Hi there @[insert twitter handle], how can I #help?

About 10 years ago, we would have NEVER fathomed the idea of social media as a customer service tool. The rapidly growing pace of social media is acting as a unique asset for companies social pages to serve as a customer service resource as opposed to just a stale page featuring the company’s logo slapped everywhere along with some cheeky, eye-rolling worth content. Many companies today are utilizing these tools as a service where they can build a community with their customers and establish solutions and prompt responses to a customer’s concerns, questions and comments. Many find this to be a controversial topic as some believe that it is not leveraged well for customer service.

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So that really gets you thinking I am sure, who is doing this, why and is it working? Well let’s take a deeper look.

Airlines

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Ah.. the airlines. Dealing with cramped leg room, crying babies, ungodly amounts of turbulence and of course infamous flight delays. Doesn’t it sound like fun? Well personally I enjoy flying as it is convenient and a quick way to travel long distances but not everyone has the most pleasant experiences when taking to the skies.

With today’s technology on digital and social channels, consumers are turning to these outlets as a resource to vent their frustrations and seek answers to their concerns. Some airliners are embracing it like @JetBlue, @VirginAtlantic and @SouthwestAir, where others are still sitting on the back of the bus dazed and confused.

The three powerhouses on social in the airline industry as listed above have really utilized this resource as a customer service platform. JetBlue has taken this by the horns and ran with it… and may I say they have dominated. The quick response time they provide is powerful and the engaging activity and fun conversations they hold with their followers is creating a magical community on their social platforms. Both Southwest and recently many of the asian airliners have began to run with similar strategies and are taking the customer service industry by storm in just 140 characters or less in some cases.  

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Food Service Industry

V450zZ5Yes, we go to a restaurant and receive poor service so naturally everyone wants to complain. Many restaurants, such as @Starbucks and @PizzaHut are leading the way for their customers. Starbucks is brilliant at it ranging from turning a customer’s complaint into something magical through both Facebook and Twitter. They even got Taylor Swift involved without really trying.

Engaging customers in this realm as well helps create a fun and safe atmosphere where more feel willing to engage and contribute because of the relaxed and trustworthy atmosphere it provides through their content delivery and interaction with other social sources.

 

Twitter-Pizza-HutPizza Hut is doing great at this as well. By engaging quickly with customer complaints they are often times saving these customers because of their solid customer service through social. By addressing complaints constantly (because it’s always Pizza Hut’s fault… clearly) they are keeping customers coming back time and time again.

Are You Using It?

So that brings me to this: Are you using it? If you aren’t you really should be. The fact that social media has become so dominant recently and it seems everyone is on it, it is a great way to build further rapport with your consumers and become a digital industry resource. I mean think about the potential here. If you just put in a little extra love for your customers, it is likely to go a long way.

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2 thoughts on “Hi there @[insert twitter handle], how can I #help?

  1. Social media offers a tremendous opportunity for customer service and recovery, especially Twitter. The challenge for us as marketers is making sure that we have the resources to respond in a timely manner. What’s timely? Well, according to a survey by The Social Habit, 42% of respondents who had contacted a company on social media for customer support expect a response within an hour; 32% expect a company to respond within 30 minutes. And the majority of respondents (57%) expect the same response time at night and on weekends. At Akron Children’s, we strive to respond within 1-2 hours and that’s using an entire team of people. I think before companies jump into a new social media channel, they should make sure they have the appropriate resources to handle social customer service. Would you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea –

    I completely agree with you when saying timing is everything. You can be responsive on social media, but if it isn’t timely, is it really effective? Perhaps not. But then of course you have businesses who just purely don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with the social interaction. So is there a happy medium?

    I agree with you when saying if you are going to leverage this tool for your company, one should definitely be prepared with a team to handle the response. One night could be abnormally slow, but one thing blows up and you could have question after complaint rolling in like that. In my position as well, we strive to respond within the hour to our social consumers. We want to provide them with a positive digital interaction and strive to make their experience with our brand as seamless as possible. It really is a powerful tool if you use it right!

    I think there is a lot of opportunity for companies in general to use it to their advantage, it is just a matter of if they have a team in place and solid plan as well. So yes, I concur with you when saying that you have to have a strong plan and the bandwidth to handle it before jumping in head first.

    Thanks for reaching out!

    Kels

    Like

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