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Key Elements of Social Customer Service

Social customer service is slightly different from social media marketing in terms of its approach. In today’s environment, interactions between customer and businesses happen across multiple touch points. So, apart from marketing and promotion, it is very important to address complaints and answer queries in real-time in order to ensure customer delight and profitability of your business. A sluggish approach to social media customer service may result into a full-blown problem for a business or a brand. We’ll discuss many such examples in this article.

We have identified some three key elements of social media customer service, which are as follows:

1. Prioritization
If you’re a big company, you might have several market segments. You should prioritize your social customer service according to the most common high-value businesses. So, priority should be given to the most profitable market segment. You should also prioritize the complaints, which can go viral and damage your brand image.

British Airways was under fire for a similar case of failure to prioritize social media service. The problem was escalated further, when they tweeted that they don’t have 24×7 customer services on Twitter. Hassan Syed, a British Airways passenger lost his father’s suitcase. He went for a promoted Tweet complaining about the negligent services by the airlines. As the tweet was promoted, it was seen by more than 75,000 users. British Airways could not respond to the tweet going viral for almost eight hours, adding fuel to the fire.

Hassan’s original tweet was “Don’t fly @British Airways. Their customer service is horrendous”. After 8 hours, British Airways responded, “Sorry for the delay in responding, our Twitter feed is open 0900 to 1700 GMT. Please DM your baggage ref and we’ll look into it.” Hassan’s responded, “@British Airways, how does a $1,000,000,000 corporate only have 9 to 5 social media support for a business that operates 24 by seven? DM me yourselves!”

It is not that every organization should have a 24×7 social media support, but a large airline that operates 24 by seven cannot afford not to have a response team to handle such a scenario. It is a matter of prioritization. Social Media Service is a priority and a brand cannot afford to ignore it.

2. Responsiveness
Airline delays frustrate the customers to no end. These delays are frequent and people openly express their anger, when it happens. @JetBlue acknowledged this problem and decided to handle it by being more responsive, as it was crucial to maintain loyalty. They used social media service not only to engage with the satisfied passengers, but also to address complaints from angry customers. And they did it by being extremely quick.


JetBlue is known to be quite responsive in the airline industry as their response time is less than an hour. Though, they can’t do much in the event of a delayed flight our bad weather, but they have a response team ready, in case there is a crisis and the volume of tweets multiplies at any given point of time.

3. Quality assistance
Apart from the speed of assistance, quality assistance is also very important. If you are responsive, but your response is of no help, it is equal to no response at all. Comcast, a media and technology company is known to provide quality assistance to their customers looking for specific help. They have a team of qualified technical experts on Twitter to respond quickly to deliver accurate solutions.

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