This blog post was originally published on NUVI.com, but I love the story and I wrote it, so republishing here.
Today I wanted to throw a little love to two companies that restored my belief in using social media for customer service. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for NUVI about using social listening to optimize a company’s customer service efforts. In that post, I referenced a graph that showed what people perceive as the easiest and most difficult ways to contact customer service. I was amazed that so many people placed social media as extremely difficult to use, barely easier than writing a letter, mailing it in, and waiting for a response. This figure astonished me. And yet, as I thought about how many issues had been resolved via Twitter and how many times I had tweeted out to a company and never received a response, I started to understand. It was difficult to get any help via social media.
I guess in many cases, companies are too busy to pay attention to incoming tweets. Big companies, like Wendy’s, Apple, and Samsung probably get thousands of tweets a week, if not daily. Think about cell phone companies like Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile and how many times someone references them in a tweet. To say that it is a daunting task to reply to every single tweet would be a horrific understatement. Likewise, how many people go to Twitter with genuine issues, hoping to get real responses, and not just blowing off steam to their followers? It is like posting about the weather; you just put it out there and have no real expectation of getting a reply. Perhaps many companies just feel that there is no ROI and don’t see the value in dedicating the significant resources it takes to really make customer service viable via social media.
But today, my message to all those companies that for whatever reason refuse to invest in a social listening tool because they don’t see the value in using social media for customer service, or believe they are above wasting time on Twitter replying to customers…
(You’ll want to listen to this clip.)
But First, Some Background
Before I go into my customer service issue, I wanted to set the mood. I depend on headphones to get through my day. They are an integral part of my
body routine. I don’t know about you, but I can’t focus without music and so they rarely leave my side. That being said, I also loathe cords. I don’t like being attached to anything (don’t read too much into that) and don’t like being tethered to my desk/phone. So, naturally, I use Bluetooth headphones. These headphones need constant charging. Lately, I’ve noticed that the USB charging cord doesn’t work unless it is pushed and held just so. I’ve found myself creating elaborate mechanisms on my desk to keep the little plug happy and charging. Well, last Friday I’d had enough and reached out on Twitter to two companies in hopes of getting some sort of satisfactory resolution to my charging problem. Here’s what happened.
It Started With A Tweet
— Porter Plant (@PorterPlant) September 15, 2017
I wasn’t terribly optimistic that either company would really, actually help out. At best, I thought someone would refer me to a store or a webpage to fill out a form. At worst, and this is the sad part, I assumed neither company would actually respond. Here’s what happened next.
That’s no good that they aren’t charging properly! How long ago did you purchase them? ^Megan
— Best Buy Support (@BestBuySupport) September 15, 2017
We’ve got you covered! DM us which Beats you’re using to begin. https://t.co/GxylMDvVje
— Beats by Dre Support (@BeatsSupport) September 15, 2017
Check out the timestamp on those bad boys. How long did it take these two giant companies to reply to little old me? Less than 15 minutes.
I know. Take a second and let that sink in. Mind blown.
Sadly, once BestBuy found out the headphones were outside of the 15 day return period they vanished. I get it. Not much they can do at that point. Still impressed they even replied and attempted to help.
The real hero of the day? Beats by Dre!
Here’s the thing. I tagged both of them in my tweet. How easy would it have been to assume the other company would handle it. Best Buy could have seen that tweet come in and been like, “Nope. Not gonna touch that one. We’ll let Beats deal with it.” and Beats could have done the same thing. But they both took ownership and attempted to fix the problem.
Secondly, Best Buy support has over 15k followers. Beats Support has over 36k. Thousands and thousands of tweets talking about your brand and somehow you manage to identify and engage with an individual less than 15 minutes from the first mention. And it isn’t like I’m a celebrity or influencer. And yet. Less than 15 minutes from my original tweet, I had responses from both companies.
Now, I don’t know if they use a social listening tool or if it is a team of interns firing off replies between fetching coffees, regardless, these two companies are killing it.
Back to the Story
Since my original tweet, someone from Beats customer service has been diligently collecting information about my case. I sent them pictures of the headphones. I sent them a picture of the serial number and even my Best Buy order history showing when I bought them. Regardless of how long it took me to reply (because these memes don’t find themselves) I still received a prompt response.
I kept expecting a, “I’m sorry, but that is outside our warranty period.” Or when I couldn’t find my original receipt, “Sorry, but we can’t do anything without the original receipt.” I was genuinely prepared for them to dismiss my case and refer me to a website or even a form they would email me and I would have to fill out and send back in before anything could happen. Those were my expectations.
And yet. That never happened.
As of right now, a box is headed to my house and I will send in my headphones and they will send them back after about a week. I didn’t have to fill out a form. Or go on a website. Or find a box and get a mailing label. All of the things that would have deterred me from actually pursuing a warranty replacement were taken care of for me.
What would have happened if they hadn’t responded? I don’t have any pull or klout. It’s not like I would have gone back to my millions of Twitter followers and publicly called them out for poor customer service. I have no impact on their bottom line. I don’t have a horde of loyal fans, ready to picket outside Best Buy chanting #justiceforporter. It wouldn’t have cost them anything.
And yet. They responded. They took care of me.
Now I’m writing this blog. I will continue to spend money with both companies. I will tell anyone who will listen to buy Beats because they have phenomenal customer service.
At the end of the day, customer service matters. It mattered to me a whole lot today. Eventually, I will have to buy new headphones. This morning, I was flexible. I would have shopped around because I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy something that doesn’t charge right after less than a year of use. Now, I know which headphones I will buy and where I will buy them. Are you listening to your customers? Are you maximizing every opportunity to blow them away and create relationships that matter?