Social Media Customer Care Case Study: 48 go Conquer vs Vodafone
A trend which has gained traction over the past year or so is the use of social media by mobile phone networks to answer customer queries in an attempt to give real time answers and assistance. I love the idea. I know I’m not alone when I saw I absolutely hate ringing up any customer care number. Not because the person who answers isn’t helpful or can’t fix my problem but due to the fact that I’ve to site there for up to twenty minutes before I can talk to an actual human being.
I’m going to put my hands up here and admit I’ve never used Vodafone’s social media customer care service even though they offer it through Twitter. At a glance it’s clearly working, there’s a massive amount of tweets and queries coming in and going out. The time between replies seems to be pretty minimal too. In a glance over the past 24 hours there’ve been at least 35-40 tweets with everyone answered within an hour of posting.
I really like the way each reply from Vodafone customer care is worded and there’s a definite sense of professionalism off each tweet. It’s clear from two minutes spent on their Twitter that Vodafone customers are using the service and finding it helpful. As well as that it undoubtedly knock off a number of unnecessary calls being made to their help desk that can be handled easily on the web.
After checking Vodafone’s Twitter customer service I decided to check out another network provider using a different social media platform who provide a similar service. I’ve been hearing a lot about 48 go Conquer over the last 6 or 7 months. Its branding is effective and catches your eye, it’s different and something unlike anything we’ve seen in Ireland from a phone provider before.
For anyone unaware of 48 go Conquer they target the 18-22 year old market and offer a 48 month contract that covers calls, texts and internet for 20 euro. One of the reasons they can offer this so cheaply is due to the fact that they have no physical customer service help desk. You can’t call into a store or reach them over the phone you have to email or send queries through Facebook.
Ok, so this is a completely different set up to Vodafone and it’s come up with completely different results. On the one side I’ve seen a large number of queries being answered by the 48 team but a massive amount of comments from irate users some of which state they’ve been days, even weeks without a reply to their problem. While social media customer care is a fantastic way of engaging your customers, offering real time replies and giving your business a more personal feel it can have drastic effects on how your business is perceived.
The main drawback of social media customer care from the company’s point of view is that all queries and replies are completely visible for the world to see. After looking at Vodafone a perception of professionalism and trust has been created. It’s clear however that the savings 48 have made through avoiding a customer care help desk is costing them viciously in terms of lost business. Two minutes reading comments from disgruntled customers on the 48 go Conquer Facebook page would make me run a mile. No phone for a week? I’d rather spend the extra 10 euro for the reliability.
Any businesses considering using social media to enhance customer care make sure you do just that, enhance, enhance, enhance. Strive to use the various social media platforms to answer questions, help customers, promote business but most importantly build relationships and create a positive service experience.
What do you think of social media customer care services? More trouble than it’s worth or a good idea?