How to harness the benefits of social media customer service software for your clients

Customer churn isn’t always something you have control over. However, businesses in the United States do lose $35.3 billion every year due to avoidable customer experience issues that result in churn (CMS Wire).

Social media is an important communication channel. Ensure you create content that connects with your audience by downloading our free “White-label social media checklist” now.

Implementing social media customer service software can help you and your clients reduce this unnecessary churn and provide better customer experiences. Keep reading to learn more about how social media and customer service go hand-in-hand and how the right software tools can help.

10 ways social media customer service software helps improve customer satisfaction rates

Implementing the right software tools and processes can help teams respond faster, engage customers better, and create more seamless processes. Consider these 10 ways these tools can improve your agency’s customer satisfaction rates below.

1. Real-time response and quicker resolution

Good social media customer service tools make it possible to foster faster response and resolution times for customer issues. Customers and clients know that roads aren’t always smooth, but they expect quick resolutions when potholes show up. In fact, customers are 2.4 times more likely to stick with you (or your clients) if problems are solved quickly (Forrester).

The right tools let you approach customer service proactively. You don’t even have to wait for an individual customer to lodge a specific complaint. Social monitoring and listening can help you understand what issues might be brewing so you can inform your client or take action to resolve problems associated with your own brand or services.

2. Efficient management of customer inquiries

A fast response isn’t the only thing customers expect—they also want an accurate response that resolves the issue. The best customer experience occurs when that resolution comes on the first call or chat and the customer isn’t routed through various departments or waiting on a return email or phone call.

Good customer service software lets you match customer needs with the right personnel for a first-contact response, enhances workflows, and makes it easier for each team member to find and enact the right solutions.

3. Enhanced customer engagement and brand reputation

Unhappy customers are much more likely to leave reviews than happy customers. Only around 10 percent of customers that enjoy a positive experience leave a review (Luisa Zhou). That means you need many happy customers to build a bank of positive reviews and enhance brand reputation—and potentially counteract the impact of any negative reviews you receive.

Software solutions that support efficiency, proactive responses, good communication, and other traits of good customer experiences help engage consumers, foster loyalty, and increase positive reviews.

4. Improved customer experience

CRM social media marketing tools let you provide an enhanced customer service experience from the very start. Positive customer experiences can go back all the way to when consumers first become aware of a brand on social media, strengthening the funnel and resulting in more conversions later.

5. Effective tracking and analytics

Return on investment (ROI) can be difficult to prove for social media work. Sure, you can point to vanity metrics such as likes, comments, and shares—but do those consumer behaviors on social convert to actions that support business goals?

Tools that include social media and customer service reporting and analytics help you answer such questions for clients. For agencies, this is a must-have to keep clients engaged and loyal.

6. Automation and chatbot capabilities

Modern social media tools for customer service include many features that help you do more with less so you can scale your agency. Chatbot capabilities help you answer common questions anytime, even when you don’t have staff available. And automation can make all types of tasks easier, including creating responses to messages and comments or appropriately tagging posts so the right consumers can find them.

7. Collaboration and teamwork

Your agency probably does a lot more than provide social media ideas for businesses, and you need tools that support the whole process of collaboration with your clients. The right software lets you engage with client subject-matter experts seamlessly and invite applicable people from both sides into the content creation and consumer engagement workflow.

8. Integration with CRM and business tools

Social media integration is critical to the success of businesses today. The messaging you do and relationships you build on social media shouldn’t exist in a silo, but your team probably doesn’t have time to manually move important information and relationships from social to other tools. Strong integrations with CRM and other tools let you streamline these processes and even sell directly from social platforms.

9. Scalability and customization options

Good customer service tools and social media resources can support flexibility that helps you scale your business while providing better service for agency clients. Here are just a few examples:

  • You can easily scale up to take on more clients
  • Agency services for each individual client can scale to support growth for the client—such as offering more posts per month, tighter response times to messages, or handling other platforms
  • You can offer flexible plans that let clients scale social media up and down to meet seasonal needs
  • You can customize services to meet the specific industry or business needs of each client

10. Reporting and performance insights

With specific, real-time data related to the outcome of social media efforts, agencies can become more agile. Your teams can tweak their approaches proactively to provide the utmost value to every client. That includes learning lessons on the fly about what works with various audiences and industries, and those lessons can be applied to future client work to continuously improve your offerings.

