Facebook to “scale up” customer service offering

Facebook is improving the customer service it offers to brands, developers and individual users after admitting the current offering is not up to standard.

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The social network is scaling up its user operations team, which handles individual complaints and queries, and is also adding more resources to the site for developers and brands to refer to when they have questions to ask.

Speaking at Conversocial’s Chinwag Live, Gavin Sathianathan, Facebook’s strategic partner manager, said the company is currently dealing with customer service queries “badly”, because it is still relatively small in size compared to Google, Apple and Microsoft, yet receives a huge volume of queries, especially after its recent design overhaul.

“We are getting better at it…we are very data driven in terms of how we evolve our product. We may not explicitly hear your query, but we will passively see it. The solution is a combination of algorithms and human power. Between those two solutions we will try to crack it,” he said.

Facebook has a series of algorithms with which it assesses how people use its various products, which it uses to address customer service queries. Brands only receive specific behavioural data – but not private details about individuals – about their own Pages and headline information about the areas of the site that are most popular with users.

The site also has a Help Centre that contains FAQs and a series of specific Pages, such as Facebook Studio, which encourages marketers to share their campaigns and boost advertising on the social network.

Sathianathan said: “There’s no way we are going to have a one-to-one conversation with every customer, which is why we are scaling up our solutions and putting up more tools [like the Studio] as we try to take a pragmatic approach to service.”

Facebook also announced last month it is set to launch improved analytics tools for agencies and brands to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

At the event, some CRM executives and agencies raised their concerns about Facebook removing the “Discussions” tab from company Pages in its latest update, which is where the majority of users raise their customer service queries, rather than the more public wall.

Sathianathan said the Discussions tab had to go because the company has to be “ruthless” with its products that are under-utilised, adding that Pages are flexible enough for developers to create their own customer service discussions tools should they need them.

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