South Africa: Vodacom takes customer service to social networks
Social media has moved incredibly quickly from a specialist tool to a must-have channel of engagement with customers.
Building on the unique one on one conversation that social media makes possible, Vodacom has increased the number of people working in its specialist dedicated customer care team and increased their hours of operation.
The customer care team are now live on Twitter (@vodacom111) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/Vodacom) from 7am to 10pm every day, including weekends.
“I don’t think any of us had an inkling what we were letting ourselves in for back in early 2010 when we kicked off our social media activity on Twitter. We made two key decisions which are really paying dividends.
First, we set up the dedicated Twitter channel for customer care, @vodacom111, and made sure that the people resolving the queries were frontline on Twitter with nowhere to hide. We then added to that same team and put them on to the Facebook page as well, scouring customer posts for issues to resolve,” said Portia Maurice, Chief Officer Corporate Affairs.
With more than 27 million customers in South Africa, Vodacom’s social media team were always going to have their work cut out for them. From starting up a year and a half ago, the reality has been beyond any expectations.
The company now has more than 20,000 followers on its two main Twitter channels and is rapidly approaching 100,000 Facebook fans, giving the team a huge volume of customer care queries to handle.
“There’s always a challenge separating customer care activities from all the other engagements that happen via our social media channels but with the structure we’ve put in place, I think we’ve found a good balance,” Maurice added.