Social Media Customer Service Doesn’t Scale

Social media customer service is just part of a cycle, enjoy it why you have it. I’m sure the first companies that started to use the phone for customer service did a bang up job with it. Now look at it!

Right now many companies are dipping their toes into social media, and most are starting by using it to deal with customer service complaints.

With social media all you need to do is reach out and complain on Twitter, and if the company is using social media you more than likely get an all-star like Frank Eliason from Comcast to help you out.

Social Media Customer Service

With social media you no longer need to wait on the phone for 30 minutes to get a customer service rep, and then after all that time probably never even get the issue completely resolved to your licking.

Because of great people like Frank on the other end of those social media conversations, social media customer service is a great experience. This may be coming to an end however. Part of the reason companies can afford to have great people like Frank help us out, is that very low percentage of their customers are actually using social media to get customer support.

What happens when everyone is using social media to connect with businesses online? Does it scale any better than a customer service phone room?

Say tomorrow all the phone lines went dead, and the only way to handle customer service was through the use of social media? Would companies be able to lay anyone off, or would they simply have to retrain all the phone reps on how to use social media to interact? My bet is that they would not be able to reduce their customer service staff at all, they would merely re-allocate them.

Once use of social media for customer service reaches critical mass, cost for online customer service goes way up. Then some CFO gets the bright idea to outsource social media customer service to some company in another country. “Heck if we outsource it to a third party, we could have 24hr customer support, customers will love it!”

Sure some companies will continue to give us great customer service in social media, but more than likely it will be the same companies that currently give us great phone support as well.

There’s much more to social media than customer service!

Kevin Urie

  • http://twitter.com/KarlSakas Karl Sakas

    What would it take to maintain quality customer service when utilization skyrockets? You're right, companies that provide good customer service already will probably keep it up, and companies with poor customer service will fall to their previous level.

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  • http://www.changeitmarketing.com kevinurie

    Thanks Karl! Let's just hope social media opens companies eyes to the power of people, and makes them want to invest more into helping our their customers.

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  • http://twitter.com/geekcoach Kimm Viebrock

    Twitter is a channel for communication, not a customer service strategy. Considerations for other channels still apply.

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