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One good thing about working in online retail is that nobody will catch you yawning behind the counter or drinking a cup of tea on the shop floor.
One bad thing about working in online retail is that customers expect the same quality of service from you as they would a face-to-face interaction, especially if things go wrong.
Yesterday it was announced that Sainsbury’s is the most socially influential retail brand on Twitter based on its Klout score.
If you’re not aware of what a Klout score is, it’s an online social popularity measurement that leaves the more egotistically fragile of us weeping alone in a stationery cupboard. It also has its detractors.
To contradict Sainsbury’s achievement, over the past six months, supermarket rival Tesco has fought its way to the top of Leaderboarded’s UK Twitter Social Customer Care table, overtaking previous top-spot holders Virgin Media and… yes... Sainsbury’s.
In a continuing series of investigations into how companies use social for customer care, last week I took to Twitter, posed as an innocent customer and asked some of the most popular US retailers the same query.
The query would also test each brand’s true multichannel capabilities: “can I return an item bought online to my nearest branch?”
With this investigation we'll be testing their response times and ability to satisfyingly bring a resolution to the query.
Other matters taken into consideration are whether the reply was a personal, human response, whether the retailer either operated a separate customer service Twitter account from the main one or whether it stated that the main account was also there for customer enquiries and whether operating hours were clearly stated.
Let’s take a look at the results…
Using social media channels for customer service is a key way to remain relevant to not only your customer’s needs but also their expectations.
If you’re a brand than you should be on social. If you’re on social then you should be exactly that... Social. Communicate openly with your customers no matter what their query and do so personally, quickly and offering resolution where possible.
I’ve recently been writing a great deal on social customer service. Check out this investigation into the current state of UK social response for 20 top retailers.
I also recently talked to IBM's managing consultant in social customer care Guy Stephens about his thoughts on delivering customer care through social...
You know the one I’m talking about…
The one with the hypnotically charismatic handsome guy with a terrible throw.
The one with the blunt machete, bear suit and single best use of a swear word in any advert ever.
The one you’ve seen highlighted at every single marketing conference you’ve attended since 2012.
No? Really? Fine this one then...
130 dedicated social customer care employees, social payment for customers, flight attendants supplied taking social enquiries offline, an updating Twitter header displaying average response time.
These are some of the elements of KLM's social customer care that make it world beating.
Let's have a closer look, courtesy of Robertjan Groenveld, social media hub manager at KLM, speaking at Socialbakers' Engage London 2014.
Social customer care has been around for roughly five years and I'm wondering how much it has really moved on in that time, since the first Tweet was sent by Frank Eliason, #Twelpforce, giffgaff and United Breaks Guitar.
Does Amazon's Mayday and NatWest's use of Vine videos for customer service give us cause for optimism?