Social Customer Care – 101 | Cookie Cutter Responses vs Engagement, Dialogue & Conversations

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A vital component of owning a product or consuming s service is Customer Service. In-fact, how good/bad customer service is, has a major influence during the buying decision of a product/service.

As part of using customer service, most of us would have had an experience interacting with a human being — either over phone or through emails/systems. Many a times I have wondered if it is actually a human being at the other end of the phone line/email or some programmable robot spewing out canned responses.

Just have a look at numerous customer review websites like mouthshut.com, consumercomplaints.in, community portals, twitter etc and you will get the drift.

A recent post Efficiency vs Effectiveness had highlighted this aspect of customer service and how organizations in today’s social eco-system need to take an effectiveness based approach. Social Monitoring & Analysis tools, like Radian6  Visible Technologies etc can get you a sense of what your customers, in social channels, are talking about your products & customer service. Now, while technology can get you all this information, the key challenge is how organizations respond & engage with customers.

Organizations have 2 choices:

Cookie Cutter Approaches  == Efficiency, Repeatability, Consistency, Productivity, Scalability, Mass rollout, Can be outsourced, Traditional measures, Easy trainability etc.

Engagement, Dialogue & Conversations == Each transaction is new, Customer of one, Extreme Personalization, Empathy, Human Centric. New age organizations are realizing this and are in the process of creating roles like “Community Managers” to interact with consumers in the social channels.

Let’s understand the differences in the above 2 approaches through these sample responses

“Thanks for sharing your problem. I’ve looked into it and have taken the dealer to task. The problem lies with your head gasket. Please take the car to the dealer and we’ll sort it out ASAP. “
OR
“Greetings from XYZ Company. Our cars are the most reliable and this is proven by 5,00,000 customer cars on the road today. We cannot be held responsible for the way you have used your car”

“Looks like your low battery is due to bad sensor, or a loose connection. Please bring it to the service station and we will glad to diagnose & help”
OR
“The ABC battery has been officially certified for 35 hours backup by CERCI”

“Yes, we realize that our dealers from the northern part of country need a severe ramp-up and are in the process of doing so. Existing dealers are being taken to task, and newer customer-focused dealers are being shortlisted”
OR
“DEFG India prides itself on the No.1 position in customer satisfaction survey. Our dealerships provide industry-leading after-sales service“

Which one do you think is more human, engaging & conversation centric? Which one would you prefer? Do you have some views & experience to share on customer service?

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