Hi, I’m Steve. I’m a 24 year old male (you probably guessed that by my name) and I work as an IT support specialist (not as glamorous as it sounds) and live alone with my pet snake, Charles. Charles is awesome and will quite literally remove your fingers if you mess with his mouse supply. I’ve been a big user of social media for years now, and not just Facebook, I’m a huge fan of Twitter, Tumblr and I’m really starting to get in to Google Plus, it is just so damn pretty! I use social media for many purposes, things like reading the news, learning, sharing cool stuff with my friends and in the last two years, I’ve been using social media to communicate with the companies and brands that I’m either a customer of, or are considering becoming a customer of. How have I found the social media customer service experience so far? Mainly massively frustrating and completely inadequate. Let me tell you what I expect from a brand using social media for customer service and communications…
A rapid response
Yo, Mr Brand (not you Russell), listen up, social media is fast, it happens in real-time (just like 24) and that means I want you to respond to me quickly. When I say quickly, I mean that day. Infact, I would prefer an answer to my query within the space of a few hours. If I’m complaining about something, you better be quick and slick, or I’ll just get even more annoyed. Raised blood pressure equals more angry tweets. I don’t only use social media to complain, I’ll big you up from time to time too, I’d like you to at least say thanks. If you choose to be on social media, expect people like me to want to communicate with you, don’t run a ghost-town. If you can’t answer everyday and at all times, tell me so in your bios, about sections etc, that way I’ll at least know what to expect.
Deal with me within the social media platform
I didn’t email you, because I don’t want to wait three days for a response, and it takes me too long to write one (I hardly use email these days). I didn’t call you, because this isn’t 1999. I tweeted you with my query because I want you to help me via Twitter. Don’t try and fob me off to email, why use social media if you can’t help me via it? I understand if you want to take the discussion to direct message, I don’t have a problem with that at all. I’m going to contradict myself a little here (nobody is perfect right?)- if you do offer me the option to email you, and I decide to do that, please make sure the person that handled my tweet is the person that carries on the conversation via email, I don’t want to have to explain myself. If that isn’t possible, at least brief the person that you’re passing the issue on to. Just be prepared for the whole interaction with me to take place within social media, as 99.9% of the time, that’s what I want.
Come to me, don’t wait for me to come to you
I’ll tell you a story, I recently had to replace my headphones. Before I decided what to buy, I took to Twitter and asked for recommendations. I got some good feedback from my followers, but I was really impressed when a smallish headphone maker got in touch and asked me some questions in order to establish what I needed – they then suggested a pair of theirs and I am now a very happy customer. My Outer Mongolian sheep acid jazz funk has never sounded better. The whole exchange probably took them 20 mins in total to deal with and due to their pro-active listening approach, they got a sale and a devoted customer. I’ve already recommended their headphones to three of my friends. This pro-active approach should go above and beyond suggesting your products and services, you should be looking out for opportunities to help, thank and engage with social media users like me.
I want you to make me feel something. Make me smile, laugh, hell even make me cry (I don’t cry easily, it’s girly). Create some superb content to entertain me with. I don’t want to only be subjected to sales messages and your back and forth chats with customers etc. If you take my story about the headphones as an example, I’m already bought in to your brand due to the excellent product and my experience on Twitter with you, by supplying me with excellent and relevant things to watch, read and enjoy, I’ll maintain my connection and love with your brand. It all sounds a bit fluffy, but it’s true.
That’s what I expect from brands etc on social media. Go hard or go home! Treat me how you would like to be treated. If you don’t, I’ll send Charles round.
Note from editor – Steve does not exist. I wish he did though. Have you had great customer service via social media recently? Or maybe a terrible experience? Please do share in the comments section below!
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