Is Customer Service Better in Social Media?

Is it just me or are brands more pro-active doing customer service in social media than they do in their actual brick and mortar stores or through their websites?

Dell (@DellCares) and Rogers (@RogersHelps) are great examples of a social media trailblazer and a late comer getting it right. Their social media teams are really showing other customer service reps how it is done.

Recently, some Twitter users were experiencing poor customer service at a bank. Soon after, tweets about the experience were posted, and very quickly calls from branch managers (who was notified by the social media team) were made. Social media works.

Social media lends itself to better customer service than your average website: I don’t see how filling out a “Contact Us” form can ever beat the one-to-one connection on Facebook or Twitter.

Why do brands listen on social media listening while many in-store representatives are tuning customers out? This is not an indictment of employees; it is a tough job dealing with people who sometimes don’t want to compromise.

If we can learn anything from social media, it is that listening really pays off. The other lesson is people will publish their bad experiences for their social networks to see, but not always publish the good moments.

What are some of the great customer service experiences you have had on social media? Has it outweighed your experience in store or on parent websites?

More: Check out this Mashable post looking at nine ways that top brands are customer service for better customer service. Dave Fleet has a good post on eight ways that brands can scale their social support efforts.

5 Comments on “Is Customer Service Better in Social Media?”

  1. Great Post .

    Facebook and twitter seems to replicate the one-one interaction of the offline world and hence this channel wins 🙂

    But let’s not forget there are 100’s of channels for a brand digitally,offline and many other channle.
    we should some how have a 360 degree/holistic view of a “customer” does not matter facebook or twitter or instore ,then i think we can effectively serve customers.

    Are there companies out there which are doing that?would love to hear …

    Cheers,
    V

  2. Hi Mark. You’re right. Customer service seems to be so much better on social media. I’ve had great support online from the Porter Airlines, Rogers and others. The social media teams that have responded to my online rants just seem to have a culture of listening, followed by a bias towards action. I can’t say I’m experienced the same on the phone or in person.

  3. Too bad Rogers “social media” help isn’t all that great. They can’t help you online they can’t help you over the phone, simply put they can’t help you period. I have been a customer of theirs since I was 18 and as of late I’m not happy with any of their they’re services. My cell phone service is trash, my Internet and cable goes out at least twice a month. Rogers is garbage.

  4. Couldn’t agree more. You only have to click onto any companies Facebook and Twitter sites to see how popular customer service through this form works. Listening does pay off and people are reading customer complaints and sometimes engaging with them. I’d argue that social media makes customers lazy! They can hide behind the computer screen and make their complaint/seek support and not have to physically engage face to face with anyone. It’s a great way to avoid customer service conflict. I’ve written more about this subject at http://theprgirlfrombrizzle.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/conflict-hiding-behind-social-media/

    I always use Facebook and Twitter these days for any customer service enquires I might have. Based in the UK – the best I have received is from Natwest Bank and Orange Mobile, who literally helped me in a matter of an hour from posting. The worst was Virgin Atlantic who messed up my seating allocation on a flight from Orlando to London. They basically told me to “go to the airport” and gave me awful advice which left me none the wiser. When I replied asking for more help, they ignored my response! Now, I fly BA!

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