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Read more about Twitter’s success stories by the Twitter for customer service team. You can also find out how your brand can best prepare for successful customer service on Twitter by downloading a free copy of the Twitter for Customer Service Playbook. It’s full of real world examples from companies like Hilton (@HiltonSuggests), Best Buy (@BestBuySupport), Comcast (@ComcastCares), Spotify (@SpotifyCares), T-Mobile (@TMobileHelp) and Microsoft (@LumiaHelp).
"Our customers are active in multiple channels, and it's important for us to be there too."-Gina Debogovich, Community Manager
In 2008, Best Buy, a global electronics retailer, launched an experiment: a dedicated customer service team to satisfy requests on Twitter. The chain is mentioned on social media 5M times per year, and as expected, when the team initially launched its "Twelpforce" (Twitter Helpforce) and began monitoring and responding, the floodgates quickly opened. Today, that small team has grown into an industry-leading unit that responds to over 150,000 inquiries a year, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, all within 15 minutes.
As you consider launching a Twitter customer service operation, consider Best Buy's journey from concept to impact.
"We just wanted to help customers, and we knew they were already talking about us outside of traditional channels," notes Gina Debogovich, Best Buy's community manager.
Best Buy had carefully built a reputation for excellent service with its Blue Shirts and its Geek Squad. It was only natural to extend its famous customer service into these new venues.
"Let's take the secret sauce and take it online!"-Gina Debogovich
The mission was clear: "to create meaningful communication in a virtual world by bringing the power of our Blue Shirts and Geek Squad agents online in service of our customers."
It's one thing to articulate a mission. It's quite another to get started. Best Buy began by developing critical partnerships between its customer service operations and its marketing, human resources and ethics teams. It located the new team squarely within its service operations, but made sure that other groups within the organization were on board.
Before long, the new team had launched a dedicated customer service Twitter account.
The volume in these channels grew 20-30 percent year over year. Given Best Buy's aspiration to preemptively resolve customer issues, it had a strategic imperative to respond to all service inquiries mentioning its brand and service Twitter usernames. To make sure it was responding as effectively as possible, Best Buy adopted a third party Twitter customer service tool to help triage and queue Tweets for its agents.
Best Buy measures impact both in terms of activity and performance. It collects data on productivity, average first-response time, first-contact-to-resolution time and overall issue resolution by agent to help measure performance and fuel continuous improvement. And thanks to the external tool it uses, Best Buy has no problem tracking impact metrics: they can easily see online conversations from links posted to Twitter which allows the team to assign real dollars to its customer service on Twitter efforts.