Social Customer Care Has A Scaling Problem

Matt Wilbanks
Mar 28, 2017 · 3 min read

Today, at HelpSocial, we announced a few big things. You can read the press release for details on the 2.0 version of our Open API platform, the addition of messaging apps into our family of social networks and our new usage-based pricing model. But here, I’d like to call attention to why we made the decision to move in the direction we’re going.

It’s been a little over 3 years since the first announcement that we were starting HelpSocial. Since that day, nearly 100% of our sales calls have had the same things in common:

  • Businesses are having a hard time dealing with the gaps between the siloed social care team and the rest of customer service.
  • Social care teams are almost always under-staffed relative to the growing, incoming traffic volume.
  • The cost of social media software is too high for them to scale to the numbers of agents they need to.

We combed through all of this data, and did a thorough cost/benefit analysis of social customer care. We looked at the probability of social care making it as a main stream service channel in enterprise contact centers like live chat, tickets, phone and email all have. We thought the probability was high. After all, if social care is usually less than $1 per conversation, compared to an average $6 on the phone, you would think businesses everywhere would be pushing to replace their phone lines with Twitter handles.

However, our conclusion was that if things continue the way they have been with the current social media software market, social customer care will never scale as large as it needs to in order to stay ahead of customer expectations. The costs to a large brand are too high (and getting higher) to scale over large numbers of agents. The analysis showed clear value in social care but revealed major problems holding it back.

You can get a copy of the whitepaper from our pricing page and read through it .

Something has to change. When we look at our market of social media solutions we see nearly the same thing everywhere — web applications, most of them originally built for marketing purposes, designed to keep social media siloed within their digital walls. We see an overcrowded market, full of copy-cat web apps that needs to be disrupted, if businesses are going to be able to scale their service quality in social media.

Over the last 3 years, we have been consistently pulled toward the value of our Open API. Businesses see it as a way to take control over their use of social media. They see it as a shortcut to creating their own monitoring systems and bringing social and messaging capabilities into their own service applications. We’re embracing this.

With the Open API, we’ve solved the technical challenges of scaling and offer a myriad of ways to bridge the gaps between social teams and everyone else. With our new usage-based pricing model, we’re removing the financial barrier that keeps social customer care restricted to small numbers of people inside a single team. With these updates, there is no limit to how high a business can push their quality of service or how consistently an enterprise brand can respond instantaneously to a social customer.

We’re seeing more software companies build our social features into their products. We’re seeing more brands realize they can customize their approach to social care. We are very excited about the direction this is headed and what it means for every SMB that can’t afford the big social suite platforms and every enterprise that’s hit their financial glass ceiling for social media service performance.

If you’re curious about how this might work for your own business, . We’ve even added a calculator on our site here where you can see your estimated monthly costs and compare them to what you’re currently paying for traditional social media software.

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