Customer Service Week 2018: The growth of Social Media Customer Service in Kenya

Social media customer service

It’s yet another exciting National customer service week. A week where business organizations take the time to appreciate all the key players involved in customer appreciation. From marketers, front-line service, sales professionals, leadership, support and the customers, they are essentially the people who make the day to day business operations happen.

The national customer service week which starts from October 1St every year, has been celebrated during the first full week of October since its inception in 1984.  Businesses and organizations utilize this week to deepen their understanding of the impact that the customer experience has on the satisfaction and loyalty of the customer. This year’s customer service week has been no different; various organizations have come out to show their appreciation to their customers via their social media customer service platforms via the hash tag – #CSWeek2018.

As you may have noticed, the customer service sector in Kenya has been changing. The customer service landscape in 2017  is quite different from this year in terms of the communication channels predominantly used for customer support. 2018 has experienced a significant growth in social media customer service support in the country.

One of the biggest changes ushered in with widespread adoption of social media in customer service is that, many businesses are now taking to social media platforms to respond to the unique demands, queries, and problems of their customers, instead of using the traditional call centers and emails. This can be attributed to the fact that, now more than half of the Kenyan population has internet access and they have not been shy to use to channel their various queries to Kenyan businesses.

In fact, 63% of customers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. In comparison to the channels that already exist to handle customer concerns, 34.5% of customers prefer social media; 24.7% prefer live chat, 19.4% prefer email, and 16.1% prefer toll-free phone service.

Brands big and small in Kenya have also recognized that social media is the most effective way to interact with, and support customers. It’s a cheaper and efficient medium of communication especially for retail-focused companies with a huge customer base. By harnessing social media customer service, they  have managed to reach more customers from a vast array of backgrounds, countries and regions than ever before.

Some business organizations however, have outdone themselves in their social media customer support. Always lively, prompt and helpful, they have perfected the art of social support responding to at least 65% of the queries that they receive. On Facebook it could be a question on a brands page which includes a question mark, while on Twitter it includes a brands twitter handle and a question mark.

The following 3 companies emerge as the best in providing social media customer service support in Kenya.

Equity bank

As per social media customer Service Excellence Awards in the financial sector, Equity has been the recurrent winner. They are said to be one of the most socially devoted bank in Kenya with near perfect customer service delivery. They have a very timely feedback of 77% total response rate on Twitter and a 98% response rate on Facebook.

Their Eazzy Banking up is one of the reasons why Equity bank is a favorite financial institution for many Kenyans.  The app was launched with the aim of offering customers an easy and comprehensible banking experience. The app has been integrated to the most used social apps in Kenya; Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp, which enables easy and seamless communication between the bank and its customers.

Safaricom

With their services in mobile banking, Home Fiber, mobile money transfer and Wi-Fi services, among others, Safaricom ranks first in all customer review reports since 2003 when they introduced per second billing. However, what makes Safaricom stand out from other telecommunication services in Kenya is they have been changing the dynamics of customer service through social media.

Safaricom subscribers can easily get assistance via their Facebook and Twitter pages which have been active since 2011.Since then; they have garnered a following of 1.1million and 1.7 million users on Twitter and Facebook respectively. The Safaricom social media customer service agents also contribute to the popularity of their customer service. From their witty, sometimes hilarious responses on social media, Safaricom clearly knows how to entertain while remaining professional in their day to day operations.

Kenya Power

 This is one company that has really struggled with their customer service. In the past years many of their customers preferred calling or visiting the offices to get their issues addressed. However, when the company decided to adopt social media for their customer support, Kenya Power customers have been steadily adopting social media customer service for engagement with the Company.

Twitter is the most preferred online communication platform for their customers, currently accounting for over 70 per cent of all interactions on social media. This is evident with the number of queries they receive on both their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Despite the harsh and brazen tones used by many of their disgruntled customers, their dedicated social media customer service agents have been working tirelessly in a bid to try and promptly solve their issues, ultimately enhancing their services to increase the customer confidence and satisfaction. Because of improved communication with customers, by end of their business year in 2017, Kenya Power registered an overall customer experience index of 67.8 per cent.

As you review your organizations customer service policies in this year’s customer service week, you should know that even if your company has a website or call center to go to for customer concerns, social media is the place that everyone goes to when they want to connect. While a website is still important for your brand’s online presence in 2018, many of your customers are on social media, and they expect you to be there, too.

 

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