It's rare that a company can so seamlessly integrate its product into social media, but Spotify's approach is music to its customers' ears.
The popular music streaming company prides itself on what it calls "Random Acts of Kindness" - surprising the customer by sharing a song or a playlist based on their individual music tastes.
The people behind the @SpotifyCares Twitter handle - where the bulk of their social customer service inquiries occur - sometimes get so creative that the answer to the query is actually spelled out in the playlist by reading the song titles in order (see example at the bottom of this post).
"We try to look for ways to put that special smile on customers' faces," says Chug Abramowitz, Vice President of Global Customer Service and Social Media. "We try to do things from within our product that accomplish that."
Spotify's service agents are based in Cambridge, England, and can handle inquiries in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. Spotify trains its agents first on e-mail because the inquiries are more payment and account-related, with a 24-hour response time expectation, versus the more urgent requests (like a song not playing) that are seen in social media.
"We don't really let them get into social media until they no longer really have to be thinking about how to solve the cases," Abramowitz says. Instead, agents can focus on executing quick responses and maintaining the brand's tone of voice.
"We're really protective over tone of voice," says Sam Thomas, Global Manager of Social Media Support. "That's something we really try to monitor very, very closely." Potential agents must submit to multiple writing tests and have high quality scores from their e-mail work before being considered for social media customer service. Good taste in music helps, too.
Spotify has participated in early pilots with Twitter, presumably with some of the recent enhancements such as a prompt to direct message and a feedback mechanism to calculate Net Promoter Score or Customer Satisfaction. In addition, Spotify is looking at adding Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to its stable of customer service channels, with Abramowitz even predicting that messaging apps will become the standard channels of choice for service in a few years.
Here are some of the key moments and where to find them:
1:25 Chug's and Sam's roles at Spotify
2:55 How the Spotify customer care team is organized
3:59 The social media channels where Spotify is active
5:27 The Spotify agent role and the difference between employee and outsourced agents
8:07 how Spotify integrates its product into its social media responses
12:40 The key traits of an ideal social customer service agent at Spotify
14:00 The onboarding/training process at Spotify
16:30 How the Marketing/Customer Service teams intersect
18:06 The technology behind Spotify's social care program
19:00 What's changed in social customer service and the role of messaging in the future
24:14 Memorable interactions with customers
27:32 What Chug and Sam have learned that would serve as advice for someone just starting out
29:25 Audience questions from Blab
If you've experienced amazing customer service in social media, please let us know by tweeting with the hashtag #FOCS and we will try to get that brand on a future podcast episode.