The very public face of customer service

Part 3 in our series of blogs in honour of National Customer Service Week.  Today we’re looking at the (very) public face of customer service.

Social media as a CX channel

Social channels are increasingly being used by brands not only to increase awareness and market their wares but also to interact with their customers.

There is some great advice out there on how to use social channels effectively.  And this advice is evolving all the time as customers become more demanding and sophisticated, and brands have to find new, better and faster ways to respond.

Consumers are online and on social media a lot of the time, and so it follows that when they want to raise a query or solve an issue, consumers across the globe prefer to get help in the same way.

There are plenty of surveys reporting customer perceptions of speed of response.  According to JD Power, 67% of consumers have  engaged with a brand’s social media for customer service needs.  Other surveys claim over half of users expect a response on social media within an hour!  And if you’re complaining?  Well, an even faster response is expected.

Tweet your concern

In a study I was involved with a couple of years ago, we found that the only channel through which you could guarantee a response was Twitter and in my own experience it’s true!

It’s the very public face of customer service where there’s nowhere to hide: customers, and prospects, can see first hand how a brand deals with issues.

I recently had occasion to raise a ‘delay repay’ claim with South West trains.  The claim page accessed via the app wasn’t working so I resorted to Twitter knowing I would get a response.  Sure enough, within the hour I had a response giving me the customer service number to call and get the IT issue sorted.

Handling Twitter correctly is obviously key.  While there are plenty of stories of employees losing their job because of poor Twitter judgement, it can also be a force for good in a business.

An ex client of mine reported turning 80% of negative tweets into a positive experience for their customers by having the right team taking ownership of the matter being raised to them via their twitter channel.  Here’s some other great examples.

Chat live

But it’s not all about Twitter or indeed the other social channels: one of the growing mediums is Live Chat.

Again, I had a great experience just the other day, this time with Bristan.  I needed new parts for a shower and, with all things plumbing, I was unsure of the parts, how to fix and so on.

During two Live Chat sessions I was able to get an entire instruction manual, a repair diagram, identify the right parts and get a quote.  I was even advised that I could look for the parts online using the part numbers in case I could find them cheaper elsewhere.  Needless to say, I checked and I couldn’t!  Parts were ordered and arrived within 24 hours.

Bristan clearly have a well-defined process and have put a sophisticated system in place to solve customer queries (I was even able to upload a picture so they could identify the right product) and trained the employees well.

Social customer service

So, it’s an exciting time in the world of social customer service as it evolves and grows along with the expectations and needs of the consumer.

As a result, understanding those needs are key to developing the service channels and if that’s something you’re thinking about we’re happy to help.

If you missed our first two blogs in the series, catch up on the recipe for customer service excellence and how to create a detractor.

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