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Social media, customer services and 'cyber-disinhibition'


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Presentation on social media and customer services from the #utilitiessocialmedia conference on 3 April

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Social media, customer services and 'cyber-disinhibition'

  1. 1. S O C I A L M E D I A , C U S T O M E R S E R V I C E A N D ‘ C Y B E R - D I S I N H I B I T I O N ’ 3 A P R I L 2 0 1 4 , @ D I R K T H E R A B B I T
  2. 2. A B O U T M E • Head Rabbit at - • Rabbit, winner social media / customer services 2011 / 2013 • Involved in airline / aviation accounts, a sector arguably ahead of the curve in the use of customer services in digital media • Find me on social media - @dirktherabbit
  3. 3. A I R L I N E S H AV E B E E N D O I N G T H I S R I G H T F O R Y E A R S • Almost 100% smartphone use • Time poor / pressured customers • 24 hour business day • Large proportion of affluent travellers - and also “influencers” • Their lessons are useful for utilities - and other sectors ! Source - Social Bakers
  4. 4. S O M E T I M E S T H I N G S N E E D T O G O W R O N G F I R S T “Our call centres, ticket offices and transfer desks could no longer handle the huge stream of inquiries coming in. Desperate for information, many stranded passengers and their friends and relatives decided to turn to social media – Facebook and Twitter in particular. From the ash cloud we learned that, as a company, we could tackle a crisis situation effectively using social media. ! “We also learned that the public really appreciated this form of communication. Very simply, there was no way back – and that didn’t go unnoticed among our senior management. Not long thereafter our CEO, Peter Hartman, gave us the green light to set up a Social Media Hub and formalise our efforts.” Jochem van Drimmelen, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  5. 5. I T ’ S W O R T H R E M E M B E R I N G T H AT I N O U R L I F E T I M E , T H I N G S U S E D T O W O R K L I K E T H I S
  6. 6. S T I F F U P P E R L I P A N D A L L T H AT Creative commons credit - Fabiana Zonca “The British are trained from an early age to be self-contained and reserved… …This can have unforeseen, and dangerous, results. A recent survey by the British Heart Foundation revealed that people experiencing the symptoms of heart attacks will wait an average of 90 minutes before calling the emergency services - often with disastrous results. The explanation for this dangerous delay is 'our natural reserve and stoicism', a widespread refusal to make a drama out of a crisis. This reserve is also apparent in the unwillingness of many British people to make complaints (in pubs, restaurants, shops), and to submit to terrible service with a weary stoicism.” (Debretts)
  7. 7. K E E P C A L M A N D C A R RY O N ? • According to uSwitch, 83% of Brits waste time being kept on hold, 65% regularly experience ‘poor customer service’, and 59% encounter poor staff attitude • Almost 3/4 British consumers who experience poor customer service don’t issue complaints with the respective companies / only 27% would complain after experiencing poor customer service
  8. 8. Cyber-disinhibition - (psychology, Internet) “The disinhibition of the expression of negative emotional impulses via on-line interactive media owing to the impalpability of others’ emotional responses — which would normally have a tempering effect on one’s behaviour — arising from the unembodied, artifical nature of such media of interaction.”  [quo
  9. 9. A N D W E D O B E H AV E D I F F E R E N T LY O N L I N E • 43% of Internet users feel less inhibited online, especially users aged 25-54 • “This can lead to positive and negative behaviours alike. Users are more likely to feel able to meet new people or be empowered to do something they wanted to” • “But they were also more likely to ‘lash out’ on the Web when they had something to say about a company or brand” (emarketer)
  10. 10. W H AT I T M E A N S F O R Y O U
  11. 11. T H E B E S T S O O N B E C O M E S T H E E X P E C T E D Your benchmark is not other utility companies - it’s other brands, whether retail, travel, banking, electronics ! Any good social media customer experience automatically serves to raise the bar for you
  12. 12. A P I C T U R E S AY S 1 0 0 0 W O R D S • Social media is becoming visual - think Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr • Instagram has more US smartphone users than Twitter, and at 200+ million active users could soon overtake it worldwide • Facebook now has a quarter of a trillion photos online, with 350 million uploads a day • 44% of respondents were more likely to engage with brands who posted pictures on their social media channels rather than any other type of content
  13. 13. C O M P L A I N T S M A K E N E W S • “Interflora HQ apology after Mother's Day complaints” • “Starbucks Retools Pastry Menu After Customers Complain” • “Starbucks Customer Claims Barista Gave Her Satanist Latte Art” • “Tesco's hilarious response to customer garlic complaint”
  14. 14. C O N S U M E R S A R E G E T T I N G M O R E K N O W L E D G E A B L E … A N D C R E AT I V E “Twitter user Hasan Syed has taken on British Airways by buying a promoted tweet to complain about his father's lost luggage. ! Syed, who uses the handle @HVSVN, told Mashable that he bought the tweet in the New York City and UK markets Monday night. He said he used Twitter's self-serve ad platform to make the purchase. Syed declined to disclose how much the tweet cost.” (it cost $1000)
  15. 15. T I M E G E T S D I S T O R T E D • Most studies show that an ‘acceptable’ response time is 60 minutes on social media • But 60 minutes can seem a lot longer than that if you have (say) no phone, no power, no water, no Internet • Time gets distorted and often all the customer has to do is go online via his / her smartphone and find ways to get seen and heard
  16. 16. T H E N E X T S T E P - C O M P L A I N T A U T O M AT I O N T H R O U G H S E R V I C E S S U C H A S R E S O LV E R
  17. 17. S O M E S I M P L E G U I D E L I N E S 1. Be timely 2. Be precise 3. Be knowledgeable 4. Be experts 5. Be human
  18. 18. B E T I M E LY • Set a response time standard and keep to it • It should certainly be under one hour, ideally less • Why not even publish a waiting time stat - much like KLM does on Twitter
  19. 19. B E P R E C I S E • Previously airlines used to give a stock response of ‘operational reasons’ when something goes wrong, most no longer do that as it often makes customers more angry • When will the problem be fixed? Why is there a problem? What is happening? • If you don’t know, its better just to say so…and to say when you will know
  20. 20. B E K N O W L E D G E A B L E • There are many reasons why marketers are often not the best people to run social media / customer services feeds • One is that they may not know all the facts on the ground • These days customers may well know more than you, thanks to Google, various apps (e.g flight tracker apps will tell you where a flight is) • Whoever is running the feed, needs to know what is going on - or needs to know where to go where to find out
  21. 21. B E E X P E R T S • “Blame the intern” has almost become a joke in social media / marketing circles… the fact is though the intern can’t be running your feed • Whoever does do so, should do it at least part of the time as part of their regular jobs (NB, KLM has 130 people doing this full time) • Teams should be trained, which should include both etiquette on different networks, as well as a practical exercise
  22. 22. B E H U M A N • Corporate and brand speak more often than not goes down wrong • Customers want to hear what’s being done about their problem in human, real, everyday language • Be careful about the use of humour, brands can get that wrong. Joking with a customer about a mouldy £2 garlic is very different to joking about the lights going out
  23. 23. T H A N K Y O U ! A N Y Q U E S T I O N S O R C O M M E N T S - D I R K A T T H E R A B B I TA G E N C Y. C O M