Customers often turn to social media after they have tried using other channels and still haven’t received adequate customer service.
Many customers see social networks like Facebook and Twitter as a last resort when they’ve exhausted all other possibilities and are on the verge of leaving - I know, I was one of these customers!
Two months ago I switched apartments, arranging a home visit with Sky for an engineer to install my phone and broadband. A week later, the engineer phoned to tell me that Sky had given him the wrong address, and the order would have to be cancelled and a new one reissued. It took nearly two weeks for Sky to finally cancel my order and schedule a new one, only for the engineer to be sent to the wrong address again. Two weeks later, the engineer was sent to the wrong address for a third time. I immediately phoned and spoke to a Sky representative who said I would receive a call back in an hour. After two days with no call, I phoned again and got the same response, but still never received a call back. I had been moved into my new apartment for seven weeks, and in 2012 it’s completely impossible to live without the Internet for that long. Infuriated, and refusing to be charged for another phone call to Sky from my mobile phone, I turned to Twitter in hopes that @SkyHelpTeam could be of some service.
Sky’s Twitter team answered me within minutes, saw the many issues linked to my account, and sent my problem over to a team of people who would handle it. Naturally, I was a bit weary of having to wait for a resolution after having such horrible experiences for two months, so I contacted @SkyHelpTeam daily to get an updated status of my issue. Thanks to my conversations with @SkyHelpTeam, an engineer set up my phone and broadband last week. Several conversations with people at Sky’s call center and nothing was fixed, but one experience with Sky’s Twitter team and I was up and running. It shows how useful social customer service can be when carried out correctly. In this case, tweeting was the only way that I was able to get my voice heard and my problem fixed.
I have since been regularly checking Sky’s Twitter page, monitoring the issues that arise with other customers and seeing how they are being handled by the team. The members of @SkyHelpTeam are prompt, informative, and even add a personal touch by signing their names at the end of their posts. If companies are looking for a good example of social customer service, @SkyHelpTeam gets my stamp of approval.
Social media is already an important platform for customer service, and it will start to become a preferred method for customers, instead of a secondary one. Customers are beginning to learn that using Twitter or Facebook to make a customer service query is much easier than making a phone call - not to mention that it costs less and you don’t get put on hold. Perhaps Sky is plowing efforts into better service levels for Twitter than phone because they’re more conscious of the negative effects of leaving customers unanswered in public. Although that sounds a little frustrating, they are heading in the right direction.
More and more customers will continue to turn to social media, and the demand for social customer service teams will only increase. Companies will need to recognize this and implement a social customer service team before it’s too late.