Q&A: How Brands Can Perform Real-Time Customer Service on Social Media

Note: After Shashank’s webinar on the importance of performing customer-service on social media last week, he received a number of questions from attendees who wanted to understand the specifics better. Some of the most relevant questions are answered below for the benefit of our readership. You can view the entire webinar here.

Q: We have a number of customers complaining in social after not being satisfied with care over the phone. How can we make those people happy?

A: Firstly, apologize to them and see if you can rectify the situation on social media. Secondly, trace the call center rep who dealt with this person to ensure this doesn’t happen again. One of our clients ran a Facebook contest recently, and when the winner called the hotline to claim his prize, the call center rep insisted that the airline didn’t even had a Facebook page, but only a website! You’d want to ensure these incidences never happen twice.

For the future, it is better to work with a social-media enabled call center – such as those offered by InterGlobe Technologies – where call center reps are trained to handle queries on social media as well. Hence, offering a seamless experience to the customer.


Q: What are some of the steps that you have found necessary to start using social media as one of your Customer Service avenues?

A: The key is to listen, and listen well. You need to first figure out where people are talking about you, and what they’re talking about. In case of airlines we work with, travelers often tend to tweet and check-in on Foursquare when they’re at the airport, and that’s when good customer service is needed.

Once you’ve figured out when and where they’re talking about your brand, work with subject-matter experts within the company to start answering questions using the same medium. Then scale up from there.


Q: How do you get your “info providers” to understand the immediacy of response? I find that I want to respond faster than the person who I depend on for the correct response.

A: I can understand the urge to respond quickly, rather than waiting for the “expert” to answer. Perhaps you can compile a list of FAQs along with that expert ahead of time, so that if such a question is asked, you can answer without referring to him/her. Additionally, you can give them a time frame within which they must respond to queries. Apps like CoTweet allow you to send notifications to a person’s email as well. And if it’s not responded to, then you can reply.


Q: What is your view on where social should ‘live’ in the organization? Corp Comms / Marketing / Customer Service / Digital?
A: In the study we did of how global airlines dedicate resources to social media, we found that 44% of resources are in Corp. Comms, followed by 30% in Marketing. The rest were in Customer Service, eCommerce and Interactive departments. You can access them here and a video detailing the study here.


Q: How do you calculate ROI on airlines’ social media efforts?
A: You need to tie social media metrics to specific business goals, like revenue, loyalty and customer service. For example, in airlines “Likes” need to be translated to “bums on seats” and for hotels “heads in beds”. A study we recently did on ROI of social media with Eyefortravel can be accessed here.


Q: Accessing Social media from mobile is now common, so what are the top 3 latest trends which you see in airlines (Social media accessed on mobile), how it has increased touch points for the user?
A: The top three social media trends for airlines’ mobile apps: Location based check-ins, trip-planning and fare-comparison.


Have more questions? Is your airline or airport looking for scalable customer-service solutions on social media? SimpliFlying can help! To know more, write to us at contact@simpliflying.com.

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