According to The Observer, “Got a problem? Air it on Twitter and it could be solved instantly.” This headline will have come as no surprise to the social media fraternity. Many have known for years that tweeting or posting comments about poor customer service allows them to ‘jump the queue’ when it comes to making complaints, but this knowledge is now beginning the penetrate the mainstream. Why wait for days or sometimes weeks for a problem to be resolved when a bit of digital ranting can achieve an almost instanteous response?
The good news is that social media-enabled customer systems, when properly resourced, are far more effective than the alternatives. According to Everything Everywhere’s Ben Kay, “Social agents are four times more efficient than telephone agents and result in better NPS ratings.” The bad news for organisations that rely on a large customer service function is that the maturing of social media as a customer service channel will dramatically raise our expectations: the more we see problems being resolved in real time the more we will come to see this as the norm. In the words of Gareth Turpin, General Manager of Customer Services at O2: “Customer service expectations are not set by what your competitors are doing but by anyone.”