Heard it on the Gripevine
On the Eptica blog we’ve extensively covered the impact of social media on customer service and the real time opportunity that it provides for consumers to complain (or even praise) your company.
There’s now even a social media network dedicated solely to handling customer complaints. Called Gripevine, it promises to connect dissatisfied customers directly with companies, allowing them to have a conversation to solve their problem and then letting them rate the overall customer experience.
What’s interesting about Gripevine is that it has been set up by a team that includes customer service champion David Carroll. Musician Carroll shot to online fame after United Airlines broke his guitar and refused to apologise/pay compensation. His subsequent protest song and YouTube video ‘United Breaks Guitars’ has had over 11,666,000 views.
While Gripevine seems like an excellent platform – easy to use by consumers and clear and direct for customer service teams to access, there are three things customer service departments need to understand:
It’s a multichannel world
Gripevine is only one channel for social customer service. The majority of complaints are still going to be made through networks such as Twitter and Facebook so it is imperative that companies monitor these channels in order to interact with their customers to solve their issues quickly and comprehensively.
Solve problems at source
Looking at many of the complaints on Gripevine they stem from companies ignoring emails or calls to the contact centre – customers are obviously frustrated as they feel that their voices are simply not being heard, forcing them to use other channels. Ensuring better resolution of customer issues earlier in the process would not only make customers happier, but avoid the need to escalate online.
Monitor all the channels
A lot of the gripes on Gripevine (including ironically some about United Airlines) remain unanswered. While Gripevine is in its infancy the platform has tried to make it easy for businesses to sign up, so really there’s no excuse for not evaluating it or making use of its features.
In today’s world customer service teams need to adopt a truly multichannel approach, monitoring all types of social media, including new platforms such as Gripevine to make sure they solve customer issues as quickly and satisfactorily as possible.