it would produce. But no one asks that question...so it is just making me wonder...
You must be a member to comment. Sign in or create a free account.