Still trying to figure out whether to give higher precedence to resolving customer service issues via social channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or stick with traditional methods (phone, email, etc.)?
I think there’s a hypothetical, “perfect world” answer and there’s also a more realistic, “down to business” answer. The perfect world answer is they should be dealt with at the same level of precedence. When a customer has a problem, their primary – if not only – focus is that it gets resolved. The only difference is the method they choose for communicating with the company.
Where it starts to veer in some strange, uncharted territories is now customers can share their complaints for all to see via social channels. If I complain about a lousy service on Twitter or my blog, not only will my followers and readers see it, but it can be instantly and easily shared far beyond my first-level network. And it’s that very public airing of grievances that scares most companies into focusing more on resolving problems raised on social channels than those raised on more traditional channels.
However, here’s another reality that all companies must grapple with…and why they need to give each customer complaint the same precedence regardless of the communication channel. If I make a call and get no satisfaction, I’m going to blog about that experience. If it’s my father or grandmother or friend who has had a lousy customer service experience, I’m going to Tweet about it. But if a business effectively deals with the situation in whatever way it first arises, there’s no need to complain publicly. Rather, I might just tell my network about the wonderful customer service offered to make up for a problem.
My bottom line is: train all your employees to deal with a customer problem in whatever way it shows up because you never know how it will escalate beyond that moment.