This week we feature an article by David Tattersall, Head of Client Relations at Handpicked Accountants, an online network housing the best-performing accountants across the UK. He writes about how successful, global brands use social media to deliver outstanding customer service experiences. In the digital era where customer experience is defined by a customer’s first impression of a website, interaction with a chatbot, or response […]
This week we feature an article by David Tattersall, Head of Client Relations at Handpicked Accountants, an online network housing the best-performing accountants across the UK. He writes about how successful, global brands use social media to deliver outstanding customer service experiences.
In the digital era where customer experience is defined by a customer’s first impression of a website, interaction with a chatbot, or response to a social media remarketing advert, the opportunity stands to deliver an omnichannel customer experience. Social media is a powerful tool that can encourage customers to acknowledge a job well done. It is part and parcel of building an online reputation and can drive traffic to your brand at record levels when used tactically.
Social media has forced the hand of businesses to operate transparently and communicate openly with consumers, in addition to investors. It has shifted the goalposts for businesses as online customer feedback can be viewed by any user. It is therefore a powerful tool that can be used to build reputations and break reputations.
We run through how global brands have used social media to deliver outstanding customer service experiences, grow their consumer base, retain clients, and protect their brand reputation.
Many leading brands with enough consumer traffic filled with customer care inquiries operate separate social media accounts dedicated to providing social media support. This isolates complaints and technical inquiries from marketing campaigns, preventing creative messages from being diluted by the likes of refund requests, product defects, and website issues.
Market leaders, such as Nike, Starbucks, and Netflix use the following handles to signpost their customers service Twitter accounts; @NikeService, @StarbucksCare, @Netflixhelps. In addition to responding to tweets, these brands also invite online users to send direct messages. There are features in place to support such accounts, from chatbots, categorization tools for queries, to the option to list online service hours.
After hundreds of KFC stores across the UK run out of chicken, KFC diners turned to Twitter to share their apology poster addressing the ironic issue of a fried chicken shop running out of its core ingredient…chicken. The poster was first printed in British newspapers, Metro and The Sun.
By addressing the issue head-on and apologizing to diners who traveled to their local store to find it closed, the bitter experience quickly turned into a comical one. Branded a ‘PR Crisis Masterclass’, KFC earned its place in the public relations Hall of Fame.
The American Red Cross, a non-profit humanitarian organization, experienced a social media blunder when a rogue tweet made its way through the @RedCross Twitter account. As a disaster and emergency relief service, the following tweet went against the brand’s messaging, tone and image.
“Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd”
Addressing their accidental slip of the tongue, the American Red Cross replied with the following Tweet.
“We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”
Even deleted tweets can find their way back into the public domain, which is why tackling the PR disaster head-on and promptly can save your reputation and turn the Twitter storm into an infamous giggle.
Dubbed the battle of the caterpillars, Marks & Spencer sued Aldi for imitating one of their bestselling confectionery products, Colin the Caterpillar, a Caterpillar-shaped chocolate log wrapped in milk chocolate. Aldi kicked off the Twitter storm with this tweet:
“This is not just any court case, this is… #FreeCuthbert”
Instantly going viral, Aldi increased brand engagement on Twitter by 2000%. M&S matched the tone and tweeted a witty reply to spark laughter and maintain their position that Cuthbert the Caterpillar is a copyright infringement.
M&S tweeted: “Hey @AldiUK we love a charity idea (Colin’s been a BIG fundraiser for years). We just want you to use your own character.
“How about #kevinthecarrotcake? That idea’s on us… and we promise we won’t do Keith.”
These memorable social media moments can unite customers loyal to a particular brand, as seen with the Caterpillar battle between Aldi & M&S. The key is to respond fast before users launch attacks and you take a financial hit. As a voice of authority, consumers can just as easily understand that you are also human, mistakes happen and to find humor in such mishaps.
David Tattersall is Head of Client Relations at Handpicked Accountants, an online network housing the best-performing accountants across the UK. David regularly advises business owners on how to find an accountant, financial reporting duties, insolvency, and company rescue options.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
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