The Divide in Customer Service: Telephone vs. Social Media

Businesses are increasingly experimenting with different channels to address customer grievances and provide support. Traditional channels like email and telephone apart, social media is proving to be a popular choice.

Lessons to learn from a disturbing trend

Using popular social channels like Twitter to deliver customer service is a bold move, no doubt, considering that companies have taken to social media in a big way. But a recent trend involving customer service and social media has been raising eye brows. It has been noticed that some companies delivering poor customer service on the telephone, suddenly wake up when customers provide negative feedback on a social media site. It seems to be a knee jerk reaction, as companies may be worried about the news going viral. What companies are forgetting is that any such complaints is a sign that the first customer service touch point is not working. In reality, it is a chance to reevaluate the customer service process so that bad feedback does not spill over to social media channels in the future.

It can be frustrating to the customer who realizes that the company didn’t respond effectively over the telephone but is partial to the same issues when they are raised on popular social media sites. On the flip side, customers are also slowly learning that social media can be a good leveraging tool, if a company fails to provide good customer service!

Consistency is the key to customer satisfaction

Organizations must provide a consistent user experience across mediums. Inconsistencies erode customer confidence, and can lead to customer defection. A company should do its best before customers are forced to take to a social media site to air their grievances. Interestingly, a recent study found that customers complaining on social media sites expect a response in sixty minutes!

The bottom line is – it is good that companies are addressing customer issues promptly when they’re raised on social media, but the same can be delivered over the telephone also. Paying equal attention to all channels of customer communication is important if you want your customers to be happy.

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27
Nov
2012