Sean Valderas, the Social Care Manager for Microsoft Mobile Devices (formerly known as Nokia) joined the Socialbakers editorial team to discuss how his brand went from being underperforming to Socially Devoted - and he has some invaluable tips for other Social Managers who want to replicate that type of success.
Every quarter Socialbakers releases our Socially Devoted initiative to identify the brands that are providing the highest quality of social customer care to their customers. One of this quarter’s winners was Microsoft Mobile Devices, which made a concerted effort over the last year to categorically improve their social customer care. Their latest improvement has come in Question Response Time (QRT). In Q4 2013, it took them over 500 minutes to respond to customer questions – but by Q2 2014, they cut that down to just 178 minutes.
In order to congratulate their success and spread the word about how to improve social customer care performance, we decided to interview the Social Care Manager, Sean Valderas, to understand the key necessary steps to become Socially Devoted! Let’s see what he has to say about it.
When I took over leadership for our largest support presence on Twitter (@NokiaHelps) in the second half of 2013, it was clear that we had a challenge on our hands to meet the growing demand for social customer support. Our response times were both erratic and generally much higher than what is commonly associated with “Best-in-Class” service. Steep spikes in response times associated with fluctuations in volume had to not only be normalized but lowered significantly. So we defined new team targets for both response times and response rates, and set about taking the steps to hit those targets.
Our initial step was to determine the productivity of our teams engaged with customer care in English and find areas where we could increase effectiveness and gain efficiencies. We did just that by combining our English support teams, @NokiaHelps and @NokiaCareUS, as well as adding additional resources. This resulted in a more optimal utilization of resources by allowing us to shift personnel to where we needed them the most, in order to meet spikes in consumer support demands. We also analyzed activity trends and adjusted operational hours according to the times that the majority of customers were engaging with us on Twitter.
Another key step was when we implemented a new social execution platform which provided a more optimal workflow for assigning, tracking, and closing cases. We made it so that when a case was assigned to an agent, it would be placed in their queue till completion and not be accessible to other agents – that way, we knew who was working on what at all times, and never lost track of assignments or had redundant work being done. Dashboard metrics also provided greater visibility of agent performance and task completion, thus allowing us to clearly focus on areas for improvement in agent performance.
Other key activities in our performance turnaround included greater hands-on coaching of team members, a rewards and recognition system for team and individual performances, and a work environment optimized to help us retain key skilled personnel.
With focused attention and a lot of hard work, we have been able to not only exceed our performance targets but also raise the @NokiaHelps team into a recognized global performer for customer care on Twitter.