Telstra started engaging on the social space on Twitter nearly 2 years ago now and did so to a rather mixed reaction from the Twitter community. At first, it had to battle a scathing audience that needed (and wanted) to vent, and vent they did.
Today, however, @Telstra‘s engagement on Twitter is one of the most sung success stories and is a tribute to how a brand needs to stick to their engagement strategy. From what we have seen in the past year alone, the engagement and level of support from the Telstra Twitter support has been able to rival that of the traditional phone support.
Last week saw the Aussie Telco take its customer support to Facebook with a series of live chat apps on their Facebook page that allows customers to engage the company customer support via live chat sessions 24 hours a day 7 days a week and even feature Telstra based (in app) advertising.
The Facebook page tab apps segregate various arms of the Telco in separate apps to allow for better targeting based on customer type be it a Business or Personal customer.
This latest move to engage more via the social environment opens up new and exciting avenues in offering a high level of customer support and engagement while allowing ROI metrics to be captured for improvements, where needed, to process and customer support training.
It’s really great to see Telstra take their customer service to the next level on Facebook. Having a purpose built Facebook page and application will help to take negative customer service questions away from the main Telstra Facebook page wall. This will give Telstra the opportunity to use their main page for sales and use Telstra 24/7 Facebook app specifically for customer service.
A couple of things done really well on Telstra 24/7 are the ‘About’ section which states, ‘This week we responded to 93.8% of your questions within our one hour service commitment.’ Not only does this show customers what a success the platform is and offer a platform for fast customer service, it also shows that Telstra are closely monitoring and tracking the incoming requests and feedback on the platform. This gives Telstra the ability to compare the number of questions, including percentage answered, within its call centres, allowing them to determine which platform provides the largest ROI. If Facebook proves to be a successful platform for Telstra’s customer service, we will undoubtedly see a decrease in the size of ‘traditional telephone call centres’ and an increase in ‘social media customer service centres’ in future.
Another noticeable feature of the Telstra 24/7 app is the prominent advertising banner, providing a space for Telstra to advertise its products to people visiting the page, with a customer service question, not specifically looking to purchase. This would never be possible with traditional phone customer service.
We’re even seeing some brands advertise products of their sponsors or suppliers on their Facebook apps. In some cases sponsors are paying for the advertising space itself (similar to a website banner ad) or paying for the application build, helping to make the Facebook application cost neutral for the brand.
You can be sure that as Facebook application views increase, the amount of advertising space being utilised will do just the same.