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Social Media Killed the Call Center Star

social customer experience

The transition of customer experiences from traditional methods like walk-in to call centers and now more recently to social media has seen an interesting pattern. Like fish, customers generally swim in a common direction. This causes pressure to create new, more effective and efficient methods of channeling new and higher volumes of demand.

After having deployed what has become a highly effective social customer care model at one of my former companies, wi-tribe Pakistan, I have since begun to implement the same model at my current and much larger employer, British Council.

As a consumer, I am reminded that the principles of customer service remain the same; as long as a basic level of customer service is continually provided, there’s room for redemption. The playing field is shifting from the physical storefront to the fan page, where everyone can see!

Social care, as it’s dubbed, has been making the headlines since the turn of 2014. Social Bakers, the world’s expert in social metrics, have even developed a rating standard, which I have absolutely set as my first target.

A recent series of experiences has left a smile on my face and I think this deserves attention, especially with the waves that social media is creating in becoming the single most important way of retaining customers.

While KLM retains the title for #1 in social care by the Bakers in Prague, it’s only recently that I have truly encountered what that means as they attempt to book tickets for me via twitter, in their effort to re-acquire me as a long lost customer; an effort far costlier than retaining their existing customers.

At the same time, the largest bank in Dubai, Emirates NBD has also delighted me by providing the simplest but most essential customer service by responding on twitter, followed by a call to me on their initiative. I was pleasantly surprised because this already exceeded their call center’s level of support and product knowledge.

Interestingly, having been behind the scenes myself, I know the effort that goes into such work. Regardless of the service, they have a lot to juggle and it must be appreciated when they do it without making a customer feel like a nuisance – which many businesses still do.

At our first social customer service training in Sri Lanka earlier this year, I shared a slide which stated “to provide good customer service, simply provide customer service”. Everyone is competing to delight the customer with nifty tricks and clever tactics. I realized that if you just provide basic customer service, you are already exceeding your industry’s current standard. Maybe in that effort the delight factor will surface anyway.

As the industry remains nascent, most companies are not yet very socially savvy. They may be present on social media, like some of my favorite airlines. However, responding to customer queries or providing hands-on support is an entirely different matter and not deemed a priority, unless it’s positive feedback.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Game changer.

While my relationship with the Dutch airline and Emirati Bank evolves, it’s nice to know that the basic essence of #CustomerService still exists. Only difference is that it has since changed homes.

Social Care is 'Social Media' integrated with 'Customer Care', to be confused with its traditional definition but not just for the elderly, for all mankind. 

Try these companies out and see it for yourself:

@KLM, the world’s first airline for good airline social care

@EmiratesNBD, Dubai’s largest bank, for good banking social care

@witribePK, Pakistan’s favorite broadband company, for good internet social care




Zohare is just trying to demystify digital by making it user-friendly. 

He tweets as @JJBaybee

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*Image Credit: Social Bakers* 

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