While the Twittersphere is filled with questions and complaints directed at big brands, one of the hardest things for organizations to do is effectively respond in 140 characters or less. While many have offered the opinion that corporate customer service simply doesn’t belong on Twitter, don’t tell the likes of Zappos, Ask.com, Travelodge, Microsoft and Warby Parker that, because they’re actually experiencing tweet success when it comes to customer service. Here are five character-thrifty tips to get your organization’s customer service message across on Twitter:
1. Think Inside the Box (specifically, a YouTube screen). When Warby Parker launched in 2010 with a policy that it would respond to every customer question and comment no matter what channel it came from, they made it work, even with Twitter’s limited word count. Read More
Brands and organizations that can respond quickly on social media may have more going for them than they realize. A March 2013 Simply Measured study of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands on Twitter shows that if an organization is able to consistently respond to customer questions and issues on Twitter in under an hour, they have a true customer service differentiator on their hands.
The new study looks at the Interbrand Top 100 Brands in the world and how they’ve interacted with social customers over the last three months. It found that the 30 brands in the top 100 with customer-support-dedicated Twitter handles (including Nike, Ford, Microsoft, American Express, Dell and others) have received more than 198,000 inbound tweets in the last quarter and delivered more than 82,000 support responses.
Eight of the top 10 brands have improved their response rates over the past three months, but only three – Nike, American Express and Microsoft – have also reduced their average response times. Yet just one brand, Microsoft, has been able to consistently deliver customer support responses in less than one hour – improving their average response time by 73% over the last quarter. Read More
It’s easy to think that today’s more tech-savvy consumers might begin abandoning traditional customer service channels such as phone or email in favor of newer channels like chat, web self-service, social and mobile, but that’s just not the case. Instead, the majority of consumers are simply increasing the total number of channels they use to interact with brands and organizations, based on convenience.
According to a recent Ovum study of 8,000 consumers from across the globe, the majority of consumers use three or more communication channels when engaging in customer service. Results show that 25% of consumers use one or two channels; 52% use three to four; and 22% use five or more. The overwhelming majority (74%) use at least three channels when interacting with an enterprise for customer related issues. Read More
While many online consumers initially select a brand for its points or rewards system, a recent eMarketer article reports that this type of customer love and loyalty is fleeting, only remaining as long as the monetary incentives stay in place or increase.
It turns out that lasting customer love and loyalty is more a matter of the heart – of the brand and the customer getting to know one another better – which is why content, brand authenticity and personalization have made such an impact in the last few years, requiring behemoth brands to become, well, more “human.”
Ease of Use Also Lands Long-Term Loyalty
As a recent report shows, multichannel and web-only retailers can also earn loyal customers by mitigating the pain points consumers encounter while shopping online. Read More
Like it or not, social media has become a mainstream communications channel. What makes it so appealing for consumers is that it’s usually the shortest distance between them and a brand – no account number, security password or wait time required to connect, and it’s especially gratifying for those wishing to vent their frustration.
Even while recognizing social media’s proliferation and the power to alter the public perception of a brand with a single post, most businesses have not moved to incorporate social media at an enterprise level. Forrester analyst Zach Hofer-Shall says that will change in 2013.
“In 2013, the trend will be about bringing social media into the business itself, not relying on a separate social media function,” notes Hofer-Shall. Read More
While all businesses want to be on the nice list when it comes to customer service, sometimes budgets, bah-humbug policies and the pressures of earnings goals can get the best of any organization. Consumer Reports recently unveiled its 2012 Naughty and Nice Holiday List, a year-end look at companies that have been good, or not so good, when it comes to one or more specific practices.
The popular list is based on input from Consumer Reports editors and reporters who cover shopping, travel, hospitality, telecommunications and visitor input on the Consumer Reports Facebook page. The naughty and nice ratings highlight specific customer service policies and are in no way reflective of any company as a whole. Read More
For brands, there’s perhaps nothing more daunting than the virality of social media. Careless posts, tweets and video can go to newsfeeds, be retweeted, shared, and captured in screenshots faster than the human hand can hit “delete.”
Not so long ago, a brand’s marketing strategy revolved around pushing products through expensive advertising campaigns and rich print and online collaterals. Now, pre- and post-purchase delivery of service and information to consumers is redefining the way we perceive brands.
In an epic David and Goliath match-up between service-dominant and product-dominant logic, social media has served as the slingshot to allow service-dominant businesses and organizations to stand just as tall as the spare-no-expense, product-marketing-heavy Goliaths. The service-dominant logic encourages organizations to market with their customers instead of to them, by providing beneficial information, responding to questions and feedback, and interacting on a more personalized level for the reward of brand loyalty and a word-of-mouth reputation that draws in a consistent following of new customers.
A recent Edelman study notes that 70% of millennials stated that once they find a company or product they like, they will keep coming back, and 86% will share their brand experience online. In addition: Read More
Ready or not, customers are moving to social media, either because they’ve had trouble contacting you on other channels, because they like the convenience, or because they want their voices to be heard. Is your organization listening?
According to a new study from NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company, nearly half (47%) of U.S. social media users today now actively seek customer service through social media, and for the organizations that deliver, there are increasing rewards. Customers who receive a quick and effective response are three times (71%) more likely to recommend the brand, compared to just 19% who will still recommend the brand if they don’t receive a response. Read More
Halloween is just around the corner, but some big brands have already had some scares this month due to social media administrators posting personal tweets on brand accounts. In October, both StubHub.com and KitchenAid had to clean up the monstrous messes made by highly opinionated tweeters with keys to the corporate social media accounts.
For brands, there’s perhaps nothing more daunting than the virality of social media. Careless posts, tweets and video can go to newsfeeds, be retweeted, shared, and captured in screenshots faster than the human hand can hit “delete.” Read More