“Thank you for calling customer service. Please wait for the next available representative.”
Do those words sound familiar? It used to be that when calling customer service to get help, one had to wade through automated systems and be put on hold before possibly getting through to an actual service representative and hoping that the representative would be able to help answer questions. More recently, companies are taking customer service to a whole new level by offering support via social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. How is this beneficial for the company as well as the customer?
1. Improving a reputation for poor customer service.
Companies like the Canadian telecom Telus and Comcast are using social media to overcome reputations for poor customer service. Also, by making company executives more aware of customers’ complaints, it gives them the opportunity and chance to see what areas the business needs to improve.
2. Making customer service more accessible.
Using social media to help in customer service gives the customer more options. Instead of having to make a phone call, customers now have the option to go online to get help. Xbox found that by using social media, more people chose to get help online and so their costs for operating a call center go down.
3. Allowing for faster service.
By going online and using the platforms their customers already use, companies can more quickly serve and reach their customers. Using social media, people can get help any time day or night. For example, the Dutch airline, KLM, offers continuous support day or night via Twitter and Facebook. Similarly, Ford strives to respond to social media requests within four hours.
4. Encouraging integration of technology.
With technology ever changing and expanding, companies need to be able to keep up. Smart companies are providing consistent updates to their programs. Zappos requires its employees to go through customer service training, and Best Buy offers many training programs for their employees as well.
5. Bettering connections with customers to help foster loyalty.
When customers get good service, they are more likely to keep doing business at their chosen vendor. By investing in social media, the Four Seasons hotel was able to respond quickly to a customer’s complaint about losing his reserved room after getting bumped. They offered him an incentive for his next stay and he spent another 60 nights there over the next year. He also told his friends and acquaintances. They gained business that would have been lost before such rapid response was available.
Using social media, companies can help make customer service faster, more accessible and foster loyalty among their customers. This can lead to happier customers and higher customer service ratings.