Social Customer Care is Changing CX: Two Real-Life Examples
October 26, 2015
Clarabridge CEO Sid Banerjee was featured in the New York Times last week. Of course, he was talking about customer experience—but this time, Sid was the customer having the experience. From the article:
Sid Banerjee and a colleague had been stranded at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for several hours in April. The tech company chief executive had missed his connecting flight, was resigned to missing his meeting and was just trying to get back to Washington.
“I could not get someone to reroute me back home,” Mr. Banerjee said. After fruitless hours trying to get assistance over the phone or at the ticket counter, his colleague, who did not want to be identified, turned to Twitter. “We said, ‘We should tweet about it,’ ” Mr. Banerjee said.
He had a strong hunch they might get some kind of response. Their company, Clarabridge, sells social media analytics software to travel companies. Twitter, he figured, might give him a digital backdoor.
“Social in particular, because it’s not the dominant path for communication between customers and airlines, does tend to have a shorter queue,” he said.
Of course, Sid was right—social media is increasingly becoming the preferred channel for customer care in many industries. The New York Times article quotes representatives from five different airlines about their social customer care strategy, and airlines aren’t alone. The Harvard Business Review reports that 60% of US-based companies are engaging in social customer care.1
Social customer care is growing in importance because it works. Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand.2 That’s certainly the case for Paul Fowler, Clarabridge’s Director of Global Partnerships.
Reading Sid’s article struck close to home for Paul, who has had his own experience with the power of social customer care. “It actually mirrors an incident that happened to me this summer,” Paul said. “I lost my hearing aids on a train and the train company returned them to me inside of one hour.”
Paul reached out to the train company’s Twitter account immediately, explaining where and when he’d lost his hearing aids. A social customer care agent responded within minutes. The agent informed the Control team, who retrieved the box with the hearing aids and had them returned to Paul’s station. If the train company hadn’t acted quickly, the hearing aids would have ended up miles away.
Not only was the response fast, it took place entirely through social media. As Paul put it, “I didn’t speak to a single human being; I did it all through Twitter.”
These two examples demonstrate how increasingly common it is for customers to reach out via social media when they have a problem. To provide a great customer experience, companies need to respond quickly to social customer care requests, with agents who are empathetic to the customer and have the power to help.
Not only does good social customer care improve the customer experience, but it can also provide more old-fashioned results. As Sid summed it up in the New York Times, “It’s not uncommon for the customer to say thank you, and that does help.”