Social Media To Continue To Change Customer Service in 2012

In 2011 companies began changing their worldview about traditional customer service, and started looking to social media channels as a way to interact with customers.

Many companies smartened up and created profiles and channels dedicated strictly to answering customer service questions via social media.

Some industries have caught on quicker than others. The cable industry has charged head-first into using social media for customer service. I’ve had positive experiences with both Comcast Cable and Bright House Networks.

Airlines have taken to Twitter to answer questions that customers have, however a lot of the time customers are angry and demanding immediate action, which can be difficult to do with a company that size.

In the new year, I expect more companies to fully take the plunge and set examples for their industries on how to use social media to meet the needs of customers.

In a post at Econsultancy today, Steve Richards writes:

Yes, you need robust procedures in place, and trained staff to make decisions and resolve problems via Twitter, but sometimes you can take some of the heat off the frontline team by providing a place to report issues, find service updates and information or get help from other people with the same product. That place might be a dedicated community, like eircom’s ‘eircom connect’ or Virgin Media’s Support forum; or it might be a Facebook page, like Asos’ Here to Help, which aims to take the customer issues off the main Facebook page.

I especially like Asos’ approach. A lot of the time, customer issues can bog down the official brand page, which isn’t necessarily meant to handle questions like that. Creating a separate channel for that purpose helps to ensure that questions are answered quickly and problems are resolved.

I’m excited to see what companies and industries innovate in 2012 and help to further evolve how social media is used for customer service.

Photo credit: rachelvo0rhees/Flickr