Make it easier for staff to respond to online requests

online-csIs your online presence a mish-mash of comments, social media feeds, third-party apps, and secure messaging?

This usually means that the staff members who are tasked with responding to member concerns are overwhelmed trying to keep up with all of them — and the other parts of their jobs. Do they put off responding to the negative Yelp comments until tomorrow or wait on the Facebook messages? And how long has it been since they checked the unapproved blog comments?

Here are some tips to help you make it easier for your staff to respond to online comments — and provide better member service in the process.

Get your contact options under control

Transform the way your members can contact you to help your staff do a better job of responding to them.

What is your favorite way for members to contact you? Secure messaging within online banking? Email? A contact center tool outside of online banking? Decide what works best and point everything else there.

Start by turning off Facebook messages. Then create a contact button that leads to the place you want your members to message your team.

Then turn off comments on the blog and your website.

Work the preferred contact method into your Twitter profile, Yelp info, and any other sites you and your members use to talk about you. Also add it to your after-hours phone message, to help train those members of the best way to get help.

Automate what you can

How many members try to cancel a lost card or check their balance with an email or blog comment?

Once you’ve got your preferred contact tool set up, consider setting an automated reply that gives members advice on some of those pressing needs they want to handle and an idea of when they will hear back. This is especially useful on the weekend, when it may be 48 hours before a members gets a response. If all they need to do is dispute a charge in online banking or call the right number to cancel a card, give them the info they need to get that done before the office opens again.

Make sure you’ve got enough staff to handle requests

If your members are still waiting too long to get a response to an online request, maybe you need more staff. Can you front-load the contact center schedule so one employee can dedicate their first few hours to online messages received over night or over the weekend? Or hire a floater to fill in as needed?

Also, make sure the people who respond to online comments have a clear chain of who to ask when they need help. Sometimes the harder requests have to wait while a member services specialist tracks down the manager or director they need to approve their message or solution. Streamline process with a list of personnel who have to sign off or be involved in the most common thorny issues — and designate one person as the primary contact for things that veer off this list.

Have you been overwhelmed by online comments? Tell us how you solved that problem in the comments.