How-to Guide

3 Awesome Examples of Social Media Customer Service

In 2015, Gartner Research stated, “social media will emerge as a central pillar of customer service.”1

Well, it’s safe to say that the emergence is over, as social media now plays a defining role in the customer service strategies of most brands. In fact, the number of Tweets directed at leading brands continues to increase year over year. 2 For customers, it has never been easier to praise or complain about a company. For brands, there has never been a better opportunity to exceed customers’ expectations and improve customers’ satisfaction.

67% of consumers have used a company’s social media channel for customer service.
J.D. Power

The stakes are high when just one bad experience can cost you a loyal customer. How do you leverage the power of social to create exceptional  social media customer service experiences? You can start by following these three awesome examples:

1. Microsoft Xbox: World Record Setting Customer Service

You can’t get more awesome than a Guinness World Record for “Most Responsive Brand on Twitter.” How is  @XboxSupport able to reply with an average time of 2 minutes and 42 seconds? Because they have a handle and a customer service team dedicated only to Twitter support. They respond to all @’s publically, so they stay accountable to their customers. And they don’t just wait to be contacted; they set up monitoring tools to proactively find and contact users who are having conversations about their brand. Also, they add a personal and authentic touch to their replies by adding their initials and a caret to every response. 3 This approach to social media customer service has grown their account to nearly a million followers.

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Source: https://twitter.com/xboxsupport/status/15940314679

Takeaways

  • A separate Twitter support handle allows for trained customer service staff to address service requests more quickly.
  • Quick response time not only wins over customers, but it can also land you in the Guinness World Record books next to the biggest ball of twine!

2. Zappos: It’s Not About the Shoes

Since 1999, Zappos mission has been “to be the company that provides the absolute best service online—not just in shoes, but in any category.” 4 CEO, Tony Hsieh, has even recently admitted to not being passionate about shoes at all. Instead, he’s passionate about customer service.5

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Source: https://twitter.com/HowIBuiltThis/status/824657405770338304

What stands out most about Zappos' social media customer service is not their quick response time (less than 20 minutes) or their response rate (100%). It’s the positive, can-do, at times whimsical, attitude of their staff. They send good luck cookies to kids whose moms are ordering dress shoes for pageants. They’ll overnight shoes for free if you happen to arrive at your best friend’s wedding shoeless. 6 They’ve even been known to visit rival shoe stores if you forget to pack your favorite pair and you just happen to be visiting Vegas where they’re headquartered.7 Just check out the comments on their Facebook posts, and you’ll quickly see that they set the standard for being both personable and above and beyond helpful on social media. It’s obvious that they enjoy their jobs, which in turn “helps put customers with concerns or complaints at ease, making the experience better for all.”8

Because of their customer service strategies, 75% of Zappos’ purchases come from returning customers, and a whopping 43% of new customers hear about Zappos via word of mouth. 9

Takeaways

  • Have fun with customer interactions, and treat every customer with an authentic, personal experience. You’ll likely see a spike in return customer sales.
  • Make customer service a key value of your company culture, and your loyal fans will respond by spreading the word about your brand.

3. Starbucks: Listen and Learn

Starbucks has replaced the old fashioned customer comment box with a website and a Twitter account dedicated solely to suggestions. My Starbucks Idea is an opportunity for real customers to share, vote and discuss their ideas to improve their Starbucks experiences. As they say, “you know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks. So tell us.” Customers have submitted over 210,000 unique ideas10, and over 300 ideas have launched.

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Takeaways

  • Make it easy for customers to share ideas. When you crowdsource for innovation, you’ll find customer satisfaction will follow.
  • Be transparent. When customers can clearly see all of the ideas that have been submitted—big and small—they’ll be more likely to trust your brand.

Feeling inspired to take your social customer service strategy to the next level? Here are 13 more examples of how top brands are raising their game with social.


1 Market Guide for Social Customer Service Applications, Gartner Research, Inc., Sept. 2015

2 https://twitter.app.box.com/v/customer-service-on-twitter

3 http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-microsoft-xbox-uses-twitter-to-reduce-support-costs/

4 http://www.zappos.com/c/about-zappos

5 https://twitter.com/HowIBuiltThis/status/824657405770338304

6 https://consumerist.com/2011/05/19/zappos-saves-best-man-from-going-barefoot-at-wedding/

7 http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2662-The-Zappos-Effect-5-Great-Customer-Service-Ideas-for-Smaller-Businesses

8 http://www.businessinsider.com/zappos-customer-service-crm-2012-1

9 http://www.christine.net/2008/02/zappos-shares-s.html

10 https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-customer-service

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