IT support in a social networks era

May 13 2016

We can’t ignore the contribution of social networks for IT support departments.

Now more than ever, it is essential for companies to be listening to what the customers have to say and answer their questions promptly. Social media tools like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook are now the norm for interaction between customers and companies.

Social media is becoming increasingly important in our lives, both personal and professional, and all the experts agree, it will continue to grow. To be on top of things in the coming years The "Social Help Desk" will have to be an essential part of your solution.

According to a recent survey, 44% of social media users now share their complaints via a social platform, and 57% prefer to find their own online solutions to their customer service issues. But the most worrying statistic is that 60% of companies do not bother to respond to their customers on social networks, even when they are asked a very specific question.


You can’t ignore social networks!

Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ are free services that enable sharing of information very easily. Besides being free and hyper-functional, it is everywhere, and accessible at all times!

Twitter, for example, can be used to deliver critical alerts on system status. Even if your internal systems are out of service, your employees can still tweet using their own device plus you can also inform your users of the situation quickly and in real time.

  • They are adopted by all! Although generation Y’s has adopted them several years ago, the baby-boomer is the most increasing age group of new users of social networks. If your parents or even your grandparents talk about social media, it would be foolish to ignore them. Furthermore, no training is required! Your customers are already very comfortable with these applications; no change management is required at this level either.
  • They are here to stay! They were easier to ignore a few years ago, but there is no doubt that companies like Facebook and Twitter are now, here to stay. Additionally, these tools are already developed for mobile devices. It is therefore extremely logical to use them to optimize your services.
  • Emails are no longer as efficient as before. How many emails do you receive daily? Be honest, do you read them all? While on the other hand, your news feed on social networks are much more personal and targeted to your taste and to your interests. It is important, to create content an environment where your clients will feel supported and valued as they do on social platforms.


Spice up your life

For IT pros, the social network of choice should be Spiceworks, with a massive community of over 6 million IT professional and more than 3,000 vendors this is where, as an IT pro, you should spend your time. If you have any questions or just want to exchange knowledge with people who share the same passions and interest as you, Spiceworks is the place to be.  Not only will you be able to learn about your industry but you can also get help resolving issues you might have been having trouble with for some time. 

The "Social Help Desk" will have to be a part of your company’s future customer service experience but it can also be rewarding for you to know that other IT pros are experiencing the same issues as you are and what their solutions are. Using social networks to help you and your customers that’s a win/win .


The benefits of integration

Just like with your self-service portal, your users will get through the channels of social media and they will have their questions answered more quickly. Your workload will benefit, and your IT support team can focus on the more important and difficult issues.

Social platforms also act as a forum in a very organic way. Your users exchange between each other on these platforms. They have found ways to make unusual or routine tasks effective with workarounds to circumvent systems bottlenecks as well as new uses for the available software. By screening these exchanges, you can discover information that your business would have missed otherwise.

In addition, this information becomes easily accessible to everyone in the workplace. Novice users who are less agile in a highly technical environment easily understand how to give or get answers via social media.

It also allows companies to get to know their customers more personally and find out more about their daily lives in order to provide an adequate service. Some companies have even opened their social media platforms to internal customers, providing access to privileged information.


The challenges

Forums or discussion groups are very popular and overloaded with information; it is impossible for anyone to track, monitor, respond and organize useful data. The data that would be useful is therefore buried under a pile of other information.

They can surely be a source of misinformation. A user may have developed a way to bypass certain processes or procedures, and the misinformation could spread like wildfire. Soon many users might develop bad habits, and you can have a very good reason why the workaround shouldn’t be and why it’s a bad idea.

Social media can also be dangerous for your company's reputation. It only takes one unhappy customer or an employee who is having a bad day to cause a wave of negativity.


In conclusion

The client services assistance via social Medias has surpassed the traditional way to engage with clients; it becomes a part of your brand.

The social network's growth has been staggering. This means that for every 5 minutes spent online one minute of those is used on social platforms.

On the plus side, with Twitter and its 250 million tweets per day and Facebook and its 900 million users, it gives your company an amazing visibility. With adequate social customer service, it is now possible to turn your customers into a viral tide for your brand.

Don’t forget to supervise and validate all the information that is circulating about your brand and the images circulating and all will be great.

So why not be a part of the social change! 

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