Why Boloco wins at social media customer service

February 2, 2016

It began like any other Metis Takeout Thursday. We chose a restaurant, placed a group order on Doordash (a local delivery service), and eagerly awaited the arrival of our burrito lunch from Boloco. When said lunch arrived, however, there was a problem: Melissa, managing partner at Metis, found her custom burrito missing. In its place was a teriyaki chicken wrap. After filling out a form on the Doordash website, we were assured the correct order would be delivered quickly.

That update turned out to be half right. Melissa’s replacement lunch was indeed delivered quickly, but it still wasn’t the order she had placed. We decided to air our grievances on Twitter:

The events that followed, in roughly the order described below, provided us with firsthand insight into the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of customer service on social media. As the socialverse continues to become a hub for customers to praise and grieve about the products and services they use, these are important lessons for any brand, whether you sell software or Sofritas.

1. Timing is everything.
Within 15 minutes of sending our tweet, we received a response from @doordash_help asking us for a direct message about our situation so the Doordash team could right the issue. This quick response time is critical, especially when your customers are in the midst of a debacle and need a solution.
If you set email notifications for Twitter mentions or enable desktop pop-ups from Twitter (or a Web client, such as Tweetdeck), be sure to have a system in place for tracking customer outreach and responding in a timely manner.

2. …But so is consistency.
We sent a message about the order mix-up right away, to which the Doordash Twitter account responded with an apology and a promise to credit our account. Immediately, we replied: “Can we get the right order delivered?” Then, the account went dark.

The lesson here: be consistent with your communication on social. If you’re going to reply to a customer, make sure you’re around to continue the conversation. For example, Dana Miller, senior vice president of client services at Metis client Crimson Hexagon and customer experience guru, often highlights WestJet as a company that readily maintains this consistency. The Canadian airline shares its social customer service hours in its Twitter bio, so customers know exactly when they can expect a response.

3. Social CEOs can save the day.
Our spirits rose when we received a tweet late in the evening from the Boloco CEO himself, John Pepper:

Immediately, the situation gave us a feeling of, “He really cares.” While it’s not always realistic for a CEO to respond to every incoming complaint, it is possible for company leadership to play an active role in driving positive customer experience on social. This can come in the form of proactive outreach, thanking customers for feedback or welcoming new clients as they come aboard.

4. Communicate behind the scenes.
Along with Pepper’s tweet, we also received a tweet from Boloco asking us to email the details about our situation. We did, and we also let John know via direct message that we had done so. Here’s what was cool: John already knew what was going on. He said, “Looks like someone on our team is helping now,” and promised that he would “watch what happens.” Too often, there’s a disconnect between brand representatives engaging on social media and support teams. Because your customers may have multiple communication touch points, it’s important that your internal team has a system in place for coordinating efforts and ensuring customer experiences are seamless.

So, what happened next? Not only did Melissa finally get her burrito, but Boloco delivered a free lunch for our entire team the following week. Talk about delighting your customers. Listening, responding, being nice – these may seem like no-brainers to PR and social pros who have been in the business for a while. But, some brands continue to struggle with how to get it right. Thanks, Boloco, not just for the feast, but also for reminding us how great customer service looks, feels and even tastes.

Follow @metiscomm on Twitter for more social media tips - and to keep up with our office adventures.

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