Social media has revolutionized the way business is conducted, making it more immediate and customer-oriented than ever. From marketing, to promotions, to customer service; social media has opened up a new avenue of how businesses engage and connect with their audiences. As SocialMediaToday's infographic points out, "leading organizations are not only measuring the time and cost it takes to service a customer, but their customer's overall engagement with their brand." Customers want to engage, connect, and be heard. They want to matter, and social media provides them with the avenue to do just that. The question is, are companies willing to listen and accommodate these new needs?
Social Media to the Rescue
We can find great examples of how brands used social media to go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy customers in the cases of Peter Shankman and Morton's Steakhouse, and Axel Murillo and JetBlue Airlines.
Before boarding a flight back home after a business trip, Peter Shankman, an avid steak lover, jokingly tweeted the following to Morton's Steakhouse:
After landing in his hometown, Peter found his driver accompanied by a man in a tuxedo holding a bag. Much to Mr. Shankman's surprise, the man in the tuxedo was from a local Morton's and in the bag was a 24 oz. Porterhouse steak, an order of Colossal Shrimp, a side of potatoes, bread, napkins, and silverware. Needless to say, Morton's made Peter Shankman's day and night! This is a fantastic example of a brand seeing an opportunity to fulfill a customer's wish and also exemplify their customer service values. (Read the full story here.)
Axel Murillo booked a flight with JetBlue around Christmas; however, a massive snow storm ended up cancelling over 10,000 flights, including his. In an attempt to rebook a flight, Mr. Murillo tried calling the company's customer service number, but to no avail. He took to Twitter to vent about the situation. From his tweet, Axel ended up having four flights re-scheduled by five separate JetBlue reps in less than 20 minutes each ... and all of this happened via Twitter Direct Message (DM). But this has to be the cherry on top: a few days after Axel Murillo landed at his destination, he received an email from Robin Hayes, Chief Commercial Officer for JetBlue Airways that read, "As a token of our appreciation for your patience during last week's snowstorm when we canceled your flight, please accept 10,000 TrueBlue points which you can apply toward future travel to any JetBlue destination." It's pretty remarkable what quality customer care can do for a brand's reputation, and with social media, companies can deliver this attention instantly.
No Customer Left Behind
The ease, convenience, and universal nature of social media gives ordinary people (the consumers) the ability to voice their opinions and actually be heard. It's absolutely essential that companies understand the importance of having a strong online presence, not only to keep up with the times, but to understand their customers and engage with them consistently. Social media gives the consumer a voice again. For years, organizations have held the ball in their court; now it's the customer's turn.
Social Media Servicing Software
1. SalesForce - Social Hub
2. Moxie Software - Social Media Spaces
3. LiveOps - Social
5. Genesys - Social Engagement
Tell Us What You Think
Have you had a customer service issue resolved online via social media? If so, tell us what the company did to successfully fix the problem. Share your story on Twitter or in the comments section below. Sharing is caring.
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(Photo credits: Peter Shankman Blog, Social Media Apps/Flickr)