Having a Preparedness Plan for Social Storms

By Emily Lordahl

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Grab your raincoat. There’s a major tweetstorm in the forecast. Social media weathermen and women are always busy preparing for the heavy tweetstorm, or a collection of tweets sent in succession, typically written while the author is especially emotional. The current president of the United States is infamous for getting himself soaked by his downpour. As are many customers faced with an urgent problem. Because for customers with in-the-moment issues, when it rains, it pours.

If a customer’s expectation is negatively blown out of the water, social media channels are often the spaces frustrated customers turn to to publicly vent. They get internet angry. They “Name and Shame,” immediately reaching for their phones, equipped with 140 characters or more to launch an attack directed at a brand for its poor service, hoping to feel a sense of digital solidarity with the Twitter community.

The aftermath of cyclonic complaints can make or break customer loyalty to brands. A CEB study found that when a customer has an issue that is made worse with a high-effort service interaction, that customer is 3.93x more likely to churn than if they had a positive experience. Which means brands can’t afford to let these expressive whirlwinds go unprepared for.

Even though storms can be unpredictable, these threads of negative messages are no storm a company’s social customer service team cannot weather with the proper plan in place. Having a preparedness plan that your team knows and uses can help you and your company stay dry. The following brand stories show how having the right preparedness plans allowed the teams to withstand these social service storms, resolve customer issues in lightening speed and ultimately retain customers and business.

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Problem: Poor customer experience
For a blogger and customer of a popular beauty brand, there were no blue skies on the horizon after she had a subpar store experience. The customer took to Twitter when she visited a store and found the experience to be bothersome in more ways than one. Over three consecutive Tweets, the customer explained how the smell of the products in the store were too strong her nose and used the public venue to continue her rant about how the in-store team was too aggressive with their sales support to her.

Plan: Respond quickly and address the concern publicly by asking the customer to take the conversation private
The customer service agent who was routed this thread recognized the negativity of these messages and quickly reacted with a plan. The agent prompted the customer to privately reply over Direct Message with information about which store she normally visits so that the agent could pass the feedback along to the experience team at that store.

The agent’s quick triage of the situation prevented the customer from continuing her public rant and causing potential harm to the brand’s image. This method also allows future customers with service issues to see public tweets from the brand that show the brand cares about triaging the issue, but will ultimately be resolving the issue Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community