Key features and factors to consider in social media customer service software

To enjoy the benefits described above, you must find the software that works for your agency and clients. Consider some factors below and how these features might work for your agency when shopping for social media customer service software.

Ticketing and case management software

Ticketing systems let you organize work into various workflows and queues. You can route customer service requests and other work tasks to various teams or team members, and the best social media customer services tools include automation that facilitates the transport of work in real-time.

For example, a customer might send a message on social media that says they want to return an item. Automated software reviews the message in real-time and notes the presence of language about returns. It can create a ticket and route this message to a team that handles return or refund requests.

Integration with social media platforms and monitoring tools

When providing social media for reputation management services, agencies must be able to conduct viable social monitoring and listening. Look for software solutions that include social media intelligence or integrate with third-party monitoring tools so you can:

  • Remain aware of the overall consumer sentiment surrounding your clients’ brands
  • Listen for and respond proactively to specific consumer concerns related to products, services, or the brand
  • Keep your clients informed about audience awareness and what actions might be best for their brand on social media

Automation and chatbot capabilities

Agency growth typically requires automation that helps you address client and customer service needs without constantly adding to your in-house staff. Think about ways software solutions help you create customized, human-centric services without people handling every tedious task required to get the job done.

Some examples of these types of features include chatbots that can answer tedious, common questions about business hours or product availability or AI that helps teams form responses to comments quickly.

Scalability and customization options

Ensure whatever solution you choose will scale with you as you grow your agency and supports agility as you customize options to serve each client. You might want to consider whether white-label social media management is right for you, as it can help you provide high-quality service at scale without drastic human capital expenses.

Integration with existing systems and platforms

Make a list of all systems and platforms you currently use and why. If the solution you choose doesn’t replace an existing feature, it must integrate with the software that already provides for that need.

User-friendliness and ease of implementation

Social monitoring and listening, customer service, and social media marketing are all complex tasks. Some software designed to support these tasks is also complex, and that can be frustrating to your staff and clients. Consider how easily you can integrate a solution into your agency and what impact it will have on employees, business partners, clients, and your bottom line.

Customer support and training resources

The right support from your vendor can make implementation seamless. Look for solutions that include ongoing support via chat, email, phone, and other means as well as robust knowledge bases you can turn to when you have questions.

Top 10 social media customer service software tools

Not sure which social media customer service software is right for your agency? If you’re selling social media packages, one of the options below might be right for you.

1. Vendasta’s Social Marketing tool

Social Marketing is a white-label tool you can sell under your agency’s brand. You can also use it yourself to provide scalable, flexible social media management services to your clients while improving customer experiences. Here are just a few features that make Social Marketing a top pick for many agencies.

Plan and schedule social media posts

Social marketing lets you publish content across various social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google My Business, from a single dashboard. You can schedule posts, so you don’t have to create and publish client content daily. That lets your teams work in more efficient batches, creating content for the entire week or month.

Comment management for better customer service

Teams can manage social media comments directly from a single dashboard, which reduces the chance that customer issues might fall through the cracks. It also helps create a customer-centric community where the brand is seen as responsive and caring.

Manage posts for multiple locations

Franchise and chain businesses can manage content on multiple pages quickly. Dynamic posting options let you post once and push customized content to each location page so every audience feels seen and spoken to.

Review analytics and metrics

You can review detailed post performance for messaging across platforms. Teams can keep up with metrics including likes, follows, comments, and shares as well as business-facing KPIs like click-through and conversion. This real-time intelligence lets agencies make proactive changes that continuously push the needle on performance and support customer satisfaction.

2. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a well-known contender in the niche and offers the ability to manage social media posts and profiles from a single location. It includes social listening and monitoring tools, and agencies can create and manage logins for multiple team members to support collaboration and workflow.

Overall, the design of Sprout Social is intuitive and fairly easy to learn. This supports rapid implementation of the tool, and the software also includes decent reporting tools to help track metrics and performance.

Previous and current Sprout Social reviews do highlight issues with customer service and support (Gartner). Users note that support can lag when needed and that communication issues may create challenges. Another potential downside to this software is the price, especially as you need to add users.

3. Reputation

Reputation is a platform designed to enhance brands’ understanding of feedback. The platform gathers huge amounts of data, including solicited feedback in the form of reviews and surveys and unsolicited feedback in the form of social comments or other content. The platform helps teams convert data into actionable insights that brands or agencies can use to inform customer service and marketing strategies.

