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Defining the line between Social Customer Service and Community Management

social customer serviceThere is a line between social customer service and community management. However, that line is often blurred and highly debatable. While social customer service and community engagement go hand-in-hand, some organizations choose to keep the two separate, while some community managers argue that they do the work of both customer service representatives and community managers.

In their post Social Customer Service is NOT Community Management, TheSocialCustomer.com uses the following situation to clearly state the reason they believe social customer service and community management should be kept as two separate jobs.

Joe has a negative customer service experience. Joe tweets about it. Jane, the brand community manager, reaches out to try to help. Jane asks Joe to DM (private message) with more information. Joe sends a DM and gets no response. Joe sends another DM and gets no response. Joe gives up.

The blog goes on to explain that this type of failure occurs for the following reasons:

Lack of tools and experience: Social community managers are hired to engage with customers. They do not necessarily have the tools and experience to solve customer problems the way customer service experts would.

Lack of Support: Community managers may not have enough experience to know that they need more support, or may not have the right leadership ready to provide them with the support and resources they need.

Lack of Process: Once they identify issues, community managers most likely pass them on to the customer service department. However, without a defined process and tools for tracking progress within that process, they have no way of following up on issues she has shared. Depending on what type of tool they are using, community managers may have little insight into the messages they have not yet responded to.

Lack of Accountability: Community managers may not be effectively measured by on their performance. Without a full feedback loop, nobody knows about their areas of opportunity for improvement until it becomes a PR crises.

OneDesk bridges the gap between Community Management and Social Customer Service

OneDesk’s built-in social media monitoring tool allows community managers to monitor comments about their brands. From there, they can identify issues and immediately classify them as problems.

The issues can then be found in OneDesk’s Cases page, which was developed with customer service and support teams in mind. From there, they can be analyzed, linked to requirements, turned into tasks, and implemented, all while keeping the entire team on the same page. Companies can also choose to keep customers in the loop on how their issues are progressing. OneDesk helps tie issues found on the social web to an established social customer service process; issues will reach the right people and get solved quickly.

What do you think? Should social customer service and community management be kept as two separate jobs? Share your thoughts with us.

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