It’s really great to see some brands use social media as a way provide some great customer service. I guess the brands that are afraid of using social as a customer service tool don’t see the positive impact that it can have for their brand. Maybe those brand decision makers are living in the fear of what could possibly go wrong. Well in these recent interactions that I had with Citi and Home Depot, I’ll show you brands that have it down right and how a well-trained social media team can make sure the positives outweigh the negatives.
My interaction with Citi started after I tried to obtain a Home Depot credit card so that I could start a home backup generator project. I applied for the card online and was told that I needed to make a phone call so that Citi could get some more information from me. They told me that they couldn’t give me a decision on the phone and that I would receive a letter in 7 to 10 days with the decision. At that time I kind of figured that I would be rejected and I wasn’t very happy about it. I didn’t understand why I would be rejected so I decided to send a tweet to Home Depot and Citi to ask them that.
To Home Depot and Citi’s credit, I received responses from both of them. Home Depot asked me for my email address and shorty after I received an email from Nicki from the Home Depot social team. After a couple of replies back and forth she told me that she requested to have the Citi representative that handles Home Depot card applications to contact me. It was all that she could do, and that was fine with me. In my opinion, she had already gone above and beyond what she had to.
I also heard back from the Citi social media team as well. After a couple of direct messages on Twitter back and forth, I was asked for my phone number so that I could speak to them directly. When I got the call I was told over the phone that they left my contact information with the department that handles credit applications, and just wanted to make sure that I didn’t think that they had left me hanging. It was a nice move on their part to inform of the status of the situation with a personal touch!
But it didn’t end there. I received a phone call from Citi again, just to make sure everything was taken care of. The representative that I spoke to was Stacy R. and she patiently took the time to listen to what I had to say and advise me of the current situation. To her credit, I did not get the sense that she was trying to end the conversation at any point. She even answered my questions that weren’t even related to the original issue at hand. What really stood out to me was the level of excitement and energy that she had when she spoke about her job and she told me how Frank Eliason did a great job of setting up the program and that she was happy to be a part of the team. I could hear the enthusiasm and excitement in her voice, which left me with a positive impression about the brand.
In the end I did not receive the credit requested to start the project with Home Depot. But the response and attention from Home Depot and Citi made a good impression and have made me a fan and so my hat is off to Frank Eliason and Brad Shaw for setting up two great examples of how social media customer service should be handled. It’s very refreshing to see brands take social media customer service seriously. How has your social media customer service experience been with brands? Do you have any good examples to share, positive or negative?