3C Contact Services (www.3CContactServices.com), North America’s premier cost-effective provider of contact center solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses, is commenting on Apple’s new move to offer customer service through a Twitter account.
Apple has recently launched a Twitter account devoted solely to customer service. The new account answers customer’s questions and responds to complaints about all of Apple’s products, as well as provides tips for consumers. (Source: Kastrenakes, J., “Apple starts providing customer service on Twitter,” The Verge, March 3, 2016; http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/3/11151640/apple-support-twitter-account-launches)
“Customer service is important for any company, no matter how big or small,” says Dmitri Kuleshoff. “It really is one of the top things people look for in a company. In the past, Apple has resisted some common customer service channels, but this is a sign they’re making a major commitment.”
Apple has avoided using centralized social media accounts in recent years. Companies sometimes use this strategy to try to control their brand image and prevent public relations disasters from going viral. Apple was one of the largest consumer-driven companies that still did not have a core Twitter account.
“You can’t control what happens on the Internet, so it’s usually better to embrace it,” says Kuleshoff. “Customers expect to be able to contact businesses online and through social media. Apple may get a few complaints sent publically to them, but they can also expect to have more satisfied customers too.”
Many companies now use fan pages on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks to provide customer service. Customer service representatives respond directly to comments or messages, providing feedback, tips, and complaint resolution.
“Customer service isn’t just done over the phone anymore,” notes Kuleshoff. “Good customer service has to use digital channels, like email, social media, and live chats. The reality is that young people are on the Internet, and that’s where they expect to speak with companies.”
Apple’s new Twitter account is part of a larger trend of social media sites being used for business. In fact, Twitter has made changes to their platform specifically to allow companies the ability to provide better service. Businesses can now send longer direct messages on Twitter.
“Web companies have really understood the power of customer service,” says Kuleshoff. “When you look at a company like Uber, most of their success has come by focusing on the customer’s experience. That’s what companies in every field have to be thinking about.”
While Kuleshoff says that companies should be using the Internet, he warns that it’s also possible to overemphasize the role of online services. According to Kuleshoff, the best approach is one that focuses on the customer and not on the platform.
“Many customers are online, but many still prefer to use the phone,” says Kuleshoff. “Good customer service meets customers on their terms. You really need to be using a diverse, multifaceted approach. It’s not enough to have a Twitter account or Facebook account.”
3C Contact Services provides its partners’ agents with the necessary customer service skills needed to resolve a number of situations.