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Where Social Media and Customer Service Meet

This week, my blog is being hijacked by members of the team eager to give their take on customer service. I’ve tried to stop them, but the floodgates have opened! So today, it’s Jonathan from the marketing team…

In the last few years, the popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter has been well documented by bloggers around the world and businesses have become more and more intrigued by the commercial potential of these websites.

Unfortunately, where a lot of businesses have gone wrong is that they fail to realise that these sites aren’t intended to be used by companies. Organisations have tried using the same marketing techniques that they apply to billboard advertising and have failed to truly listen to their audience or engage them.

The key to this post is in the word “listen”.

For a business to adopt social media successfully it must start off by listening, otherwise it’s simply jumping into the lions pit, putting itself at risk of being attacked and losing brand credibility online (think of the Greenpeace attack on Nestle earlier this year).

At UKFast, we see Twitter as a great communication channel and use it to engage with many clients. This week is “National Customer Service Week”, an event we are happy to promote as we believe the service we offer our customers is what sets us apart from our competition.

On this journey, we recognise that, much like Social Media, Customer Service begins with listening. It starts by understanding areas of your business that need improvement, areas where you excel and also discovering new opportunities that haven’t yet been explored.

I couldn’t agree more with Ross Keeping’s opening remark in his blog earlier this week: “It is not enough to have satisfied customers. At UKFast we want Raving Fans.” By ensuring our customers are so happy that they become our best advocates, we are allowing them to do a lot of the hard work for us, and on Social Media there is no more powerful tool than a big following of “Raving Fans”.

For more information regarding some of this week’s events, read our Head of Customer Service’s thoughts from earlier this week.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this subject.

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Comments

  1. It’s all very well having raving fan customers, but what about the raving lunies that work for UKFast. To be great at something, you have to be a little obsessive. Its safe to say, our guys are really showing massive commitment and focus to developing their customer service skills, and its great to see our clients loving it.

    Thank you to everyone, especially our very own head of customer service Ross K.

  2. Guy Stephens says:

    Good luck on your social media customer service journey. I set up the use of social media at The Carphone Warehouse and now help other organisations use social media to provide customer service, alongside their existing channels. Listening is definitely an important component, but it has got to be an active type of listening. A type of listening that actually ‘hears’ what the customer says, and regardless of whether the customer says something that is positive or negative, actually is prepared to then act on that. You’ve also got to be clear about what it is you are listening for, and why you are listening. I would almost take a step backwards and say that actually it’s more about mindset. Does your organisation have a mindset that is open to what the customer has to say? The risks are part of the journey, and what happened with Nestle, Eurostar and countless others has less to do with social media, than it does with the mindset of the company employing these tools. Good luck, but be prepared to truly hear and act on what your customers tell you.

  3. James says:

    Jonathan you’re very clever, I have learnt alot from this, thanks.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your kind comment.
    Interesting, because your comment actually echos the message of this blog post by saying “I have learnt alot”.
    Customer Service and Social Media require a lot of listening as I mentioned and ideally a lot of learning as you have said. We are constantly trying to improve with every piece of feedback we get, we have even setup the facility to do so within our client area.

    I’m glad you’ve found the post helpful,
    Thanks for reading,
    Jonathan

  5. […] means ‘different strokes to different folks’ and to continually improve our service we need to listen and understand what is important to each client. Bruce Waynes (Batman) said: “Criminals aren’t […]

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