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Social Media and Customer Service


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Presentation delivered at the Academy of Marketing Conference, Southampton (UK), July 2012. More information at:

Published in: Business, Education

Social Media and Customer Service

  1. 1. Customer service 140 charactersat a time – the users’ perspective Ana Isabel Canhoto, Oxford Brookes University Moira Clark, Henley Business School Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  2. 2. The problemHow should organisations respond whencustomers’ post brand-related comments on SM? Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  3. 3. Literature Review• Satisfaction with response vs. satisfaction with transaction or relationship (Stauss, 2002)• Disconfirmation paradigm (e.g., Oliver, 1980)• Three dimensions (Johnston 2001): Access Interac on Outcome• Positive vs. negative feedback – Brown et al (2005): Negative feedback driven mostly by satisfaction w/ product or transaction. Positive feedback mostly influenced by the customers’ identification with, and commitment to, the firm (over and above satisfaction) Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  4. 4. Approach• Exploratory• Data collection: – SM – Snowball Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  5. 5. Some of the companies mentioned Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  6. 6. Findings Negative PositiveInteraction: Outcome:-Consistency -Listening-Human Touch -CareOutcome: Interaction:-Speed of reply / problem solving - Tone of voice-…vs. alternative channelsAccess:-Integration with other channels Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  7. 7. Conclusions and Implications• Users expect companies to be present on SM, including non-business platforms (e.g., Facebook) • Users pull firms into SM; Absence is quickly noticed• Companies expected to use the various SM platforms efficiently, working around their limitations. • Listening vs. conversation tools • Multichannel customer management structure• Communication effectiveness • Match how sender uses the media with preferences of the receiver (Danaher & Rossiter, 2011). • Etiquette - e.g., hashtags, tags, etc. Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  8. 8. Conclusions and Implications• Strategic use of SM by customers • Most effective channel to communicate with the firm; Receiving extra service after praising firm • Prioritisation of SM creates perverse incentives and may lead to counter-productive behaviours from customers (Schrage, 2011)• eWoM as firmly established public behaviour • Research gap: eWoM as source of customer insight or an opportunity for service recovery; specifically considering the high visibility of the interactions and the social benefits of eWoM Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  9. 9. Conclusions and Implications• Ambiguous role of SM as communications channel • Not owned or controlled by the firm => Mattila and Wirtz (2004): suitable to vent frustration • Highly interactive => Mattila and Wirtz (2004): best to seek redress • Research gap: Do customers perceive SM as remote or interactive channel? Effect on behaviour and expectations?• Highly visible exchanges • Attempt to use for firm’s advantage - e.g., retweeting • May be seen as spam (Bajenaru, 2010) or attempt to bribe opinion leaders (Mason, 2008) • Research gap: Do SM users appreciate or resent the dissemination of their comments? Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  10. 10. Customer service 140 characters at a time – the users’ perspectiveAna Isabel Canhoto Moira ClarkOxford Brookes University Henley Business Canhoto and Clark, 2012
  11. 11. References• Bajenaru, A. (2010). The Art and Science of Word-of-Mouth and Electronic Word-of-Mouth. Annals of the Oradea University - Fascicle of Management and Technological Engineering, IX(XIX)(1), 4.7- 4.16.• Brown, T. J., Barry, T. E., Dacin, P. A., & Gunst, R. F. (2005). Spreading the Word: Investigating Antecedents of Consumers Positive Word-of-Mouth Intentions and Behaviors in a Retailing Context. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 33(2), 123-138.• Danaher, P. J., & Rossiter, J. R. (2011). Comparing perceptions of marketing communication channels. European Journal of Marketing, 45(1/2), 6-42.• Johnston, R. (2001). Linking complaint management to profit. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 12(1), 60-66.• Mason, R. B. (2008). Word of mouth as a promotional tool for turbulent markets. Journal of Marketing Communications, 14(3).• Mattila, A. S., & Wirtz, J. (2004). Consumer complaining to firms: the determinants of channel choice. Journal of Services Marketing, 18(2), 147-155.• Oliver, R. (1980). A Cognitive Model of the Antecedents and Consequences of Satisfaction Decisions. Journal of Marketing Research, 17(4), 460-469.• Schrage, M. (2011, November). A Better Way to Handle Publicly Tweeted Complaints. Harvard Business Review.• Stauss, B. (2002). The Dimensions of Complaint Satisfaction: Process and Outcome Complaint Satisfaction Versus Cold Fact and Warm Act Complaint Satisfaction”. Managing Service Quality, 12(3), 173- 183. Canhoto and Clark, 2012