Why there's never been a better time to talk about customer service

Why there's never been a better time to talk about customer service

by Martin Newman

Posted on Tuesday 19th November 2019

It’s never been easier to express an opinion, but it’s also never been harder to get that opinion heard. Social media and the digital landscape have made it possible to put out a viewpoint on anything in seconds, which is the very thing that makes it so difficult for those views to get traction. The consumer experience is no exception. Too often we’ve seen companies, from artisan food shops to zoos, launch a social media presence claiming to provide a constructive space for feedback and customer service, only for it to become another token page with insipid ads and unfunny gags.

Some get it right, but too many don’t. Indeed, if you don’t have the resources to hand you could end up making the whole thing worse: messages are missed, questions are unanswered, and your consumer base will feel ignored.

Obviously, that shouldn’t be the case. I spend a lot of time speaking to c-suite leaders in our services industries and it’s a frustration we all share. Of course, though, for the consumer, that isn’t good enough. It’s time to remember that social media has transformed the sales sector of these industries, so it can transform customer service.

In order to help this process, I recently set up Customer Service Action. In a nutshell, it’s a website that helps aggregate customer feedback and present it to companies. The aim isn’t to create a stick to beat a company with, or to embarrass them – but equally, we’re not interested in sugaring the pill. What we really want to do is make the whole dialogue process better: championing the consumer and making sure their grievances are heard.

To do this we take four simple steps:

  1. We invite consumers to submit their own experience of a company. Tell us what happened, what could have been better or what impressed you.
  2. We send it on to the company’s customer service team, and add it to the company profile page.
  3. If we find a recurring issue or pattern of good behaviours we will add your submission to a larger case for us to take to the CEO.
  4. Your contribution helps create positive change for consumers and brands alike and creates a more meaningful company score and profile page.

We really hope that this process can break down the tokenism of public feedback silos and create some really fruitful processes. Whether you’re selling a pizza, a jacket, a train ticket, a once in a lifetime holiday or even a pension you need to know what isn’t working and also what is working. The challenge is getting the word out and letting people know there’s a platform specifically designed to bring traction to their feedback, that it’s free and that it’s a win-win for them and for the companies they’re talking to.

We really hope it’ll bring parties together and help them find ways to better experiences. In a few months’ time, I hope to be writing up some stories showing how we did that, but we need the news out there – so if you’ve had terrible service – or if you’ve had great service – let us know with a complaint or a compliment at Customer Service Action.