Nissan has initiated a trend that might soon be utilized by many businesses: using its Facebook fan page as a part of its customer service department. They found that more questions that previously would have been asked through their 1-800 numbers are now being posted on their Facebook page.
Erich Marx, Nissan’s Director of Marketing Communications, has a team of 15 assigned just to social media. They have a policy not to delete any negative comments and a goal of responding to every comment or question.
In our 3G/Wi-Fi world, people have less patience to call customer service numbers, deal with a machine or spend time on hold. With the efficiency of an email, text, or comment, consumers are much more willing to deal with their problems online. Marx has seen an increase in this sort of behavior and predicts, “There will be a day when people will go to Facebook as a preferred method. We are already seeing that number doubling every quarter.”
The customer service paradigm has changed. No longer are customer service issues handled exclusively between the representative and the consumer; problems and complaints posted on Facebook can be viewed by anyone. This acts as an incentive for companies to respond faster and to ensure that the problem is addressed properly.
For Nissan, this makes the response rate an even higher priority. Marx says, “It becomes more important that we handle the problem quickly and completely. In a 24-hour period you can turn a negative into a positive. And we see that people are very grateful. It’s a different dynamic.”
As Nissan continues to build a more satisfied clientele, more companies will be catching onto this trend and using social media for more than just branding.
This is a great way to use social media as a customer service tool. It’s interesting to see the vast number of ways social media has made communication easier, whether it be the ease of catching up and sharing photos with an old friend, or using social media as a means for customer service. Either way, social media has changed the way we communicate on a day to day basis.
Another way that business’s can shorten hold time, free up the phone lines, and improve customer service is by using customer’s time waiting on hold in a productive way. Answer FAQ’s that people may be calling about. This way callers may have their questions answered without even having to wait for a representative to pick up. You can also use hold time to advertise alternate forms of communication like your Twitter handle and Facebook Page.
Check out this blog post on how airlines used social media for customer service during Hurricane Irene a few months ago. http://soundcommunication.holdcom.com/blog/bid/72376/Airline-Hold-Times-During-Hurricane-Irene