Showing posts tagged Social media
Calling a customer service hotline is frustrating—that is just a fact of life. You’re angry because something isn’t working, you can never find the right phone number to call, get re-directed five times, and somehow you end up paying more and getting less. However, consumers are increasingly turning to social media to get faster and more direct attention from brands when in need of customer support.
I kicked off 2014 speaking at a few conferences in Florida, San Francisco and Las Vegas about the importance of social media in customer interactions. It’s clear that brands are starting to think about social media and have dedicated resources to manage their social channels, but few are making the connection between social media and customer care. Unfortunately for brands, consumers are way ahead of the game and have figured out that if they post their complaints (and praises) to social media channels, they’re more likely to get the brand’s attention.
Below are a few of my personal examples that illustrate how having the proper social media customer support can help leave your users with a better impression of your brand:
What NOT to do: The following Twitter exchange shows an automated response from speaker manufacturer, an example of practically nonexistent social media customer support.
Auto responses are one thing, but they didn’t even address my question. Even worse than an automated response, this brand’s inefficient customer support is on display for all of Twitter to see.
What TO do: A quick and personal response to an unfortunate mix-up with United Airlines
It doesn’t take much to provide quick and personalized customer support through social media, and companies who have caught on to this practice have loyal and satisfied consumers.
At Ask, we’ve empowered all of our Customer Care Rock Stars to monitor and fully support our users’ needs – be it on email, phone, chat or through our social media channels.
- Eric McKirdy, Global Customer Care Manager, Ask.com
Recent news headlines have made it clear that consumers aren’t shy when it comes to voicing their opinions about changes to a favorite brand’s product or service offering. Social media has made it easy for anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection to express their opinions and find an audience for their point of view. It’s more important now than ever for brands to ensure they’re incorporating consumer feedback. A continuous feedback loop helps companies anticipate the reactions of their user base and act accordingly.
At Ask, we use a variety of approaches to stay connected with our users and make product innovation a truly co-creative process. Each month, thousands of Ask.com users complete our site satisfaction survey, provide suggestions for improvement in our Q&A community and in our footer Feedback link, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages, and participate in usability testing. When more than 60 million people rely on your brand each month, there really is no such thing as too much feedback.
One of the newest feedback initiatives we’ve launched is the Ask.com User Advisory Panel. Over 300 Ask users from across our website, Q&A community, and mobile apps agreed to participate in a private, online research community to provide input on Ask.com initiatives over several months. User panels like ours are unique in that they allow a space for good ideas to both emerge and be refined over time. To date, our Advisory Panel has helped us optimize our site design, get ideas for brand advertising, and communicate our most important deliverable – great answers – in a way that’s universally understood.
Like all good research projects, our Advisory Panel has also brought forward some surprises. Specifically, how much our panelists appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback that can help Ask improve and that their respect for Ask has increased because we consider user input to be a critical aspect of our decision-making process. For our part, we’re thrilled that so many of our users are willing to have a meaningful conversation with us and we’re working hard to ensure that Ask stays on their favorite brands list!
Ann Semeraro, Director, Consumer and Market Insight