Is everyone out there monitoring and responding to what their customers are saying in social media? Social Media platforms mainly Twitter and Facebook have gained popularity as channels for customer feedback all over the world and Kenyans have not been left behind. For a number of days there has been an interesting discussion on twitter with the taglines #GoodCSKE and #BadCSKE. On Face Book, a quick scan on several Companies’ official pages signals an increase in customers’ engagement. Many have tweeted, blogged or updated their status highlighting bad experiences expecting to receive feedback. I come across information indicating that on average 58% of the tweets on poor service are not responded to. In Kenya this figure could actually be over 90% since the majority of the companies are even not aware about such tweets. Those that have Social Media presence do not always have a seamless follow up system.
It is no longer true to say that a Customer with a bad experience shares with only 9-12 others. Customer feedback over the social medial has potential to spread virally over an instant. Consider for a moment the following tweet from a Customer with over 1,000 followers: Just ate @zyxrestaurant and it was such a disappointment. Shortly after: @zyxrestaurant to the customer: We are extremely sorry to hear that you were really disappointed when dinning with us. Please DM your contacts so we may contact you for more information. The day after from the same Customer: Thank you for contacting me, I was very impressed, you truly care and happy to visit you again later in the week. From @zyxrestaurant to the customer: We are glad for the opportunity to serve you and look forward to seeing you then. The restaurant in question took the main discussion offline, what is evident is the response was quick and effective.
The voice of the customer in social media is becoming more and more powerful. To customers, social media is no longer about marketing or PR; it is about service. One company that has nailed their social media customer service is Zappos.com. Their twitter account @Zappos_Service is managed round the clock. Introductions such as, Hello, Twitter friends! This is June with you for the night shift. What a beautiful day it has been! are the norm. Back home, Safaricom for example has potential to get their Customer Care via Social Media to such a level. This would relieve their CEO from being a key respondent to the customer tweets.
Smart companies need to reach out to their customers with both positive and negative feedback. I believe that Social media customer feedback and follow up need much more attention than even customer emails.