The other day, I opened an email from AT&T reminding me of my upcoming bill. I opened it expecting to see my usual monthly payment. Instead, I found a bill total of more than triple the normal amount. My initial thought: Here we go again. I absolutely hate calling AT&T, because it takes at least ten minutes to work my way through their interactive voice response (IVR) and possibly reach a person.
Begrudgingly, I made my call and reached a customer service representative. Hooray! She investigated and told me I had made a mistake and still owed triple the amount my contract stated. The discussion quickly increased in volume and attitude. Eventually, she agreed to pass my issue on to her supervisor who would contact me the next day.
I was extremely frustrated and heated after my conversation, so I decided to tweet my complaint and see if anyone would respond. I included @ATT in my tweet.
Over two hours later, @ATT responded. The representative asked me to include my account number, email address, and a description of the problem. A little over a half an hour later, a different AT&T employee contacted me through Twitter and asked me to message her my contact number. Couldn’t she look that up since I already gave her colleague my account information? The next day, an AT&T employee contacted me and fixed the problem.
What is the moral of my story? Multi-channel support is critical to your support plan.
Zendesk and Conversocial, two companies that provide online support integration, are two of many companies that have conducted studies on multi-channel support. Conversocial reports 51% of consumers currently use social media to communicate with corporations. Zendesk reports that 20% of people who use Twitter are seeking support from a business. Conversocial also found that 88% of customers whose complaints were unanswered on social media said they would be less likely to buy from that brand. These statistics should tell you it’s time to put effort into your social media as a customer service channel.
Groubal, an online consumer complaint website, analyzed customer service complaints on Twitter. After studying thousands of tweets, they found 40% of the reason for the complaint came from either a slow response or slow service from companies.
Social media customer service doesn’t have to focus on defusing angry customers. Make any dialogue an opportunity to offer your customers the best support and service possible.
If you plan on implementing multi-channel support, keep the following customer service tips in mind:
- Respond in a timely manner
- Empathize with your customer’s concerns
- Keep your customer informed about what is being done to remedy the problem
- Provide contact information if another problem arises
Anna Drennan from Conversocial says, “The future of communication between companies and their customers lies in social media.”
Are you ready to get on board?