Transform a Dissatisfied Customer Before It's Too Late: Social Customer Care

October 03, 2013 | Blog
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We have all experienced dissatisfied customers, whether we are the one sharing the complaint or receiving it. Those complaints eventually land on the desks of the customer service department, or worse – all around town. Sometimes customers calmly and quietly share how their experience could have been better; whereas, there are the irate customers who attract the side glances from everyone within a 20-feet radius.

But what happens when those customers’ complaints go online? And the 20-feet radius becomes exponentially larger within seconds?

In a world where online content goes viral, where even the calmest customer can have a complaint seen by millions, customer service should be at the forefront of a company’s social media strategy. A recent Dimensional Research study uncovered why a social media customer service strategy is vital for every organization:

  • 45% of customers share bad customer service experiences via social media
  • 30% share good customer service experiences
  • 58% are more likely to share their customer service experience stories now than they were five years ago
Last week, Social Distillery joined WOMMA to co-host the monthly WOMMA chat. This month’s topic was social media customer care, including best practices and those brands that get it right and even those companies who get it wrong. Southwest Airlines, Warby Parker and Nordstrom were among the brands that were mentioned for the companies with superior social customer service. Best practices included consistent engagement, timely action and genuine brand responses. Personally, my definition of great customer care, both online and offline, is the integration of all teams within the organization to ensure authentic responses. Ironically, my best customer service experience via social media occurred yesterday afternoon. After having a less-than-perfect experience at a local Austin restaurant, Trudy’s Tex-Mex Restaurant, I tweeted at their corporate Twitter handle.
I was not expecting a refund; I just wanted to share my experience with a restaurant that I have come to love. I mean, have you tried their stuffed avocados? My point exactly.
Within 24 hours, I received a response, with an email address asking for my full story. An hour later, a manager from the restaurant I attended, gave me call to apologize for my experience and asked me for more details so she could retroactively address the situation for future patrons.

This response protocol is the definition of superior customer service, and they transformed my bad experience into a good one. It’s easy to ignore the bad comments and cross your fingers, hoping that it won’t get picked up or become a promoted tweet, like a recent British Airways complaint. The challenge comes in transforming an unsatisfied customer into a satisfied one, and that’s exactly what Trudy’s did for me.

Have you ever voiced a customer service complaint on social media? Did you get a response? What protocol would it take to transform your experience? Let me know on Twitter @amprice88 and be sure to follow @SocialDistiller for more social media news!

blogs, social-distillery, social-media, social-media-marketing, allison-price, industry-news, customer-care, social-customer-care

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