Everything you need to know about social customer service, you learned from Disney

Putting the ‘social’ in ‘social media’, when you start a page, you will start to get people interacting with you. You might be awesome at doing what you do (creating a product), but it’s not always easy to know how to respond to your customers online. Read on to find out how Disney can help you nail customer service online… every time.


Do I have to be available around the clock to respond to questions?

While brands around the globe struggle to get their KPIs for Service Level Agreements right and Telstra starts a 24/7 Facebook service, it’s often hard to know the turnaround time your customers expect. Like Cinderella, set a time that you will be available and make sure you include it in your ‘about’ section. This sets an expectation, so your audience knows when they can expect a response. If for any reason you’re going to be unavailable outside of the hours you set, make sure to let your online community know.


Listen, listen and listen some more

Although Ariel didn’t want to be mute and I’m sure she would have talked the black sheen off Eric’s hair if she’d been able to, but what she would have learned from not being able to share all of her fishy stories, is the art of listening. In all aspects of customer experience, including face to face and phone, we’re always taught to listen first to understand and then be understood. The same is true of social customer experience. Take the time to ask questions and find out more information before you try to respond. 

Should the probing questions happen publicly? Some would argue that that’s what an authentic or transparent company would do. In my experience, it depends on the circumstance. If it’s a straightforward response, it’s worth putting it out for everyone to see, but if you have to ask more questions, the person is particularly upset, or it’s likely to escalate, encourage the customer to email, or take it offline. Try to avoid this:

#cringe #cantlookaway

This happened after a significant baby formula incident and customer complaint. Which would have been highly contentious in its own right, but Nestle took it a step further and every glorious word of their online fight was captured by its audience. This would take years to come back from.

The colours of the social media landscape

If you’re new to social media customer service, it can be hard to know where to  start. Like John Smith, it’s important to admit that you don’t know everything about this new world and enlist those more learned (like Pocahontas) to find out more. Learn from those more experienced and take the things they do well and apply them to your own customer experiences.

Just like you do in everyday life, pick your battles, you don’t always have to be on the defensive. I loved the day Woolworths had a bit of fun with their customers and responded in a way that no one would have expected. The below built a really human element into their brand and something you can definitely do.


Don’t run off with a warthog and meerkat

What did Simba do when something went wrong in his life? Went and hid with a warthog and a meerkat. Don’t run off with a warthog and a meerkat. Or in social media terms, don’t just hide posts because they’re negative, your audience will call you out.

Make sure to have clear community guidelines that cover you if things go south. Never hide things just because they’re negative, look for ways to turn them around. Anyone in customer service knows how quickly angry to turn to advocate if you have patience and ride it through.


You can’t wish people like you

The genie from Aladdin will agree, you can’t just snap your fingers and people will like you. You have to work at it. What the genie does well, is not only listens to your wish, but follows it through. The key to great social customer experience isn’t just what you say, you have to put your money where your mouth is and do what you say you will.  

 Prince Ali, Ali is he, Ali of Social Media

Aladdin thought if he looked and acted like a prince, Jasmine would like him more. You remember how that went down. Something, something, turn into a snake, epic magic carpet crash, something something. But when did Aladdin get the girl? When he was himself, when he let his guard down and showed Jasmine who he early was.

You don’t have to pretend to be a prince, be human and people will want to connect with you.

Let it go!

Hi, I’m Bekki and I love watching brands get involved in social media fights. It’s like a dinosaur, you just can’t look away (that’s the saying right?!)

Take a leaf out of Elsa’s book and let it go! If it’s just someone having a whinge (which they will do), acknowledge and thank them for their feedback, don’t get defensive and definitely don’t get agitated.

Here’s an example of what not to do.. Beware, it’s a dinosaur (can’t look away)

@hvsvn complains to British Airways via Twitter. British Airways doesn’t really help.

It goes back and forth with very little humility from British Airways culminating in @hvsvn paying to promote a tweet bagging the company. The power really does sit with the consumer now and you can’t let how you feel get in the way of great customer experience.

Some people are worth melting for

Wise words Olaf.  Go above and beyond with your social customer service, this is a public space for your brand to show what it can do and that it listens to its customers. Respond to everything, complaints and compliments. If someone takes the time to write you a glowing review, they deserve glowing thanks right back. Remember that your customers make your business, so use their names and get to know what they like to see from your page.

Get Pages Manager

Even if you’re a one man band, feel like you have 7 dwarves helping you stay on top of things with the pages manager app. You’ll be notified of each engagement on Facebook and it will allow you to triage comments, right from your mobile. It’ll also fix the issue of accidentally posting as your personal profile on your business page.

Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/help/440342779314597
Thanks for reading! Tell me about your social customer experiences in the comments!