Social Customer Service: You're Doing It Wrong

I find it amazing how many large corporations are on social media, and have no idea how to use it effectively. For instance, people have an expectation of quick service on social media, don't make a customer (especially if they are angry) wait days for a response. You also must treat social interactions just like you would treat an email or a phone call, and that's what I want to talk about today. Starbucks is one of the biggest brands in North America, yet their social presence (specifically Twitter) is horrible. Let me explain what happened.

I was at Starbucks with three other people. We all ordered different things, and 3 of us had to choose again because they did not have the product on hand, 2 of us had to choose again TWICE. Totally unacceptable to be out of that much product. When a complaint was raised, they shrugged it off as 'there's nothing we can do'. No offer of a discount, coupons or anything else. So I hit Twitter... no response at all from Starbucks!

A few days later, give them another shot and spend 18mins in the drive-thru with 3 cars in line (And no way to back out). So went to Twitter again, mentioned this AND that I still have no response from my last Tweet.

Uhhhh, excuse me? When people complain on Twitter or other social channels, don't tell them to complain elsewhere. The complaint has been lodged. As a brand, it is now your responsibility to ensure that complaint reaches the right people to rectify the situation, not redirect the complainant to another channel! You can request additional information right there via the obvious preferred method of communication. After all, if they wanted to email their complaint, they would have.

With Twitter dropping the 140 character limit on Direct Messaging, you can follow the user and talk with them directly. They don't have to leave the platform they are currently using and they feel like they are being listened to as opposed to being pawned off. Don't get me wrong, it's great that you're listening, but seriously, don't listen to redirect. Do as much as you can where the customer is and where they complained from. This applies to all networks, not just Twitter.

Customer service is incredibly important, especially these days. Don't keep your customers waiting and don't make them more angry then they already are by not getting right to the issue rather than telling them you basically don't care and to email somebody who does.



Tags: efficiency, customer service, social

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