Using Social Media as a Customer Service VehicleApril 18, 2013
The ability to provide customer service is a key part of why brands choose to be on social. Customers routinely talk to their friends about brands – the good, bad and ugly. It is partially this prioritization of social, specifically Twitter, as a customer service tool, that led the BP America company ampm to employ M80 and Mindshare Social.
Customer services best practices dictate that problems be resolved in a timely manner. This was the case when a customer complained about an ampm being out of her favorite drink. While they did not tag or @mention ampm in the tweet, the social team’s listening practice alerted them to the situation. The customer, Julie, was merely expressing her annoyance, not seeking special treatment. She was surprised as to what happened next.
Maintaining the brand’s fun and irreverent tone, @ampm wrote back hoping to get more information so the problem could be solved. Julie replied and within minutes the ampm social team was in touch with the client, the Category Manager and Franchise Business Consultant to get to the bottom of the missing cappuccino flavor.
The result? Out of five locations in Julie’s area, two did not have the requested flavor. The CPG brand was notified and ensured ampm that the out-of-stock flavor would be on the next delivery truck. Shortly afterward, @ampm shared the good news with Julie and was rewarded with a happy customer encouraging her friends to shop at ampm.
While scanning through Instagram, the ampm social team came across a post from Julie where she had posted the original conversation on Instagram with message “Customer service. You’re doing it right!! Seriously best thing that’s ever happened to me you should all shop at #ampm” That Instagram received 48 likes.
This example of community management astuteness and customer service proactiveness demonstrates how brand willingness to employ social listening, and outreach best practices, helps to yield overall positive online experiences. These real life interactions via social media more purely connect brands to their consumers as brands begin to act ‘more human’ and show real value to their audience. While addressed on an ad hoc bases, these opportunities help pave the road to increased brand advocacy.