7 min read
Social media has been on the rise for nearly two decades now, only becoming more prominent every year. Whether it’s for personal use or business use, billions of people around the world turn to it daily to seek anything from entertainment, to messaging with grandma, to finding support from a company they are involved with—and that’s where we come in.
Sprout Social surveyed and found that 90% of people use social media to directly communicate with a brand. When asked how they felt if a brand responds to their request on social media, 70% of people said they were more likely to use the brand’s product or service, and 65% reported more brand loyalty. Yet, despite this, brands are only responding to 11% of people. What’s even worse is, when a brand does respond, they take an average of 10 hours to do so, while most consider under 4 hours to be reasonable.
So, why is this happening? The issue lies with many companies viewing social media as a marketing tool only. They spend most of their efforts advertising and creating a strong brand following and forget what their community wants most. Successful companies today are finding a balance on social media between building brand awareness, helping customers become more successful with products and services via self-service, and providing one-off responses & explanations.
So, let’s look into some powerful examples of brands doing social media customer service right!
When looking at top customer support brands on social media, Nike was one of the most obvious choices. Their twitter account, @teamnike runs 7 days a week, responding thoroughly to all requests within hours. Not to mention that their support is offered in seven different languages.
A great technique Team Nike uses on twitter is, anytime someone mentions their main page with a support-related question, Team Nike promptly responds. This allows their main page to focus on the marketing, while their support page can focus on, well, the support. This ensures both aspects are carefully cared for.
What is most inspiring about Team Nike though, is the time they take to thoroughly respond to each request. Even though they are constantly being swamped with contacts, they take the time to have an in-depth conversation with each person, ensuring they are satisfied by the end.
Nike is not the only one utilizing a separate account for their customer service related posts, @Netflixhelps has caught on to the effective trend as well. Their customer service page is consistently on point—promptly responding to customer questions and maintaining their friendly brand.
Netflix’s voice can be described as personable, witty, relaxed, and humorous. They come across as genuinely caring about good TV, rather than their business and sales. They show this in their social media customer service with consistent friendly greetings like “Hey Aj!” and popular emojis. Not to mention how simple they make it to follow up on an issue, linking the exact URL with instructions on what to do next. This also makes it convenient for any other people who read the post with similar thoughts and want to request the show as well.
There’s a reason Netflix is at the center of modern technology and entertainment conversations. They launched a unique idea of home-delivery movies, and evolved to where they are today, based on what their customers wanted. Rather than becoming the next Blockbuster, they evolved—now becoming more prevalent every day.
Netflix does this by aligning their core goal to match their audience's goal: easy access to good television and movies. Shifting focus from the business side to the customer point of view allows them to be successful at always providing what their audience needs, whether it’s a new season or show, or simply a convenient tool to stream with.
Adobe has not one, but two customer support accounts on twitter, separate from their main one. @AdobeCare handles all of Adobe’s customer questions and concerns, while they have an entirely separate account, @AdobeExpCare just for their Experience Cloud-related help, tips, and product information. This truly helps their community know exactly where to go when they need help, and it helps their customer service teams efficiently index the type of questions they receive, ultimately allowing them to respond quicker and with higher quality.
Something Adobe Customer Care does really well is their proactive service and support aim. They realize the software they provide can become quite tricky, especially for beginner users. So, rather than just waiting for questions to flood in, they consistently send out tweets with helpful tips and tricks for their community to use to their advantage. Not only does this help prevent possible questions from arising, but it makes their page more engaging, educational, and fun to follow for their customers.
However, when their customers do still need to reach out with questions, Adobe Customer Care is there, responding with quick and thorough answers, linking exact URLs to the self-service knowledge base article or journey that will best fit. This is a great way to take some questions off social media and guide customers to self-help to resolve issues, especially when they are complex.
Ok, we are starting to discover a trend here, aren’t we? It seems all of the most successful company’s customer service strategies are using separate accounts to handle their service and support. Apple is no different, with @AppleSupport “providing tips, tricks, and helpful information.” They are available every day, and even list their exact hours in their bio. This is a great strategy because it allows their customer’s response time expectations to align with their own—ensuring the customer isn’t let down when they don’t get a response in the middle of the night.
