We have entered an age where the options for customers to connect to brands have become endless. Beyond the traditional online support and telephone options, social media has driven a whole new plethora of places that customers seeking immediate feedback can go to get attention.

For some brands the onslaught has been overwhelming. If you’re a big and well known brand this type of access may strain resources beyond what can be supported, and if you are small it is hard to know everywhere you need to be listening and if you aren’t careful there may be negative content out there that you don’t even know exists. Either way, the choice to simply ignore social customer service isn’t a legitimate one and therefore serious businesses need to get serious about managing it.

For anyone who has ever dealt with a customer service nightmare, we know the pain of trying to deal with an extremely dissatisfied customer. And for any company that has been around a while, this has/will happen. However, with social as a new vehicle for complaining, nowadays many people don’t even both to actually call and complain. They just plaster it all over the internet. As the old adage goes…the dissatisfied customer tells a lot more people than the happy customer. Depending on where you pull your data from, it’s anywhere from 5-10x more people. In the age of the internet, that can only mean one thing; too many people hear about our failures and not enough about our successes. Perhaps we need to explore new ways to disarm and turn our angriest customers into customers who once again believe?

Twitter Introduces Video Integration

Just this past month Twitter incorporated the use of video, which allows users of Twitter’s native mobile App to record a quick 30 Second video and attach it to a Tweet.

When I heard this, it got me thinking, why couldn’t businesses use this for customer service? And not necessarily just for complaints on Twitter.  Sure, on Twitter the logical response may be to respond to a tweet with a tweet, but what if you grabbed your mobile device and quickly recorded a video letting the customer know you saw their issue and you can’t wait to start working on it? This could be done right on Twitter and you are responding to them in the same space they engaged your brand. (Since it is often best to try and initially respond on the platform you were engaged on, this could also be done on other sites like Vine, Instagram or Facebook.)

Video could also work in other applications. What about a quick explanation of service to a customer that emailed or reached out on Facebook? Why type up a long email or get on a phone call where customers are more likely to be irate? When we look people in the eye we tend to (note: not always) be less confrontational. This is why face-to-face service and sales work so well. For progressive companies this becomes a great reason to incorporate real time video support much like Amazon did with Mayday. If real time 2-way video isn’t an option then at the very least why not capture a video and send to the customer as a way to quickly humanize your brand and articulate your efforts?

Given that we process visual information 60,000 times faster than we process written content, customers will hopefully catch our message and desire to help. Which in itself is powerful for driving a better customer experience.

Turn Your Angriest Customers Into Advocates: Not Easy, But Possible

I’ve often believed that the best business relationships are built in the foxhole. When we stand side by side with our customers and we work through their challenges together, we have the ability to build a more meaningful bond that keeps our brands in the hearts and minds of these consumers going forward.

Mistakes happen, bad products and bad service happens, but the way we can personalize our response to get closer to our clients in a fast paced digital world does make a difference.

This is why taking 10 seconds or 30 seconds to send a quick video may be one meaningful tool in a service focused organizations plan to show customers that they care. Of course a video saying “Hi, we are looking into your problem, and will be in touch shortly” won’t immediately rectify what is wrong; it does however have a way of connecting the consumer to the human side of the brand. I believe it is powerful when a company employee looks into the digital eye of a customer and says, “Hey, I want to let you know that you Ms. Customer matter to us and I personally want to fix this as soon as possible!”

In service it is often the little things that drive great customer experiences. Social video using a tool like Twitter Video or other integrated video platforms may just be the next great way to disarm a negative client and turn them into an advocate.

How does your organization use social to listen, engage, and turn negative customer experiences into happier more connected customers? Leave your comments below.

Image: Creative Commons 

Post originated on Forbes and can be found here.

Daniel Newman
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Daniel Newman

Founder and President at Broadsuite, Inc.
After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.
Daniel Newman
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