User Generated Customer Service Forums
There has been a proposition presented recently wherein an application is used to connect customers with problems to those with the answers, or at the very least advice. Many companies now use social media to communicate with their customers but very few customer service software successfully respond to the vast number of comments and more importantly complaints that they receive via these mediums.
Many customers have learnt that for a quick-fix the best route to follow if you have an issue is to ask the web as a whole – conduct research via a search engine and see what has been posted on the topic. Essentially this proposal is the same thing; it allows customers to respond on behalf of the company, reducing the number of enquiries that the company has to deal with.
The people to look for when establishing this type of community and recruiting those who can populate it, are people who are already active members on the company’s forums. These people are already enthusiastic about the brand so can act as good ambassadors for the company as well probably already having a very good knowledge of the products. The only additional aspect that is necessary for this, hypothetical, product to function effectively is a filtering tool that can see when someone is making a serious complaint or need specialist technical support – i.e. something that cannot be provided on what is essentially a community forum.
A further problem is that this study is specifically looking at the response, or lack thereof, by the company to comments, complaints and enquiries placed via social media sites. There will remain in place a system for customers to contact the company directly, via phone, email or letter and this proposed software will work to alleviate some pressure from both those working for the company and striving to keep up with the ever growing demand for contact but also those who are essentially working unpaid on community forums.
This software, were it to be picked up by the major conglomerates, would also aid the customer services that are already in place. The release of some of the pressure that is currently on the customer services teams to deal with the abundance of enquiries would allow them to provide a better service to those who do still require the traditional customer service.