Apple Support is also doing a great job in the proactive tweet game. They send out daily tweets of helpful videos, tips, and articles explaining different and new features to help their audience be the most successful with their products.
But they still do an excellent job responding to the requests they receive. What’s most notable about Apple Support is their care for privacy. As technology grows more advanced, many people are beginning to feel like they are losing their privacy to the internet. It is very important to Apple that their customers feel safe and secure when using their products. Apple Support displays this perfectly by always escalating any complicated situations to private messages. This ensures the customer doesn’t feel the need to post private information about their device on social media.
Spotify’s customer service has won multiple awards, including Newsweek’s America's Best Customer Service 2020 and the webby award for social media customer support. Clearly, they’re doing something right. For starters, they have their own support account on twitter, @SpotifyCares that clearly explains in the bio exactly how to find the support their customer may be in search of: “For tech queries, let us know your device/operating system. For payment queries, drop us a DM!”
Spotify Cares elevates their service beyond this though, personalizing every response they send out with unique characteristics. First off, every tweet is signed with the initials of the actual person who wrote it, adding a personal flair, and reminding their community that there aren’t bots behind these tweets, but real-life people.
Speaking of real-life people, every person tweeting for Spotify Cares is specially trained and selected after spending months working on email-based support responses (which are less urgent and usually more technical than social media). This just shows how much Spotify really does care that they succeed in supporting their customers and allowing them to be successful.
Lastly, they personalize a lot of their responses by adding a song recommendation for the customer once the issue is resolved. This just goes to show that, like Netflix, Spotify truly understands their customer and what they want from their company. Plus, this helps highlight the real people behind the tweets, again, making them more human and relatable.
Ok, JetBlue may be the outlier here with just one twitter page, @JetBlue, serving a variety of purposes. But, their marketing, communications, and customer commitment team collaborate together on the account to ensure all of their customer’s needs are met. And apparently, they are doing something right, with nearly 2 million followers.
Airlines usually receive a bad rep—delaying flights, losing baggage, canceling flights altogether. When people fly, they tend to be stressed and on-edge, so the smallest thing might set them off, and rightfully so. No one wants to change their travel plans last minute, or lose their belongings on vacation. Because of this, most airline’s customer support teams are not very popular at all. But, JetBlue has managed to tread their own path and set a much higher standard for what airline support can be.
Aside from their friendly, helpful, and super fast responses (sometimes even within minutes), they are always doing their best to go the extra mile, literally.
In this special case, @Alexa_Burrows tweeted about returning home from her vacation, wishing she could be greeted with a welcome parade at the gate. So, that’s just what JetBlue did, organizing gleeful employees with banners to celebrate her return to Boston. It doesn’t get much more inspiring than this!
Amazon is the most classic example of successful customer service and support. They have revolutionized the self-service movement, aiding customers to be successful with all of the tools they need in an easy and convenient way. Their twitter support page, @AmazonHelp, continues to hold this standard. Open seven days a week, and available in eight different languages, they are serving a huge portion of their global audience while still responding in as quickly as a few minutes.
Notice how this response came just five minutes after the contact was made at 3:40 p.m. It also includes a personalized initial signature from the person who tweeted it. Their team is clearly doing something right if they can send a human response in a matter of minutes, rather than just an automated bot.
The Riot Games Support twitter page, @RiotSupport, may not be as quick as Amazon, but they are bringing something unique to the table. To start, they clearly have their operating hours defined in their bio, along with links to additional support material.
But, that’s not what is setting them apart—it’s their tone of voice. Many companies can try to act human and personable in their tone, but Riot Games Support is truly succeeding in doing so. Whenever they respond to their customer concerns, they talk in a casual conversation, relating to the person. They truly know who their audience is, and the best way to convey information to them. In this example, you can see their tweets read almost like a text message conversation.
So, what can we learn from these inspiring social media customer service examples?
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