Customer service on social media

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Customer service is actually very easy to do badly. Try ignoring your customers for a week and see how that one plays out. However, we have seen some excellent examples of high-quality customer service in recent times. These examples generally make life easier for customers.

Morton’s

This brand does a great steak, and they’re well known in the United States for doing just that in the very best way possible. However, they showed an almost supernatural level of delivery when a hungry fan of the steaks tweeted that he would love to have one when his plane touched down in Newark. The whole thing was actually meant as a joke. No company would actually bring a free steak to a fan when their plane landed, right?

Wrong, because Morton’s did. And the fact that it was also presented so well is only part of the amazing customer service story here. Morton’s also managed to give him some shrimp and bread, as well as everything else that makes a great steak so wonderful. The whole thing was done in less than three hours and delivered by a guy in a tuxedo. 

This is obviously a one-off (we don’t recommend you try it again, they probably will just laugh), but the fact that the community manager of Morton’s Twitter team saw the tweet and thought it would be a great idea to fulfill the fan’s wishes is something pretty awesome. And of course, on top of all of that, it also brought a ton of kudos on Twitter.

A Masterpiece Of Social Listening

Social listening is a big part of customer service and you should never forget that. Delta hotels saw a tweet from a guest who loved his room but hated the view. Unlike the previous entry on our list, the guy wasn’t asking for anything. He just wanted to explain how he felt about the view. He didn’t even tag the hotel.

Within one hour the hotel responded with a room that had a better view. On top of that, a handwritten card greeted the guest in his new room. All of this happened via Twitter. And it all happened because Delta had a team that knew the benefits of social listening.

Big And Clever

Xbox is huge. It has become a major part of the lives of many people, and one of the reasons why it makes so many people happy is that it is huge. So it could be excused for messing up on customer service now and then. 

However, it continues to show that it knows just how to do it right. A recent episode involved them managing an issue that a Twitter user had and then following up nine days later. This showed amazing levels of customer service, especially when you realise that Xbox handles hundreds of interactions a day. It has a team of nearly 30 Twitter workers though, so that kind of interaction kind of makes sense.

Nike

unpaired red Nike sneaker

Not the world’s smallest brand, we’re sure you’ll agree, but still pretty capable of delivering awesome customer service. 

A recent episode involved Nike taking a complaint from a customer who had made a genuine error but thought Nike was responsible for the issue. It was the customer’s fault basically, and the guys at Nike knew this. 

They still treated the customer with complete courtesy and respect. Even after they found out that their problem was actually nothing to do with them, they still tweeted out their best wishes to the customer.

That’s simply an example of treating the customer like royalty even if the problem is not one your brand created.

Jetblue

An airline of some years, Jetblue is not jaded. In fact, it has a strong reputation for great customer service on Twitter.

This was perhaps best exemplified when a customer had a dud TV on his flight so he couldn’t watch anything. Within half an hour, the ever-watchful team at Jetblue had secured credit for him against the cost of renting the service. It was incredibly responsive, and effective. On top of that, the thankful customer’s tweet was respectful and grateful. Just what customer service teams need.

Oh, and one more thing

All of this happened on Twitter. That’s because Twitter is becoming the best place to ask for and receive customer service. It’s quicker than pretty much anything else (save instant messaging) and it allows a strong customer service team to get in touch with people quickly. 

So if there are any lessons to learn here they involve listening (always) and being as helpful and proactive as possible. The examples here show that customer service can be done well on social, as long as your team is trained, alert and focused on what the customer wants above everything else.

What is the difference between customer service and customer care?

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Any good business wants to take good care of it’s customers. And that’s great. But if you’re starting out in business, it’s easy to become confused about the two main areas of customer contact, customer service and customer care.

Why is it important to know the difference?

There are a couple of reasons really. But the main issue is the difference itself. Once you know the distinction between customer service and customer care, you can improve your delivery in both areas, strengthening your connection to customers, and helping your company grow.

So what is customer service?

This is perhaps best explained as being the advice and assistance you give to a customer. It most often comes into play after a sale. For example, when someone buys a laptop, and there are issues with the laptop, they contact customer service for technical support and overall product support.

Thanks to B2C

The infographic above perfectly illustrates the value of good customer service. Picking out just a few key points from it shows just how fundamental it is to good business.

For example, the finding that 91% of unhappy customers will not do business with your company again is both shocking and educational. It helps us understand the value of what happens after a sale, when customer service kicks in. While it is true that customer service is happening before a sale, it is most often post-sale, when questions are answered and problems are dealt with.

The infographic also discusses the top three drivers for good customer service, the three most compelling reasons for getting that service right. They are:

  • Improve customer retention. If you serve them in a positive and effective way, they are more likely to stick with you
  • Improve customer satisfaction. Ever had great service and told a friend about it? Exactly
  • Increase cross-selling and up-selling. Post the sale, if a customer is happy with the support and service she receives, she is more likely to buy more

And customer care?

Customer care is what happens while interaction and engagement with the brand is taking place.

If a sales rep or consultant is truly attentive, listening carefully and fully focused on the conversation he is having with a prospect, this will be ‘felt’ by that prospective customer. It’s the opposite of the old concept of a pushy salesman. People, now more than ever, want to feel like they can trust a person who is in a position to sell to them.

And in the best examples of true customer care, an emotional connection is established. This may be a simple feeling that the needs of the customer are being met in a genuine way. It literally means that a customer feels they are being cared for and cared about.

“Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer.”

Scott Cook

By thinking about what the customer wants, rather than what we want or the pressures we face for a sale, we are showing we care. This simply strengthens the relationship.

Two different concepts, then

They are two distinct concepts, but knowing the difference means that you can have two distinct approaches to what happens before and after a sale. Make both approaches strong, and you have a pleasant and rewarding customer journey for both you and the client, putting the customer first, always.