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Social Media: The Great Customer Service Equalizer

June 04, 2012

Some organizations you interact with are almost guaranteed to give you good customer service. You know the ones – very high end stores, or retailers with notoriously high customer service standards such as LL Bean. Then, there are the hit-and-miss organizations: sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not.

Then, there are the companies and organizations you can almost guarantee will present you with a lousy customer service scenario.

That was then and this is now. Enter social media, which has proven to be a great equalizer when it comes to customer service, according to an article by Susannah Breslin on Forbes today.

“Thankfully, though, someone invented social media, which means you can talk to brands, and complain about companies to the world, and attempt to get better customer service thanks to this new relationship you have with the people who make the things you buy,” wrote Breslin.

Social media, she said, is a way to “turn up the volume” on your complaints. It's a three-step process.

First, write out a succinct and professional e-mail that captures your problem and what you want done about it. Send it to the company's CEO (it may take a little sleuthing work to figure out the CEO's e-mail address). Though you probably won't get a response, you'll be able to use this e-mail later.

Second, choose the social media channel where you have the most “clout.” If you’re comfortable on Facebook and have lots of friends, choose that. If you're more a Twitter person and have lots of followers, go for it. Post or link to your “story,” in the format of your letter to the CEO. Don't go overboard with emotion, hysteria or profanity, or you're likely to get everyone.

What you DO want to do, says Breslin, is start a fire – one the company will need to rush to put out.

Third, once the company in question contacts you (and if you do it right, they will), know what it is you want from them. Do you seek a replacement product or service? An apology? A promise they'll do better in the future? You've got their attention; now is the time to extract retribution.

“What companies don’t get is that we’re not nameless, faceless blobs who like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, or +1 them on Google+,” added Breslin. “We’re not things you manipulate into engagement. Those clicks are the sound of power tipping in our favor.” media. The great customer service equalizer.

Edited by Braden Becker