I recently had the good fortune to meet Frankie Saucier, the former director of social media customer service (also known as social care) for a major cable company. When the cable goes out, upset customers call, email, tweet, post on Facebook, etc. her cable company for two reasons. One, they want to express their complaint and anger. Two, they want to know when their cable TV will be fixed.
So, Frankie sat down with her team to brainstorm how to handle a tweet that a customer posted asking how long it would be before their cable TV was restored. She asked them, “What would be the best response?”
She received several answers that expressed empathy for the customer’s situation, an explanation about why the cable was out and the estimated time before it would be restored. Frankie smiled and suggested that the best response might be, “Try it now!”
Frankie went on to say that this might not be possible with every customer and for every cable outage, but for certain circumstances, this was a viable response, and she explained why.
First, the cable TV has to be fixable from the cable company’s side. In other words, it’s not an area outage, but something that can be repaired remotely. Maybe it’s a glitch in the cable company’s computers or perhaps the customer service rep can remotely reset the customer’s cable box. So, assuming the problem can be fixed, step two is to respond directly to the customer. But, if the customer is tweeting, how do you even know who the customer is?
Again, this may not work for every customer, but some customers can be easily identifiable from their Twitter handle or their profile. (Obviously, this can work for Facebook or any other social channel if you can get certain information.) Once you determine who the “Tweeter” is, you can start to troubleshoot the problem and fix it before you respond to the customer’s post. And, once you do, those three powerful words, Try It Now, are like a magic recipe for customer delight.
By the way, response time is important. If the customer Tweets, posts on Facebook, etc., you can’t wait hours to get back to them.
It should be minutes.
This is a form of proactive customer service. Typically, when I talk or write about proactive service it is about resolving the problem before the customer even knows about it. In this case the customer has already complained. However, the speed and efficiency in how you handle the issue is what puts this in the category of amazing customer service.
So, what’s your version of Try It Now? If you know about a problem or a complaint, how can you fix it before you respond to the customer?