Twitter: Where Customer Service Goes to Die
In today's rapidly evolving customer service landscape, social media has become a stop along the journey. In response to this trend in customer behavior, many companies have invested heavily in social customer service. As a result, customers see social media as an effective channel for airing their negative feedback. However, by the time a customer takes to social media to express their unhappiness, it's too late: the customer has already inflicted reputational damage on the brand.
Instead of reacting to customer behavior, companies should proactively offer effective, easy-to-use web customer service channels so that customers don't feel the need to take to social media in the first place. Here are three reasons that companies should focus on boosting their web customer service options instead of sinking more money into social customer service:
1. Social media is a very public space: When a customer complains or provides negative feedback on social media, it can tarnish a company's reputation instantly due to the highly visible nature of the platform. Social customer service, at best, can help deflect some of the damage caused. By providing robust customer self-service options on websites, customers will choose to engage with companies directly because they know that they'll be heard and helped. This will enable companies to prevent the damage from happening all together.
Wilcoxson's Ice Cream, a 100-year-old, Montana based ice-cream company, recently found itself in the midst of a social disaster. On Facebook, a customer inquired about the use of gelatin in the company's ice cream, specifically whether it comes from pork sources, since the consumption of pork conflicted with the individual's religious beliefs. The company responded with a highly derogatory comment, which sparked the social media controversy. Needless to say, the situation could have been avoided if Wilcoxson's website provided the information the customer was looking for.