Do You Have a Social Media Customer Service Strategy?
By now, it’s safe to say Social Media isn’t going anywhere. As more and more companies begin to embrace how digital the world has gotten, brands both large and small have started to invest in positions dedicated solely to social media.
Just in my experience chatting with others in the marketing industry, a lot of senior execs don’t necessarily understand or appreciate the value this new marketing medium can offer, and because of pressure they get from higher ups to have a social presence, they often hire cheap/young people to run their social media platforms. While this usually takes care of the day-to-day issue of pumping out content and keeping profiles active, it may not solve the real issue behind social media marketing…providing value. Spending over a decade in the hospitality industry through school and college, then ultimately working for a large national company that requires both B2B and B2C marketing I’ve become fascinated with brand and customer experience, and no other medium allows for a marketer to ‘get his/her hands dirty’ like Social Media.
A recent experience inspired me to write this; A week ago I was getting ready to set out on a much needed vacation to Cancun from Boston when a winter storm seriously threatened the chances of my Jetblue flight to leave on the day it was supposed to. Once the storm began to pick up speed, Jetblue proactively announced they would offer free flight transfers and cancellations (that alone is impressive), and all people had to do was call to set up their changes. Needless to say, the call-center was jammed and wait times were in the 40-50 minute range. While I was waiting I noticed the Jetblue Twitter Account routinely responded to people as well as offered updates on the storm in question. I figured it might be worth a shot to tweet at them and see if I could get any info on our flight, and what happened next was truly impressive.
At first, they responded with a link that gave more information including instructions on how to transfer or cancel a flight online. They also followed up with how they are watching the storm and will update us as they get more information.
Once our flight date got closer and the storm seemed to fizzle out more I wanted to make sure everything was on track so I tweeted at them again. (Pay attention to their response time)
Not only were they helpful in putting my mind at ease, but they did so in about 5 minutes! Truly impressive stuff. To top it off, they kept the conversation going, and even personalized it by adding my first name and a humanizing reference to how dreadful of a winter we’ve been having on the east coast.
It may not seem like a big deal at first, but when you take into consideration how big of a company Jetblue is, coupled with how many flights they send out a day, this type of social customer service strategy could make your head spin!
Jetblue is an example of an airline doing social media right, but as Buzzfeed points out there are a number of airlines that should just delete their social media accounts all together. Looking at those examples, it’s clear that for social media customer service an effective defense makes for a great offense.
It’s things like the experience I had with Jetblue above that will make me a life-long customer, as well as refer my friends to their service. So I ask you, do you feel as though one of the strongest marketing strategies you can have for a B2C is a strong social media experience? If so, I’d love to hear some of brands you feel do it well or don’t do it well. I’ll be posting this question on Reddit, Quora and Twitter as well, and will hopefully have a update with some of the more interesting responses.