A benefit of this software is that agencies can manage reputations for dozens or hundreds of brands. Teams can understand consumer sentiment and put social listening to work proactively.

The downside is that the vast amount of data Reputation collects can be overwhelming, especially at first. Teams may also have to engage in manual work to clean up data, especially for multi-location businesses where some locations have shut down.

4. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a comprehensive tool that helps you manage customer feedback and other communications across an array of channels. That includes social media as well as SMS text, email, live chat, and phone calls.

One of the features of Zoho Desk is a time tracker that automatically captures time data for each task. This can be valuable for agencies that bill by time or for teams that want to understand efficiencies, coach staff into greater productivity, or desire to learn how much time various types of issues take to resolve.

Reviews from previous and current Zoho Desk users do indicate some challenges when it comes to flexibility (Gartner). Locked fields, inability to share tickets across organizations, and limited custom fields can make this solution harder to integrate into larger agencies.

5. Gladly

Gladly is a customer service solution that collects customer information and feedback from across all possible channels. This way, customer support staff have the most comprehensive picture possible when working to resolve issues or serve customers.

Benefits of Gladly include an intuitive organization that makes it easy for many customer service reps to learn and rules options that help you automate workflow and inbox management. Real-time chat features help support collaboration within companies, agencies, and teams.

Bandwidth can be an issue for the software, though, which can slow down during busy times. The price is also high compared to some other tools, and you must pay to connect resources such as phone landlines.

6. Freshdesk

Freshdesk supports customer service organizations by converting all manner of incoming client feedback into standardized tickets that can be routed and handled via workflows. It can accommodate information from chat, web, phone, email, social media comments, and messaging apps.

One big pro of Freshdesk is that it unifies feedback and the customer journey into a single story. This reduces confusion and communication issues for staff and helps them address the customer’s needs quickly.

Freshdesk is fairly expensive compared to other similar products, though, and may not be right for small business or agency budgets. Reporting and customization are also somewhat limited.

7. Qualtrics CustomerXM

Like many other solutions on this list, Qualtrics makes it possible to gather feedback across numerous channels and address it in one location. This platform pulls customer feedback data from 128 data sources over 27 channels, including social media and review sites like Foursquare.

One of the most popular features of this software is the ability to create and launch customer surveys to get targeted feedback. Built-in data analysis tools help teams turn feedback into actionable data points.

However, this component is only one of many Qualtrics solutions. While each solution works on its own and can integrate with other resources, they are designed to work best together. Some Qualtrics functions aren’t extremely intuitive, which can create a more intense learning curve.

8. Zendesk

Old-school help desk solution Zendesk keeps up with modern customer service needs by providing options for conversing with customers across all types of channels. This software supports social messaging apps as well as voice, chat, and email communications.

The software is user-friendly, especially for teams that are already used to working with customer service tickets. Zendesk also supports comprehensive customer service and integrates with many other solutions.

While the concept of the system and the user interface are both relatively intuitive, Zendesk provides so many customization options that it can be overwhelming to set up. Reviewers do point to some issues with getting the support they need (G2).

9. Intercom

Intercom is a customer service software that includes automation to help reduce labor costs.

You can set up an automated chatbot to answer common questions, and customer service staff can easily see previous conversations to get a full picture of the customer’s needs when helping them.

Some users note that pricing is confusing and that delays in the system sometimes cause hiccups when assisting customers—especially over the phone (G2).

10. ServiceNow Customer Service Management

This solution offers a way to bring customer service resources together so they can work to resolve issues or provide service to clients. You can manage task delegation and workflow through this system, and it comes with service-level agreement dashboards to help keep everyone on the same page.

Organization seems to be a key component for ServiceNow. Teams can use it to house documents, reduce paperwork tasks, and schedule and manage projects.

Pricing structures can make this solution unfriendly to some budgets. You may need to purchase licenses for users as well as integrations.

Frequently asked questions

Can social media customer service software help me track and analyze customer feedback?

Software and automation tools make it possible to gather large amounts of social media data, including customer feedback, and convert it into actionable insights. You can track and analyze the data as well as respond to it appropriately. Some tools also let you collaborate directly with customers and streamline communication and troubleshooting processes.

How do I measure the success of my social media customer service efforts using software?

Analytic tools provide insight into a number of key metrics to help you understand the impact of customer service efforts on social media, including engagement metrics, conversions, sales, and repeat purchases. These tools often include social monitoring and listening options that paint a picture of what your target audience is saying about you and how a brand is perceived in general.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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