Discover which companies are excelling at providing top-notch customer service on social media. What can small businesses learn from these examples?
Each year, social media customer service inches closer to becoming the gold standard for customer service.
When it’s working well, responses are quick, detailed, and accurate. In fact, turning to social media for a customer service problem is often quicker than placing a phone call or writing an email to the company.
In this article, we examine some of the brands that excel at social media customer service and take a look at the lessons their examples offer.
Amazon Delivers Consistent, Reliable Customer Service
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the company shipped over 5 billion items to its more than 100 million subscribers in 2017.
One might think that the sheer number of customer service requests would make timely and personal customer service impossible. However, a bit of research into Amazon’s social media customer service proves otherwise.
On its Twitter feed, @AmazonHelp, every customer Tweet is promptly answered by a real person. Amazon representatives follow through on customer conversations. They attend to every detail until the problem is resolved, even when the issue becomes complex.
When customers write in with praise, Amazon shines a spotlight on those Tweets by including images in its reply.
For example, one customer positively wrote to Amazon about their new eco-friendly packaging.
Amazon responded to the Tweet with an image of a colorful Earth.
According to Amazon, its goal is to deliver “timely, accurate, and professional” customer service to all its customers. When hiring customer service representatives, the company seeks out action-oriented problem solvers who thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Amazon goes the distance to please its customers, even if it costs them.
In an interview with Forbes, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explained that prior to online customer service, a happy customer might tell 5 people about a good experience with a company. However, today’s culture of online reviews and social media means that one customer can tell 5,000 friends.
Spotify Commits to Personalization and Brand Personality
If you’ve ever written a social media style guide, you can appreciate how Spotify excels at customer service by communicating with a clearly defined brand personality.
Spotify takes social media customer service a step further by including linked song titles at every opportunity.
For example, when one Instagrammer thanked them for their help, SpotifyCares replied “...if you need help with anything else, we’ll be…,” then included a link to the song “Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx.”
Another customer shared a message of thanks for the folks at Spotify. He wrote in asking them to create a school playlist for him, and they delivered.
Spotify replied with a playlist called “A Love Letter.” Impressed by the individual attention, the customer offered high praise for the favor.
The brand is relentless in its commitment to customer service and brand personality. Its Twitter feed maintains the same standards.
For example, when a customer wrote in about a problem with Spotify’s search function, the reply was “Everything should now be running smooth as this guy’s voice,” followed by a link to the song “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”
The key to Spotify’s social media service success lies in its commitment to solving customers’ problems in a way that’s friendly and effective.
While some brands might include a cute image or link to enhance their messages, Spotify makes a regular habit of it. Its tailored responses show an outstanding commitment to personalized customer service, even on large social media platforms.
Zappos Goes the Distance to Delight Customers
When one customer requested a local hair salon referral, Zappos didn’t hesitate, even though the question had nothing to do with shoes.
“By any chance can you suggest a good hairdresser near the Ritz Carlton Marina Del Ray?” wrote Jason Bradshaw. Many companies would have ignored the request.
@Zappos_Service did more than respond to the unusual request. The representative took the time to look up two salons in the area and included links so the user could visit their websites.
While this type of request might not sell a pair of shoes, Zappos took the opportunity to create a relationship with the customer. This type of connection helps the brand stand out in the memory of all its social media followers who viewed the Tweet.
Waterstones Bookseller Takes Action on Unique Problem
Many years ago, UK Bookseller Waterstones was paying attention when a critical customer service request appeared on its Twitter page.
Customer David Willis wrote – “Hi @Waterstones I’ve been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.”
In this example, Waterstones makes an excellent case for personalized customer service. Instead of using automated replies, Waterstones saw the Tweet and took action.
Less than 90 minutes later, Waterstones tweeted – “We’re pleased to announce that @DWill is a free man once more.”
Nike Shows Relentless Dedication to Customers
Nike’s social media customer service channel, @NikeSupport, displays a relentless commitment to serving its customers.
Thanks to promotions and app products that include a partnership with Apple, the brand fields a lot of technical questions on its Twitter support page.
Every question is answered with patience and care, even if has nothing to do with shoes.
For example, one customer messaged with a complex question about an app not stopping on time. Nike responded with questions that clearly show the representative knows the program and is working to solve the problem.
By asking questions about the user’s operating system and position of the phone while running, Nike proves that they’re paying attention and dedicated to solving the problem with the app.
The brand also displays a commendable level of patience when dealing with angry customers. In the following example, one customers screams in all-caps, demanding that Nike fixes the problem or he’ll “never use the app again.”
Nike’s calm response begins with “Let’s figure this out, Kevin.”
Nike's social media customer service stands out because the people behind it take the time to listen to the details of customers’ messages. The brand demonstrates an extraordinary amount of patience with angry customers and consistently portrays a calm demeanor no matter the situation.
Social Media Customer Service Requires Consistency, Patience, and Attention to Detail
To dominate your social media customer service, take tips from brands that are doing it well. Amazon and Nike pay close attention to the details of customers’ questions. Spotify makes customers feel important by personalizing its responses with a flair of personality. Zappos is willing to create relationships, even when it doesn’t mean a sale. UK bookseller Waterstones reads and replies to messages personally in a timely manner.
When offering customer service on a social media platform, strive to serve every customer with an individual response that’s quick yet thorough. If you can infuse your brand’s personality and a bit of fun along the way, it will help you make a positive impression on your customers.