Social customer service: How do you measure performance?

We were recently asked to contribute to an article by Neil Davey of MyCustomer, based on a number of questions relating to social customer service and how to measure performance. You can view the full article here:

For the record, we’ve listed all of the questions posed by Neil below and provided our answers in full. Please do contact us if you have any of your own thoughts on this interesting topic.

Why is it vital that organisations measure the impact/performance of their social media customer service endeavours?

For too long organisations have been focusing on measuring sentiment on social media – i.e. how many positive / negative / neutral brand mentions that they receive across channels like Twitter and Facebook. On other customer contact channels, like voice, they actively capture post-interaction feedback and measure customer satisfaction. It’s important to do the same across social channels so we can start to measure the positive impact of social customer care.

What are the main obstacles that organisations can encounter when trying to measure performance and impact?

We don’t think there’s been a big focus on capturing a customer-driven, tangible metric for measuring social customer service. That’s changing – even Twitter has recently announced their own native CSAT feature:

This is a simple 0-10 score. It’s a start. But, so much more can be achieved if we drive customers to a dedicated, post-interaction survey and capture verbatim comments. More importantly, we need to be able to capture these scores and comments and deliver them into a series of real-time views and reports.

How can organisations overcome these obstacles?

As with other contact channels, train agents to deliver social customer service and then automatically look to invite the customer to complete a short survey. One of the real benefits of doing this on social media is to be able to compare the initial sentiment of the conversation with the resultant survey. This gives us a tangible way to measure the uplift in customer satisfaction (or social advocacy) as a direct result of our social customer service endeavours.

What metrics do you think are most appropriate for measuring social media customer service performance and impact?

Quantitative metrics should include the % of mentions managed and the time taken to respond. It’s also important to measure ‘reason codes’ (or nature of the enquiry) and the ‘resolution codes’ – i.e. whether the query was resolved or no action was necessary.

In terms of qualitative metrics, we should still be measuring sentiment, although we would recommend a 1-10 scale on sentiment to help identify high praise or strong dissatisfaction. But, through surveying, we should be gathering customer-driven metrics on customer satisfaction, customer effort and NPS (Net Promoter Score).

Can you share any final pieces of advice when it comes to measuring social media customer service?

We would say that the key measure here is to compare social sentiment on the way in, with customer satisfaction on the way out. By harnessing a 1-10 score at each stage, we get a tangible metric to measure the positive impact of our social customer service. We then get to track how our social customer service team improves customer advocacy over time. We can even start to quantify a tangible ROI for our social customer care teams!