Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Media Amplifies Customer Service - Can you hear me now?

Customer Service has embraced Social Media - Twitter and Facebook in particular are being used and majority of companies have a presence within these applications. This allows customers to connect to company representatives immediately.
Wonderful - you would think, correct?
We will get immediate responses for our queries and complaints.
We will be heard.
Company leaders will listen and respond to our needs
- maybe even give us half of what we want.

Maybe - Customer Service will improve, due to connection and amplification - we think. And that thought process seems to be valid. As companies must truly care and want to be connected to 'us', the customer. This is progress. If we have a complaint we can Twitter our displeasure for ALL to view, and with ReTweets it will go around the world.
Companies will have to listen. Right?

The Truth is that this is correct some of the time. There are several examples of how amplification of a problem and displeasure with a company or product has indeed resulted in an amazing response.
@dooce  (Heather Armstrong) -- And the Washing Machine debacle  - Maytag Saga  and how she used her klout to get results. And reaction by This Fish Needs A Bicycle

The other side of the same coin, however is that BAD Customer Service is amplified.
The analogy being like a bad toothache. It just gets worse!

If a company does NOT get good Customer Service before Social Media, we cannot expect or assume that they suddenly see the light, with Social Media. Adding Twitter to their 'Contact Us' will most likely only AMPLIFY BAD Customer Service. We will be told not only by the telephone agent, but also by the Twitter agent - 'We don't really care about you, the customer'. In these instances there is one  major ingredient missing.
Engaging with the customer.

1. To involve oneself or become occupied; participate: engage in conversation.
 How does one exactly go about doing this? First step is to Listen to the Customer.
There are a variety of training available for how to have quality conversations, but the #1 aspect to get right is to LISTEN -  Can you hear me now?  Methodology. 

The next step is to actually do something with this information. Not necessarily give in to this customer or all irate customers, but use the information to make your service better. 
How can you prevent customers upsets?
  • 82% of consumers have stopped doing business witha company as a result of a negative experience
  • 55% became a customer of a company because of their reputation for great customer service
  • 55% would pay 10% or more for a good customer experience
In a recent debate with my cell phone provider, I became frustrated. NOT, because they did not give me what I want. BUT - because they did not hear me and offer to pass this information up to the TOP of  the organization.   After requesting with Twitter agent it was passed on.
As a customer, I want to be validated and HEARD.
I want to feel that I am important to you the company.
I am the voice of the customer.
I am not happy with a recent policy change.
The management that made this change should be aware and with this information -
  and ... TRY to find creative methods of resolving and providing the customers needs.
At least improve communication with customers.

A cell phone hardware upgrade policy has recently changed to not being without penalty from 24 months to 30 months. However customers want this hardware upgrade policy or HUP, to be LESS than 24 months ( with a 3 year contract). Due to fact that technology and hardware are changing so rapidly, why do I want to be stuck with old technology for 30 months? I don't. We don't.  We can understand that  there are cost issues by our provider - BUT, and this is where the ENGAGING comes into play.
UPDATE - My views have been passed on to Management. I am adding this to accurately report that I was heard and it was passed on. I am hoping this will result in some further response.
So far I have not had response from the Management. 
Telephone conversation prior to my Twitter convo, provided me with a 2 - 4 hr time frame for return call  from a Manager would be coming - that is now 24 hours ago.

I am happy with fact it has been reported. A response from a Manager would make it a WOW.

Be creative in finding solutions for your customer. AND cost effective for us all. 
Let us know that you HEAR US!

Do you hear your Customers? How do you respond? 


No comments:

Post a Comment