Here’s how social media is being used as a customer service platform.
Unhappy with a company? No response? Social media is often used as a customer service platform when customer fail to get a response in ‘the usual way’. Whether that’s in store, by phone or via email.
Here’s an example where someone has complained at a Marks & Spencer store, failed to get the resolution they sought and they have gone onto to Facebook to complain.
The rise of social media has given customers and businesses an entirely new way to interact, complain and promote. We’ve written about social media as a customer service platform before, sharing examples of good practice.
Many UK brands now have teams that are dedicated to leading the customer service on their social media channels, most of which are using it to great effect and even turning it into an online marketing tool.
Supermarkets understand social media and Aldi has shown several examples of good practice and as a result, supermarkets are often responsible for some of the most shareable customer service exchanges, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco often posting humorous (and helpful) responses to real customer complaints. One good example of managing a negative issue is Sainsbury’s supermarket, who gained thousands of shares for a funny response to a customer’s complaint about a worm in her salad bag. This shows a major advantage of social media, as many more people can see your fantastic customer service and even drive exposure for the brand.
On Twitter, Argos the catalogue store uses @ArgosHelpers who respond to hundreds of enquiries each day and operate between clearly stated hours. This is a great idea if you want to keep your customer service offering separate from your promotional social activity. Plus, as this example from #Argos shows, it includes compliments too!
A study on Marketing Week ranked Twitter’s top brands for customer service and found that in 2016 it’s the financial sector that’s leading by example, with seven of the top ten results being banks, with only Holland & Barrett, B&Q and Waitrose flying the flag for retail. McDonald’s, KFC, Vodafone and French Connection were all listed amongst the 10 worst.
However, there are challenges with being a brand on social media. If things go wrong, then the public nature of social media can be a real drawback. The platform is also open to internet pranksters and trolls who derive enjoyment from being controversial with brands and celebrities. It’s for this reason that brands must always be wary online and remain professional to avoid any negative PR.
Used correctly, social media can be a powerful tool for many reasons. Brands who embrace the technology for customer service are far more likely to create lasting relationships with their customers and succeed.