“To speak to a customer representative – please press 2”
Gone are the days when we picked up the phone to ask a query of our local council. With the rise of social media as a service delivery channel, organisations have adopted the new technology and face the challenge of providing a positive experience to the public.
At the recent Social Media for Government Summit, local government representatives talked through managing public queries through digital channels and the transition from traditional call centres to digital ones.
Despite digital channels being a comfortable place for recent generations, having a call centre is still imperative for local governments whose constituents can range from 12—100 years, with varying degrees of digital literacy.
How then, do these small organisations (with limited budgets) manage the growing demand of service delivery requests on social media?
The City of Ballarat is just one of the councils that have recently begun upskilling their customer service team. “These are the people who understand the type of questions the public is asking, they have access to all the relevant documentation to provide fast answers, and we see it as important to upskill them in the latest technology” said Communications Officer, Alicia Thomas.
For traditional customer service teams this means learning how to respond using social media, but also understanding that these new channels require a different (slightly less formal) tone to their previous communication through emails and over the phone.
City of Darwin’s Danielle Avolio says “it’s about bringing people within your organisation along on your social media journey. Sometimes the barrier is just that they aren’t aware of what is happening in the space. We work with our customer service team to discuss social media as a response tool and workshop how we can support each other to provide a better experience to the public.”
City of Melbourne’s Cushla Travers says, “social media inquiries are public and need to be managed with care because they are visible to not only the public, but the press as well.”
It’s exciting to see local government take the lead on responding through digital channels, especially when commercial organisations are adopting a similar mindset.
At Brolly, we support organisations to confidently engage with the public by making sure their connections are covered. As Australia’s only social media archive, we ensure your conversations are protected and that you can recall them when needed. Contact us for a 30-day free trial today.