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Social Media, Customer Service, and Front-Door Graffiti

It happened to me. After a frustrating call to Samsung’s customer service, I swore I’d never buy another Samsung TV. Then, I commented on the brand’s Facebook page and a rep quickly resolved my issue for free. The next time I have to buy a TV, Samsung will be at the top of my list. It demonstrated a prime example of first-class social media customer service.

A negative comment on a Facebook wall is akin to someone graffitiing your office’s front door. But on social, you can’t just paint over the comment. Deleting it will only make matters worse. You have to address the issue — and fast. Other potential buyers are seeing the graffiti, and it has the potential to bring your brand down.

Great customer service in marketing

Today’s customers are turning to that front-door graffiti to get their problems addressed with expectations for responses to be real-time. They want brands to offer immediate and high-quality customer service. According to studies, 67 percent of consumers have used a company’s social media for servicing, yet 58 percent of consumers who have tweeted about a bad experience never received a response from the offending company. For those who did, the average response time was 5.1 hours. The fastest was 42 minutes.

Customer service complaints on social media, like graffiti on the front door, must be treated as high-priority cases within the organization. Addressing issues quickly positively protects and promotes brand identity. Not addressing them can seriously mar a brand’s reputation on- and offline.

Here are three examples of how the following companies exceeded expectations of brands utilizing social media to provide exceptional customer service.


Delta is no stranger to quick responses. First, @DeltaAssist came to the rescue of Convince & Convert blogger Jessica Gioglio. Within minutes of her tweet that she was going to miss her connecting flight due to delays, Delta had her rebooked on a new flight. The airline also helped resolve the troubles of a popular radio host, who tweeted at the airline and was promptly paged in the airport and connected with personnel who could help him.


One customer found herself caught in a shopping frenzy in Target the day after Christmas with only a few lanes open. Frustrated, she posted a picture of all the backed-up lines to Target’s Facebook page. Within five minutes, someone responded to her post, first apologizing and asking for details. Within minutes, more lanes opened to her delight. Wal-


After making a long trip to Best Buy in search of a popular item, an empty-handed customer tweeted his frustrations at Best Buy. In a surprising turn of events, Walmart promptly responded that their stores had the product in stock and linked the closest location. Talk about customer-jacking! And of course, a great example of what not to do:

Popular Phone Company

A customer with an overheating cell phone posted on a popular phone company’s Facebook page, only to have her post deleted. After posting again, it was once again deleted and the customer was blocked. The company eventually sent her a private email stating that she should call its customer service number instead of posting on its page. Though she received a new battery in the end, the situation could have been handled better if the company had responded more promptly and positively. Negative feedback is a fact of life when it comes to customer service, and it’s only going to make your brand look worse if you delete all the negative comments on your social media and leave only the positive ones. These are only a handful of great experiencesand one not-so-great experienceshared by happy customers.

We want to hear more about exceptional social media customer service. Let us know what you’ve experienced on one of our social channels, here, here, and here.