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5 Brands That Offer Amazing Social Media Customer Service

By Eric Vidal – Sr. VP, Lead Generation, Broadsuite Media Group

Pretty much every brand has one or even 20 social media accounts, but they don’t all use them wisely. Sure, it’s nice when your favorite brand offers a coupon or creates an amusing hashtag to use. But that doesn’t help when your day is practically ruined by the decaf coffee you were given in place of the double shot you ordered!

Luckily, some companies have caught on and now offer customer service via social media. This means you have a chance of solving your coffee problem online, all without having to put on pants to go get a refund. These are just a few examples of the brands that do social media customer service right.

1. Brand: Starbucks

Reason: Really responsive to customers

Starbucks isn’t just a place to go when you need some help waking up for the day. It’s also a good destination when you want great customer service, except you don’t even have to leave your house to get it, unlike that delicious white chocolate mocha. That’s because its Twitter account, @Starbucks, is surprisingly responsive to questions, comments, and complaints, despite having more than 7.6 million followers.

That’s a lot to keep up with, but the social media team at Starbucks manages it beautifully, no doubt with a little help from a lot of caffeine! The company even has a separate Twitter handle, @MyStarBucksIdea, and its sole purpose is to encourage customers to give them their ideas for improvement. And of course, the company also has a super active Facebook page that has 35 million likes, with most customer complaints being responded to within hours. Clearly, Starbucks excels at keeping its customers both happy and delightfully caffeinated.

2. Company: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Reason: 24/7 answers

When you stay at a Hyatt, you probably look forward to treating yourself to some high-class toiletries and maybe access to a nice gym that you won’t ever visit. But apparently, now you can expect to have a concierge on hand 24/7 that you can talk to without ever getting out of your fluffy robe, because it’s all virtual.

All you have to do is save your questions for @HyattConcierge, which was a finalist for the Shorty Award for Best Use of Social Media for Customer Service. So by logging on to Twitter for a few minutes, you can instantly find out which bars you can walk to, which nearby restaurant has the best wings, and what the concierge thinks it means to be human. Now that’s excellent social media customer service!

3. Brand: JetBlue

Reason: Fast responses on Twitter

JetBlue has 1.93 million followers on Twitter. For some companies, this would be too many to juggle while still providing excellent customer service, but not for JetBlue. In fact, this company makes it seem effortless, considering that many tweets get a response within just ten minutes. And it’s not like JetBlue only focuses on the complaints from customers. The social media team even responds quickly to compliments, while many brands simply ignore positive posts so they have time to answer complaints.

It’s no wonder JetBlue’s responses seem lightning quick; there are three teams sharing the social media duties for the Twitter account. In particular, the communications, marketing, and customer commitment departments all respond to tweets about the company. So if you’re having trouble keeping up with social media on your own, don’t be afraid to let a few employees – or even entire departments – share the work.

4. Brand: T-Mobile

Reason: Great customer engagement on Facebook and Twitter

According to Ignite Social Media, T-Mobile boasts a pretty fast response rate, taking 51 minutes on average to respond to posts on its Facebook page. That’s pretty impressive considering that the page has more than 5 million likes, yet the social media team still manages to respond to about 70 percent of posts to the page. Can you do the math on that? Get out your calculator!

There’s even a T-Mobile Support Facebook App that is dedicated to resolving problems with the service. Customers can also use the chat to get answers to simple questions about upcoming products. And of course, T-Mobile also has a Twitter account that is used to engage with customers through answering questions and even looking for new employees. How many other companies make this much use of social media?

5. Brand: Samsung Mobile USA

Reason: Using social media to provide amazing customer service offline

Some brands are so good at using social media for customer service that they win awards for it. That’s exactly what happened to Samsung Mobile USA, which won the Shorty Award for – wait for it – Best Use of Social Media for Customer Service! So the name of the award might not be unique, but what Samsung did to win it sure was.

During SXSW 2013, the brand introduced #PowerOn, which was a program that made it easy for anyone with a Samsung Galaxy to recharge their phone by tossing out a simple tweet on Twitter. Any time someone tweeted #PowerOn, a bike messenger was sent to their location to provide them with a fresh, fully-charged battery. Not surprisingly, this kind of amazing customer service not only impressed customers, but also produced lots of great publicity for the brand. It just goes to show that you can use social media to provide excellent customer service both online and offline!

Have you experienced great customer service from a company on Twitter, Facebook, or another social network? In your opinion, which brand is best at social media customer service?

By Eric Vidal – Sr. VP, Lead Generation, Broadsuite Media Group
Email: eric@themarketingscope.com, Twitter: @EricVMarketing