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Why brands need to pay more attention to social customer service

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It seems that businesses are still not quite getting the importance of social customer service. Even a company like British Airways, which prides itself on its customer experience laurels, seems to have overlooked this seemingly obvious aspect of the customer-brand relationship.

Last month a disgruntled customer made headlines by purchasing several promoted tweets on Twitter to air his complaints against the airline. He was so angered by British Airlines (lost luggage), that he was willing to promote his tweet on a cost-per-engagement basis, spending over $1,000 of his own money to get the word out. This unusual tactic caused something of a media firestorm for the airline, being picked up by the BBC, CNN, bloggers, and others.

"In the tennis match between consumers and brands, social media is one more point in favor of the customer," said Ann Ruckstuhl, Chief Marketing Officer of LiveOps, a provider of cloud contact center solutions and services. (Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., LiveOps recently opened a San Diego location.)

Ruckstuhl explained that social media monitoring during business hours may not be enough. While it's OK to tell your social constituency that you only man your Twitter/Facebook channels between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., you may still want to consider an escalation management service to cover those hours outside of business hours. In cases like this, the goal for any brand should be to pivot such a highly visible tweet into a private channel: review the tweet and respond with a link to start a private chat session, or to schedule a call back.

Companies that fail to quickly and effectively respond to social media posts risk quite a bit. A highly public tweet can recruit others with similar complaints who will pile on and share their experience with the world. Additionally, a brand's reputation could suffer, leading people to cancel orders, sales, etc. or switch to a competitor, affecting revenues.

Ruckstuhl suggests channels like Twitter, SMS, and Facebook are no different from voice calls; companies need to treat them with the same vigor.

(This article in its entirety, written by Blaise McNamee, appeared on TMCNet on October 24, 2013. The full article is available at: http://call-center-software.tmcnet.com/topics/call-center-software/articles/357837-why-brands-need-pay-more-attention-social-customer.htm)

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Submitted by LiveOps

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