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Latest 05 Nov 2018 | Customer Service | 7 min read

What Caused 3 Major Brands to Adopt Digital Support?

What causes a brand to adopt digital into their customer service repertoire? And what makes a major airline, credit card provider, or online retailer decide that the future of customer service is social messaging, WhatsApp, or Twitter? We live in the digital age. Nowadays, any brand that wants to ride the wave of success has to be digitally innovative in order to meet the rising expectations of the ‘always-on’ digital, mobile consumer. Today, we examine three stories of how three major companies pivoted and profited from their digital switch.

1) Icelandair rose from the ashes to earn sky-high praise

 Icelandair’s digital support venture began with a literal eruption. Mt. Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010 and sent a nine kilometer plume of ashes into the sky, creating the world’s greatest air travel disruption since World War II. In panic , customers reached out for rescheduling help on social media, and the support team realized that social messaging had merits beyond just emergencies. But the transition to digital came with challenges.

Customers who reached out on social media expected more than just a response and a phone number – they wanted to be re-booked in-channel. Up until this point, Icelandair’s team hadn’t been specifically trained on social media engagement for customer service. It soon became apparent that the social customer doesn’t want to interact only during traditional business hours, but at their own convenience, whatever the hour, whatever the issue. In partnership with Conversocial, Icelandair launched an internal social media command centre to provide support at every touchpoint of the digital customer journey.

Icelandair’s new centralized team received special training on social media support and Conversocial allowed them to encrypt private chats to provide in-channel resolutions. Team members found they could field many simultaneous digital chats rather than just a single phone call, which allowed them to absorb spikes in ticket volume, as occurs in crises like Mt. Eyjafjallajökull. Today, their agents respond in half the time and handle 163 more responses.

Read Icelandair’s story

Icelandair Podcast

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2) Barclaycard finds customer love in a regulated space

Barclaycard, a credit card provider founded in 1966, was surprised to find that customers were talking about it on social media – a lot. At first, it didn’t respond. But when it started to see misconceptions about its services spread, it realized that it was probably hurting its reputation by not addressing them. Barclaycard thus waded into social media like many companies do, in an ad-hoc way.

At first, only a few inspired members of the public relations (PR) team responded to customers, but they were quickly overwhelmed. The company needed a way of systematically dealing with social media feedback and complaints so it could head off issues before they evolved into crises, and to make sure their responses were human-sounding but still adhered to the thousands of pages of regulation required by governments. Leadership created a dedicated Hybrid Social Engagement team, and invested in software such as Conversocial.

Barclaycard sourced its social support talent with from existing support teams, gave them extensive training on social etiquette, and set them up to work closely with PR. Most importantly, it launched a social playbook to provide clear guidance on how agents could adhere to rules from The Financial Conduct Authority. And it worked. Barclaycard reduced their response times by 21 minutes, achieved a first-touch resolution (FRT) of less than 30 minutes, and now handle a fast-growing portion of their support tickets without picking up the phone.

Read  Barclaycard's story
We live in the digital age. Nowadays, any brand that wants to ride the wave of success has to be digitally innovative in order to meet the rising expectations of the ‘always-on’ digital and mobile consumer.

3) Ipsy inspired agent authenticity

Authenticity is important to an online retailer whose mission statement is to “inspire individuals around the world to express their unique beauty.” And while social media seemed like it could help Ipsy’s agents offer more personal support, the team worried whether it could handle issues there effectively at scale, or keep pace with customers’ evolving social tastes.

Ipsy’s customer base is primarily millennials, who see support and marketing on social media as interchangeable. They’re fast to adopt new channels, and quick to share publicly on Facebook and Instagram. This means the support team needed to adopt those channels and to sort the signals from noise to find and help customers in need. To identify and assign those tickets, the team partnered with Conversocial.

“Conversocial has been a very valuable partner – providing us with the tool and support we need to succeed,” said Nikki Yeager, Ipsy’s Head of Customer Care. “The product is evolving quickly to keep pace with the changing landscape of support on social.”

Conversocial’s Play Mode helped Ipsy prioritize inbound customer messages, freeing its agents to practice more proactive engagement, reaching out to customers just to check in. Conversocial’s analytics helped Ipsy forecast inbound support volumes to staff agents. And most importantly, Conversocial empowered the team to kill their support script.

With one tool to govern all of social, Ipsy’s support managers are constantly aware of what agents are saying, and feel comfortable freeing agents to put their own spin on responses – achieving the authenticity that it hopes to inspire in customers. Ipsy’s response times are down 67 percent , social sentiment is up 23 percent , and customers (and agents) have never been happier.

Read  Ipsy’s story .
Conversocial has been a very valuable partner – providing us with the tool and support we need to succeed. The product is evolving quickly to keep pace with the changing landscape of support on social.
Nikki Yeager, Ipsy’s Head of Customer Care.

Are you inspired by these stories? It's time to propel your customer service offering into the digital sphere and build the organization of the future with our Customer Experience Trends for 2019 Report


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