Planning how to connect with your Customers on social media is evolving from an afterthought to a mainstream channel for Customers to use.

Some of the biggest brands have great social media Customer service teams in place on networks like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Some have not yet figured out how to leverage any of these.


What’s the first step?

Step One: Plan your service model. Before trying to decide if you should have just one handle, or several, for your brand (that’ll be discussed in a later post) you have to have a plan in place on how your team will serve your Customers. There are three basic service models, each with their own benefits and use cases.



As the name implies, the ONE-STOP model is used when the social media service team is going to be kept completely in-house and is completely empowered. Popular among brands that have minimal silos between internal business lines, the ONE-STOP model relies heavily on having the right team assembled with an array of internal connections. The ideal ONE-STOP team is able to resolve customer issues in-channel but this isn’t always possible based on industry and complexity of issue. If another channel is needed for resolution, the ONE-STOP team will be the ones that continue working with the client without passing to another team. This service model requires early concentration on team building and effective training calendars. The social media team manager should work with the business to include the team in inter-department training events and scheduling.



This team structure is common for highly specialized and separated departments. It also works well for Social Media As A Service (SMAAS – yes, it’s a thing!) customer service teams. The CONCIERGE model receives the customer communications from social media and forwards the concern to the appropriate department for service. The social media team can work in concert with the specific service team to communicate in-channel with the customer for additional details or to confirm the issue has been resolved. Using this model for SMAAS, the enterprise doesn’t have to staff up a social media team and can concentrate on resolving the root issue versus social media engagement. This includes regularly reviewing KPIs and searching for process improvements since the social media team not only helps resolve issues and identifies trends quickly.



This team structure is often used when new business lines decide it is time to add social media servicing to their repertoire of channels but is unable to add directly to the existing social media team. The existing team is usually an established ONE-STOP that handles a majority of service issues in-house. The new line of business develops the plan for escalating customer concerns, similar to the CONCIERGE requirements. HYBRID teams offer flexibility to larger brands that allow internal business lines to develop their own social listening and servicing plans at different speeds while not missing on the initial engagement by leveraging the established team. A HYBRID team is great for developing new listening and servicing platforms, such as adding blog monitoring to your existing use of Twitter or Facebook processes.


Why take this step?

You can passively control the language around your brand on social media by being an active participant in conversations. Increase your NPS, CSAT, and any other satisfaction model you use by creating advocates instead of adversaries. A strong social media Customer service team also reduces costs by reducing volume for traditional channels.



Have more questions about engaging your Customers on social media? Let us help you U.S.E. social media to connect with your Customers in a more meaningful way.