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On What Does it Take to Deliver Customer-Obsessed Service?

Two companies that stand out in my mind who are great at delivering Customer Obsessed Service are American Airlines and the UK supermarket chain, Tesco. We've covered American Airlines on our blog, noting them as being social customer service all-stars. The company goes through a very detailed hiring process for their social customer service team. The agents make sure to answer every message that is sent in to them from a customer - with a goal of responding to everything in under 10 minutes! Tesco is very similar in the way that they use social customer service. Also, as a Conversocial customer, they are able to keep track of all their mentions on social media, and look through analytics to get a deeper understanding of customer sentiment and satisfaction. American Airlines and Tesco are just two of many companies who are all-stars when it comes to delivering customer service via social media. And as the demand for social customer service continues to increase, I'm sure there will be even more companies that will emerge!

August 20, 2012    View Comment    

On Social CRM: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Thanks for sharing this post, Becky. As Social CRM continues to grow, it's becoming more and more important for companies to have a presence on social media. If customers are writing in on Facebook and Twitter looking for answers, it can be harmful to a business if they ignore them - especially when posts on social networks are public. At Conversocial, we found that 29% of customers expect a response on Facebook within 2 hours, while 30% of customers want an answer on Twitter within 30 minutes. With demands like these, it's definitely time for businesses to start paying attention to social media, and begin setting up teams to deliver social customer service.

In terms of setting up a social customer service team within a company, we have developed a guide filled with useful tactics, interesting statistics, and case studies from customers currently using social media to deliver customer service. Our Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service was set up to help companies figure out an entirely new customer engagement program. We'd be very interested in your opinion on the document, and would welcome any feedback you could give us. Thanks again for the great post!

August 20, 2012    View Comment    

On How the Right Social Media Strategy Now Will Help You in a Crisis Later

You bring up some really important points, Chris. Social media monitoring and engagement makes a huge difference to customers - and can ultimately have a positive effect on business. If customers feel like they can rely on a company to be available to them on social media should they require customer service, they will definitely be more loyal to that company. Should a crisis arise, the social media team will already be in place to help fix the problem. Looking forward to the rest of your articles on loyalty models!

August 2, 2012    View Comment    

On Top 5 Reasons Social Media Sentiment Should be Your Focus

These are great points as to why looking at sentiment is so important. By analyzing sentiment data and getting a deeper knowledge of customer opinions, companies are able to improve their products and services. If a company listens to what customers have responded negatively and positively to, and models their business around it, customer satisfaction will improve. Conversocial has a feature inside the enterprise account that allows customer service team members to manually mark social media messages as positive, negative or neutral, and then to analyze this data to see where all the sentiment was directed. It's definitely important to focus on social media sentiment to improve a business. Customer satisfaction is key!

August 1, 2012    View Comment    

On Social Media Etiquette: 15 do's and don'ts

Great tips, Sara! I really like that you pointed out not to overuse the same responses. It can get very boring when all a brand does is reply 'thanks' everything. The brands that stand out the most to me on social media are the ones that put character and personality into their social media accounts.

July 30, 2012    View Comment    

On 4 Tips Before Moving Your Customer Service Approach to Social Media

There are lots of great suggestions in your post, Courtney. Southwest Airlines are an excellent example of a company who does an exceptional job with social customer service. Some other companies who also do this particularly well are Zappos, Tesco, and KLM. Each of these companies not only makes an effort to answer every customer service message sent to them through social media, they do it in a timely manner and they stay true to their brand image. All three of these companies also recognize that the Internet is active 24 hours a day, so they offer out of hours customer service on Twitter - a great bonus for people who look to contact a company after they get home from work.

At Conversocial we have developed The Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service, which outlines the basics for companies who are looking to get involved on social media. The time has passed where marketing departments should be fully in charge of social media pages - it's time for companies to start engaging in two-way communication with their customers on social networks. I think that you've laid out some really great starting points, and hopefully companies will take all of these into consideration when they begin to incorporate social media into their business.

July 24, 2012    View Comment    

On O2 Tweets a Primer on Dealing with Rude Customers

Great post, Dee! I also blogged about this topic recently, which you can read here. As an O2 customer who was affected by the glitch, I was very impressed with the way that the company handled the situation. They did a great job of not only answering every message they were receiving, but also staying true to their brand image. It's definitely tricky to draw the line between what's an acceptable amount of humour and what makes your customers think that you're not taking the problem seriously. I think that O2 completely mastered that. It was a great example of social customer service done right!

July 24, 2012    View Comment    

On Social Media Requires a Cross-Functional Team

Great post, Lien!

Social media is beneficial for so many departments within a company - not just the marketing team. I'm the Community Manager at Conversocial, a software-as-a-service tool that allows companies to monitor the messages they receive on Facebook and Twitter in order to deliver customer service through social media. We've done a lot of research into what customers want from brands on social media, and it all boiled down to the demand for two-way, B2C engagement. To use social networks solely for posting marketing messages isn't using the platforms to their full ability.

Some businesses have multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to separate marketing messages from customer service ones. For example, UK supermarket brand Tesco has two Twitter accounts - one for posting promotional messages, and the other for responding to customer complaints and questions. When you're limited to 1,000 messages per day, this works very well. You're entirely right that there's no doubt that people will get in touch with companies on Twitter and Facebook, so they need to prepare for it accordingly.

July 24, 2012    View Comment    

On Brands Using Social Media for Customer Service

Great post, Mark! The demand for social customer service will definitely continue to increase over the next year, and those brands who do not recognise this will be left behind. Social networks were set up for people to engage with each other, and customers are often looking to have two-way communication with companies on these platforms. Publicly ignoring customer complaints and queries on social media is detrimental to a brand. Every Facebook and Twitter user can see if a company neglects their customers and ignores their queries. When a crisis hits, customers will turn to social media to voice their frustrations. We have see this happen recently with NatWest and O2 and we have learned that if there's no social customer service team set up to respond to issues, it can snowball out of control. The NatWest problems continued to worsen, while O2 was able to smoothe things over with their customers by responding to even the most negative tweets being sent their way.

At Conversocial we have recognised how rapidly the consumer demand for customer service is growing. Combining research that we have conducted, and feedback from our customer base, we were able to establish a best practice guide for social media teams that will deal with costomer service. The Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service lists out the practical steps that it takes to set up a social customer service team and to deliver exceptional customer service via Facebook and Twitter. Companies that put social customer service teams in place can greatly increase sentiment, and it will ultimately establish stronger relationships with their customers, turning them into brand advocates.

July 23, 2012    View Comment    

On Is Every Employee Responsible For Customer Service?

I think that is the responsibility of each employee to respond to customer needs. Granted, there will often be times where the help of a specific employee will be needed if they have expertise on a particular situation. At Conversocial we posted an article on our blog, found here, about whether marketing or customer service should be in charge of social media for a company. Obviously, both teams will need to access the social networks for different reasons, but when queries or complaints are sent to the marketing team, these cannot go unanswered. If the martketing team is not prepared to answer a customer, they should direct the messages to an appropriate source.

July 23, 2012    View Comment