Customer Service on Social Media
So what do you do when you have spent all day in the city of Barcelona awaiting a transfer flight to Ibiza after leaving Dublin at 8am only to not be let on the Ryanir flight because you don't have the correct (meaningless) paper work alongside your boarding pass and passport? Of course you jump straight on to Twitter and complain about how you have been mistreated and complain to your friends and family. Of course, you tag Ryanair in your tweet and expect a response or at least an apology, while you trance around the airport in a rage looking for the closest customer service desk to seek help, advice, an apology, something that will ease your anger and make booking the next flight and an over night hotel that little less painful!
That's a true story and it's probably happened to you or someone you know in a similar sort of way. If you have been in the situation as mentioned above, or in something similar, you may have taken to social media and got no response. Maybe you weren't expecting one, maybe you just wanted to vent your rage and get it off your chest. Well, that is all about to change. 2014 will be the year where companies can no longer ignore complaints to their Twitter and Facebook feeds. For the last few years customer service has been the ignored side of social media and it's time for companies to act on this and offer help to their customers as well as advertising their brand. We all remember the Domino's pizza video that went viral on You Tube don't we? If not - watch it here
Of course, most of the worlds biggest brands have customer service teams who are available via phone (on those 0800 numbers) but by embracing social media, they are dealing with customers quicker, professionally and with care. One tweet or Facebook post, could solve a problem or an issue being experienced by hundreds of customers. Customer service on social media is quick, effective and very easy to use. A simple polite response, even offering a telephone number or an email address to contact, can go a long way to satisfying customers or calming them down, as well as improving the images brand as a whole. If all brands embraced social media like companies such as Dell or American Airlines, this could be the beginning of the end of the call centre. Nobody likes having to wait for listening to classical music for 15 minutes with your phone to your ear - how much easier and more convenient would it be if your problem was answered immediately through social media or you were at least pointed in the right direction to seek further help. The end of call centres does have a down side, as thousands of people across the UK could well be out of a job or be taught how to use Twitter and Facebook in a completely different way.
One advancement that we are seeing is the use of Whats App. Whats App is another app that allows you to communicate with your friends and family anywhere in the world free of charge as long as you have 3G or wifi. It is now also becoming a way of getting instant help from customer service teams. Some companies have adapted the app for reasons other than sorting out your Saturday night social gathering. How it all works is you simply add the businesses special company telephone number to your phone and customer servicing will become a lot simpler. Companies will be able to use Whats App to divide their customers into groups, with the same interests or concerns. In the future, companies will be able to use Whats App to send you messages, adverts or competitions in order to generate more revenue from its customers.
What is of course important when it comes to customer service is the tone of voice. Managers of hotels are often dealing with unhappy customers and the first thing you must do as a manager in a hotel is calm them down and listen to their complaint. This is the benefits of face to face customer service, as you are in a position to help, apologises and solve the situation. On social media, especially on Twitter, characters are limited so it takes a certain tone to help. This is why customer service on social networks has so far been ignored and companies are now finding ways to help their customers in a number of different and effective ways beyond telephones and emails.
Next time you're not allowed on your flight.... taking to social media to seek help rather than complain... could see you receive the help you desire.
Check out our article on the future of Mobiles in Social Media here