06 Jan The Importance of Unique Customer Service in the Age of Social Media
We have all experienced the frustration of calling a customer service hotline only to “interact” with an automated person – sometimes for over a half hour. It is a nuisance when the problem you’re dealing with can’t be solved through an automated technology, and frankly, it’s annoying when you try several times to get through to a real person and fail. What happens next?
For Millennials, who hold close to $200 billion in purchasing power each year brands will continue to go out of their way to be there. For instance, when the item doesn’t work as it should, a package doesn’t get delivered at the right time, or an account issue comes up, brands utilize social media to resolve the issue. Plain and simple, social media has taken customer service to an entirely new dimension.
Recently, an employee of The Westmark Group ordered a salad from Sweetgreen, a popular salad chain. When she got back to the office to start eating her salad, she discovered the one thing no one likes to find in their food – a hair! She immediately took to Twitter, mentioning Sweetgreen in the tweet that explained her problem (even including a picture). While this might seem like putting too much effort toward an issue that frankly, happens more often than we’d like to think about, Sweetgreen immediately responded via a private message to begin resolving the issue
A swift 10 minutes later, the issue was solved. Our employee found herself in a pleasant conversation with the person on the other end of the screen and mentioned that she had been a Sweetgreen customer for many years. The customer service representative immediately followed up the discussion with crediting our employee $15.00, in addition to asking for her address to send a little something extra. All of this for a hair in a salad might seem a bit out of the ordinary, but it’s really genius. The customer service representative was trained on how to handle what was a very public tweet, in a professional and unique manner. A few days later, our employee received a handwritten note and a Sweetgreen t-shirt.
You might be asking yourself, why are we telling you this story? This is but one of the many examples where social media connected a person to a brand they already had a favorable attitude toward. Instead of the relationship being sabotaged because of one bad experience, their use of social media saved the brand from losing a loyal customer. As a business owner or employee of a brand, you never want to have issues between your products and your clients, but it happens, that’s the reality. Should you find yourself in a similar scenario, where you are instructed to provide the solution, remember what it feels like to be on the frustrated end of the problem. One person’s problem can give your brand the opportunity to not only save the day, but create strong brand loyalty if it is handled right!