Currently, the Bodybuilding.com’s social media team consists of six senior customer service representatives, with no more than three working at a time. The lean team responds to more than 2,000 social media interaction every day between the hours of 6 am and 11 pm.
The volume the representatives are able to handle is staggering, especially since all engagement is personalized to the individual customer. The retailer deploys no chatbot technology and answers every Facebook message, Tweet and Instagram post with a personally crafted response. The only automated communication customers ever receive from the brand is on Facebook Messenger confirming their message was received and that a representative will respond to them shortly, and when the social media department is closed for the day.
“If we are open customers get a response in less than an hour, usually less than 20 minutes,” says Glass. “We respond to messages in the order that they come in but we mark our All Access Members as VIP. When they reach out to us on social they are get helped first.”
Since the retailer isn’t leveraging any bot technology to aid in their social media responses the customer service team must have intimate knowledge of both the product array and individual customer’s history with the brand. The customer service agents have access to shopper order history, customer profiles, and all prior social media interactions to help craft the appropriate response.
“The great thing about the platform is that we can see that customer conversation history,” Glass says. “We don’t have to make them repeat themselves if there is a problem. Even if there is not a problem we can look back and see what we have discussed with them previously. This helps us target our questions in a way that is going to help push them forward, instead of making them repeat everything.”
The Bodybuilding.com social media staff is encouraged to make personal connections with consumers through the use of humor, tailored recommendations, and asking questions that make it clear the brand is truly interested in helping the customer reach their fitness goals. Representatives are encouraged to treat social media conversations how they would a face-to-face conversation with a focus on building meaningful and differentiated experiences for customers.
“The team doesn’t just reply to customers,” Glass says. “They go the extra mile. They review their profiles and look into their background to figure out the perfect response. We want every experience to be individualized. We put our representatives through a lot of product training and teach them how to ask the customer questions. We don’t recommend products unless they ask for it. But when they do we want to make sure we are recommending the right product for their particular fitness goals.