Customer Service is a Social Business: Integrating Social Media Into Your Customer Service Strategy

Customer Service is a Social Business: Integrating Social Media Into Your Customer Service Strategy

Over the last 10 years we have seen a number of social media platforms emerge and evolve into something more than just another way to communicate with friends. Today, brands use social media to create and maintain customer relationships and as part of their customer service strategies.

Customers want their problems solved quickly and long waits for the next available customer service representative can fuel a difficult situation. Many customers aren’t hesitating to share bad experiences with their social groups on various networks and online communities. In fact, 62% of customers report having used social media for customer service complaints. It is much easier now to voice concerns about someone or something on the internet than it is to solve it in person or over the phone. Brands and marketers can easily see where and what is being said with reputation management tracking techniques and by utilizing trending topics. For some brands, actively occupying the social media space is a necessity and an affordable opportunity to join the conversation and address the needs of the social-media savvy customer.

The top 10 customer service brands on Facebook according to Socialbakers:

  1. KLM
  2. T-Mobile USA
  3. Sony Mobile
  4. AirAsia
  5. Sephora
  6. Tesco
  7. Nike Running
  8. Next
  9. Redbox
  10. Virgin Media

However, merely having a presence on social media isn’t a silver bullet. Companies still need a strategy to manage and facilitate customer service online.

When a customer tweets or posts a complaint, a brand usually does one of two things.

1. Respond promptly and make every effort to resolve the issue. This shows potential customers that the brand cares, and would do the same for them in a similar situation.

2. Choose to ignore the issue. This happens more often than people think and in some cases it is the best option. Companies need to set clear guidelines on what constitutes an actual customer service issue versus someone just complaining because they know brands are listening. This can be a fine line and even major brands have missed the mark in this area.

Twitter, which turned seven last week, is one of the most popular platforms for businesses to connect with customers. Social media analytics company, Simply Measured, reported that 99 of the Top 100 brands have twitter accounts. Also, 30 of the top 100 have Twitter handles specifically designed to deal with customer service issues.

The top 10 brands with Twitter handles, ranked by engagement:

  1. @BlackberryHelp
  2. @NikeSupport
  3. @AskAMEX
  4. @SamsungSupport
  5. @Microsoft Helps
  6. @NokiaHelps
  7. @UPSHelp
  8. @DellCares
  9. @FordService
  10. @YahooCare

The 30 brands with separate Twitter handles sent out 82,000 responses to more than 198,000 inbound tweets in a single quarter. The average response time was 5.1 hours after receiving the mention from the customer.

Most twitter users expect to receive a response within an hour after tweeting their customer service complaint. The expectation of a timely customer service response via social media makes it important for brands to get involved with the conversation and address concerns promptly.

Though brands are improving their response time online, adopting social media platforms is only part of the puzzle. You must understand customer concerns in the real world in order to meet expectations in the social world. A tailored customer service survey from NBRI will help you accomplish just that. We guide you through the process from start to finish, which includes regularly resurveying to make sure your survey scores are improving as a result of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to learn about our customer service survey options.