Customer Service on Social Media and Communities: It Works

iStock-525884169_woman on laptop in hotel room_resized.pngIn my last blog, Social Communities—Hey, Get Your Own!, I explained how public social networks and corporate-owned social communities are used to expand reach and improve customer engagement.


In this blog, I’ll explore how these networks and communities—when used together—create a more comprehensive, consistent and satisfying customer experience.

Social communities and corporate-owned social communities are key sources of social listening, responding, learning and applying. With these two technologies working together, a company can listen to an issue, respond in an efficient and consistent manner, learn from that interaction, and apply the learning to improve its products and services—and in some cases, its reputation.

It’s common for companies to use their Twitter handles, several in some cases, to communicate with customers, partners and prospects. Companies use social channels to promote their brand, pitch sales or events, and provide support. For support, they await any @mentions and #tags related to product or service feedback, support issues, compliments or complaints.

Brand followers can observe a service interaction whether it’s good or not so good. Anything viewed by the social audience on such a large scale, other than a good or even great experience, is not good. No response is the worst response.

If a brand does not address an issue for a seemingly awkward period of time, it could appear as intentional silence—and that silence is deafening. It may leave the company on the defensive when others speculate the reason for no response.  

In our information age, accuracy and speed are equally important. Studies find that consumers seeking assistance via social channels expect a response in less than five minutes to acknowledge, or in some cases even solve, an issue or complaint.

Thus, creating a social channel persona and a corporate-wide culture to embrace social interactions is key to building trust with customers, partners and prospects. Ending main twitter handle communications with the responder’s first name personalizes the experience.

Companies do best with this approach. If multiple people use the same account, list the team member names and handles that support the main handles. Customers get a sense of security when they know if the main support handles don’t work and emergency dictates, they can contact the individuals in the main Twitter handle bio to help. 

Our Social Engagement, Community, and Knowledge Management suite makes listening to, responding to, and capturing new fans and community members a snap!

I’ll tell you a quick story about one of our customers to illustrate how our products simplify customer engagement by combining social media and social community service.

Twitter Handle Dave1 : Anybody seen error202 on the new @ABC_co Tele-dapter 5?

Twitter Handle ABC_Co: @Dave1 sounds like you may need to update the firmware to v10.1.  Instructions for that are in our Support Community here <insert community URL>  -- Jack

Dave1 clicks through to the community, sees the v10.1 Update Instructions and related topics.   Related items are the v10.1 Product Enhancements and Release Notes Knowledge Article and the Common Error FAQ Wikis.

Dave uses the update instructions, confirms the community resource solved his problem, and decides to join the ABC_Co Support Community to stay up-to-date on product announcements, updates and issues. It’s easy for Dave to join because the Community login accepts his Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook logins.

Twitter Handle Dave1:  @ABC_Co Thank you for the great support. Your community was super helpful, too.

Twitter Handle ABC_Co:  @Dave1 You’re welcome. We’re here for you. -- Jack

This is just one example of how a customer service experience starts as a dissatisfied tweet and ends with a new fan and satisfied social community member.    

To recap, Dave1 broadcasted far and wide on Twitter. ABC Company was listening and responded within 5 minutes. ABC Company directed Dave1 to self-solve a known problem and created a habit in Dave1 to share or ask questions about the next product or service experience in the community.

Next month, look for my blog explaining how companies use social and community technologies to strengthen their knowledge management and call deflection strategies.

 

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