As a consumer, we often get a mixed bag of experiences dealing with vendors and service providers. How many times have you come across a situation that the products / services do not work, the customer service doesn’t listen and you are stuck with no options? The services that you otherwise take for granted, fail at a time when you need them the most. Add to this, a non-responsive customer support acts like an insult to the injury. What do you do? You often resort to Social Media.
Social media is a very powerful tool in the hands of consumers. It is open, transparent and public. An influential consumer – the one who has huge following and influence on Social Media – can potentially cause a serious damage to a company’s brand if not handled well. Moreover, it’s all in the public domain. Your competitors are watching. So are your prospective customers.
However, if managed appropriately, an organization can really leverage Social Media to its advantage and turn a frustrated customer into a delighted brand ambassador. Here are two opposite examples that I personally witnessed recently.
Responsive Social Media Management from a Laptop Vendor saved them a lost customer
For many weeks, I was running from pillar-to-post, trying to resolve an issue with my home laptop that ran out of warranty. A part needed replacement and the authorized service centers were not able to get the part from anywhere. I reached out to the company’s Facebook page and posted my complaint. My frustration level was sky high. However, at the end of two weeks that followed, I felt quite satisfied, as a consumer. Here is the analysis.
- While the vendors Customer Support was lousy, non-responsive, time consuming, the Social Media team seemed to be extremely responsive and friendly
- I got the acknowledgement of my response within minutes. Although I think that was bot who responded
- A representative asked me my contact details through direct message and immediately called me
- The company assigned an individual who worked with three different vendors and got me the part from Singapore as it was not available in India
- I was kept in the loop about all developments and timelines
- Part was delivered within time promised
While the Laptop still has some problems (and I don’t blame the company for that), I feel far more comfortable and delighted just because of the way interactions through Social Media were handled. The company leveraged Social Media to turn a frustrated customer into a delighted one.
Ignorant Coffee Shop just lost a loyal customer
We have this Coffee Shop next our office. This is India’s one of the most popular Coffee Shop chains. Just because of the proximity to the office, we often visited this place. Every now and then, we found some issues with service. Not enough glass cups, tissues out of stock, billing delays, out of stock sugar-free etc. We brought it to the notice of the manager several times. But in vain. Thinking that this may be a one-off store of a hugely popular Coffee Shop Chain, with a recent delighting experience with my Laptop, I again resorted to Social Media with a hope of redemption. The destiny had something else in the store.
The biggest coffee shop chain in the country, with millions of followers on Facebook, failed to even acknowledge my views, let alone doing anything about it. As a consumer, I felt almost offended. The store did not bother to do anything with our feedback, nor did the chain itself.
Result? We have found an alternative. The experience has left a permanent impression on me. The Coffee Shop has just lost a customer.
Leverage Technology to turn Social Media to your advantage
It is time that companies start taking Social Media seriously. The Social Media strategy of any consumer oriented business must go beyond just maintaining Facebook page and twitter handle. Social Media must be used as a valuable source of information about your customers, get insight into their behavior, linking and preferences and help the same to articulate your customer service strategy.
Enterprise Technology has evolved to enable this for your organization. Princeton Blue’s “Unified Customer View” solution allows you to collate valuable customer information from external sources such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. and correlate it with internal sources of customer information like CRM, Call Center, Service Request Systems, etc. to build a Unified View of the Customer. The solution leverages Complex Event Processing technology to detect specific patterns in the streams of information coming from these sources and trigger appropriate actions in BPM.
As an example, rather than helping you resolve a customer escalation, the solution goes a step further and helps detect a potential customer escalation even before it occurs. It then triggers a business process to control it.
Click here to read more about Princeton Blue’s Unified Customer View Solution
Social Media is an extremely powerful source of insight into a customer behavior. It is no more just a platform where companies post their updates. It is rather an important channel that influences overall customer experience. Companies can take advantage of Enterprise Technology such as Princeton Blue’s Unified Customer View Solution to leverage social media for a great customer satisfaction through this channel. Follow Princeton Blue on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ to get focused BPM-specific updates.