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October 9, 2012
CALGARY, AB, Oct. 9, 12/ Troy Media/ – Social media and customer service have come together like peanut butter and chocolate did in the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials. And like the famous candy bar, both are better for it, creating, as the ads once proclaimed, “Two great tastes that taste great together.”
According to Mashable and Gartner, social service does matter. From Mashable.com:
‘By the end of the year, 80 per cent of companies plan to use social media for customer service. On the consumer side, 62 per cent of customers have already used social media for customer service issues. Gartner predicts one billion users will be on social networks by the end of 2012.’
So it’s important to serve your customers well in the digital realm, but do any companies actually get that? Turns out they do. I have had or witnessed excellent online service experiences with Shaw, WestJet and TELUS.
The story with Shaw is a familiar one – we wanted to buy some movie channels so we could get more original drama of the HBO/AMC ilk. Being a web guy, I thought, ‘I’ll just use the self serve portal.’ What a mistake! After much refreshing, reloading, rebooting and searching, I was no further ahead in my quest to BUY SOMETHING NEW FROM SHAW! Argh. As a last resort, I phoned. They weren’t open. Double argh. My wife was starting to look askance at my digital purchasing skills – oh the shame! Then it hit me . . . I should tweet! Moments later a friendly rep from @ShawHelp resolved my purchasing issue and we entered into a new era of peace and original drama in my home. Hallelujah!
WestJet – already legendary for their good humor and above average customer service – helped me find a business lounge in Las Vegas before the Vegas Airport could figure it out. All on Twitter!
Speaking of travel, a couple times in the past year I have been out of province using my iPad when a TELUS error message about my data plan pops up. I tried phoning 611 and that didn’t work, but a few moments later a nice fellow in Burnaby manning the @TELUSsupport Twitter account came to my rescue. Months later they repeated the favour when my iPad cut out in rural Nova Scotia, just when we really needed Google Maps. Amen!
TELUS spokesperson Chris Gerritsen says this kind of support is part of who TELUS is and what they do, something ‘woven into the fabric of our service.’
‘Companies who just see social as a tool to monitor don’t get it.’
A friend of mine, Bill Bergh, sent me an email this week that shows TELUS definitely does get it. Red Deer radio personality Paul O’Neil from Big 105 FM tweeted last Saturday that he was ‘waiting for Danny the TELUS installer to come.’
For the uninitiated, Danny is the personality in the latest TELUS ad campaigns, so he was unlikely to be installing Optik TV in Red Deer. TELUS could have ignored Paul’s tweet, or they could have whipped off a perfunctory ‘Thx!’ tweet (because you can’t fit ‘thanks’ into 140 characters).
Instead, they created a custom Danny video, just for Paul, and it is hilarious! Do a Google search for ‘From Danny @TELUS to @PaulONeilBig105′ to see for yourself – Danny’s imitation of a radio voice is priceless.
‘We happened to be with Danny when we saw Paul’s tweet and we said ‘why not?” says Gerritsen ‘And look at the impact. We want to have conversations with our customers – it makes us a better company.’
When someone speaks about your brand on social media it may be a cry for help or just a simple shout out. Either way, as Gerritsen says, it’s a chance to surprise and delight your customers.
Are you finding a little social getting mixed into your customer service? As the Reese’s people say these days: ‘Perfect.’
Doug Lacombe is president of social media agency communicatto. Find him on Twitter at @dblacombe.
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