Competent customer service – one aspect that separates the wheat from the chaff, and the truly creative brands from the mediocre.
If you’ve ever been asked the question:
- How important is customer service?
The right answer would be:
- Never important enough.
Social media has been one of the fastest growing marketing platforms in recent years, and it gives you a huge audience for you to interact with.
How huge? Well, let’s find out…
A glance at Statista.com reveals that the top 3 social media platforms total about 3.8 billion users.
Yes, almost 4 billion…
This is a monumental number of people who form a huge market which has become nigh impossible to ignore.
Alright, fine. So what does this actually do for your business and brand reputation?
The fact that social media has so much reach can give you an unbeatable advantage when it comes to getting in touch with your customers one-on-one.
J.D. Power has written a detailed article about how important customer service is to brand image. Though it’s a bit old, the key values hold true even today.
Some takeaways from the article:
- A whopping 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media page versus just 33% on social marketing.
- 43% of younger consumers (18-29 years old) prefer to raise service problems on a brand’s social media page.
- Quality content and responsive representatives give a brand’s image huge leverage.
What you should be asking your community manager is:
- How good is our social media customer service network?
Best Examples Of Great Customer Service
I’ve managed to round-up 7 of the most convincing examples that underline how much coverage a single, fulfilling, and unscripted customer interaction can bring to your brand.
The three things that all of these brands have in common:
All of these brands are willing to go the extra mile for their customer. This is something that all brands should aspire to do, if only for the fact that it can benefit their online reputation.
Let’s take a look at a few brands that have made a mark with their exceptional levels of customer service responses.
This list is in no particular order.
JetBlue is known to be the ultra-responsive brand on Twitter when someone mentions or DMs them.
It just so happened that during a pretty long flight, Esaí Vélez’s seatback TV had no picture and instead only gave out static. The rest of the passengers had no problems with theirs.
He tweeted out a complaint to JetBlue, nothing provocative, merely that he was disappointed.
Now, there are many ways a company could take this. Simply ignoring the tweet would’ve been the option for a lot of brands.
JetBlue, though, immediately replied to him with:
“Oh no! That’s not what we like to hear! Are all the TVs out on the plane or is it just yours?”
After he had confirmed that all the other TVs were in working order, they responded with:
“We always hate it when that happens. Send us a DM with your confirmation code to get you a credit for the non-working TV.”
Here’s the link to the whole convo on Twitter.
After a while, Esaí tweeted this –
Takeaway: Empathy and responsiveness won the day for JetBlue!
Shane Bennet would’ve never guessed that what he was about to do would turn into a full-blown social media marketing case study!
He posted on Samsung’s Facebook page that he owned many Samsung products and asked if he could get a free Galaxy S3 (a flagship device at the time). He also sent them a picture of a fire-breathing dragon that went “RAWR”.
Needless to say, Samsung went ahead and said no. But they sent him a drawing of a unicycling kangaroo along with it.
Shane shared this on Reddit and it went really viral really quickly!
To thank him for the unexpected publicity that they had inadvertently received, Samsung Canada sent him the phone he’d asked for, complete with the RAWR-ing dragon on a customized case.
Takeaway: Sometimes, fun is the name of the game when it comes to your customers.
The people of Nike, who encourage us to “Just Do It”, have gone ahead and “Did It”…
They’ve created a separate handle on Twitter dedicated to customer requests and complaints. They have a dedicated support team that manages these requests through Twitter.
So what is the standout factor about this?
Nike is a huge company.
It has a number of products from sports equipment to apparel. It’s simply remarkable that they manage to respond to queries throughout the product range on just one Twitter handle.
While their official Nike handle has tweeted only 32K times, Nike Support has over 500K tweets!
Takeaway: Make it easy for people who buy your products/services to reach out to you when they have a problem.
Social media has brought everyone so close together that the lines between time-zones have pretty much vanished. What this means is that customers expect service even during odd hours of the day… or night.
Seamless is one such entity that bridges the gap in the Atlantic Ocean, servicing people from the US and England. Having such huge time differences, problems are expected to crop up.
So this happened:
Two different sorts of complaints and at different times, but the responses were almost immediate.
You need to consider what business model your company is using and decide on what times you will be available on social media to respond to clients.
Takeaway: Managing your social media presence around the clock is critical to your success.
#5 Delta Hotels
How many times have you traveled and ended up in a room which had a stunning view of a brick wall? Well, it’s happened to me quite a few times (more than I would like).
But that won’t be a problem when you are staying with Delta Hotels because you can be pretty sure they’ll do something about it.
Take for instance the case of Mike McCready, who had the same problem. He sent out a tweet, not tagged or asking for anything. But Delta was quick to get on the button and immediately saw to it that Mike got a better room and a dish of sweets.
Delta swings… and it’s a homerun!
Mike posted an image of this the same day, the letter and the sweets! Free publicity!
Takeaway: Social listening strategies need to be on point to catch posts even without mentions.
Microsoft’s gaming arm has learned a thing or two about prompt customer support.
They have a dedicated Twitter handle (@XboxSupport) which answers all customer queries related to any of their products.
This means peripherals, games, guides, and anything in between.
They have a team of 27 people responding to tweets at various times during the day.
This, to me, is really impressive.
They average 2 tweets a minute. This gave them a Guinness World Record for Most Responsive Brand.
That’s definitely going to look good on the resume!
Takeaway: Be organized and committed (and you might just score a Guinness World Record).
A lot of companies have different ideas about how customer ideas are shared; Starbucks has an entire website dedicated to it.
Customers can submit different ideas and get feedback from them as well.
To date, it has amassed about 220,000 unique ideas.
It also has a dedicated Twitter account to go along with the website.
Here, customers can submit anything from improvements to the app to solar powered umbrellas that can charge mobile devices.
Takeaway: Customers can give you a great platform for new ideas.
Customer Service Lessons Learned From These Brands
As you can see, there are many ways to approach a problem.
All you need to do is to incorporate a bit of effort and creativity into your thought process and you’ll have loyal customers who will sing praises of your brand on social media and get more people interested in you as well.
But don’t do it expecting stuff to go viral every time; you’ll only end up disheartened.
Instead, take care of your customer and have faith that it will eventually pay off in the long run.
Good luck out there!
Have great customer service experiences that you’d like to share? What’s a brand that you find has really effective customer service? Do hit up the comments section and let us know if a brand went out of their way to make a difference with you!
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