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Great conversation happening around the black holes that problems fall into when social media managers encounter customer support issues via Twitter or Facebook.
Paul Carr kicked the conversation off last month with a scathing post titled The Scandal Of Toothless Social Media Representatives Ends… Now, asking people to share their bad customer service experiences that happened via social media channels. His fear, social media managers who encounter complaints are only interested in making it stop "effectively “shhhhh”-ing me away from complaining further in a public forum."
Community Manager Jon Burg popped in with a fantastic post arguing that social media managers, like many managing customers online, are doing the work of both a customer service expert and a community management expert. Jon says it better, “your social presence needs to operate like a contact center on the back-end, and a real person on the front-end" and goes on to suggest a need for a "social customer service strategy”.
There are a few ways to do this and as usual with this sort of problem, no one-size-fits-all solution. My recommendation to brands who want to do this better: design a process to allow for a seamless hand-off from Twitter complaint into the customer support process, allowing for both public interaction and confidential account problem solving via email or whatever ticketing system you’re using. In a perfect world, the social media team has also been cross-trained to help solve the problems themselves.
Then, instead of silencing disgruntled customers who complain on Twitter by “taking it to DM”, you can flip the experience around and create a brand enthusiast who is happy to tweet about how fast you solved their problem.
Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?