Presence in the social media environment has its pros and cons. This is no news.
However, extracting pros, and minimizing cons is really challenging task for everybody. Especially if you are an Internet service provider. Iskon is one of the main ISP’s in Croatia. Providing broadband service since 2006, they have become one of the key players in communication business. Like many others, Iskon started using Social media channels in 2008, and quite well. Main focus, of course, has been on Iskon Facebook Page.
As Facebook changed its appearance, rules and restrictions, Iskon adopted every one of them easily, implementing them in their business as best as they could. However, being an ISP present in two-way communication has its challenges. Let’s be realistic here, internet and mobile providers don’t enjoy a reputation of being admired or loved. There is not much they can do about it. The reason why we are so sensitive about ISP’s services is because we really depend on them. Communication is rapid, instant and in fact, the most important thing in the 21st century (so far). If it’s said that 20th century was age of industry, we can tell that this one started as a century of communication. People panic when their Internet is down for five minutes. And, logically, we blame our service providers, because, well, we pay them for it. So, as a result, like many ISPs around the globe, Iskon, from time to time, also faces negative critique from its unsatisfied customers.
NOT SO LONG AGO…
Let’s remind ourselves what was communication with our providers before social media era. Somebody was reading a really interesting article on his or hers favourite news portal and their internet crashed. Let’s say it’s a he. He waited for a few minutes, left the PC, made a cup of coffee… If the problem wasn’t gone when our hero got back to PC, he probably thought “Ok, maybe it’s global grid failure, I’ll wait for another 10 to 15 minutes”… Still, after half an hour altogether, problem didn’t vanish. ”OK…” He’s starting to make some actions “…I need to call customer care service and see what the heck is going on”.. Taking the phone, dialing number, listening the voice machine telling him what number to press. Then waiting for a few minutes listening some irritating “on hold” music. Finally, he reached somebody on the other side of the wire, explained the problem and they said they will fix it. And that’s it. At this moment, two solutions became probable: first is that the problem was fixed right away, or, more common one was that our guy had to wait not knowing when it was going to be fixed, not having any clue about the status of his issue.
… AND TODAY
Nowadays things are quite different. We are still able to reach our ISPs by phone, but we really don’t want to. We have social media, Facebook primarily. The advantages, for customers, are huge. Many people don’t like to communicate by phone, and they feel uncomfortable doing it. Also, it takes several steps to do it. If you don’t know the number you have to Google it, then you have to dial it and listen the automatic machine to tell what number to press. And, quite often these instructions are confusing. Then, as we mentioned it before, you listen to the boring music and hoping that one of the operatives would be available and willing to pick up the phone. At this point you have an opportunity to explain your problem.
Today all you need is to go online and post a complaint to your ISP’s Facebook Page. Because of the general, non written, but largely adopted rules in social media communication, you’ll get an answer in a few minutes, and you know at this moment that you got their attention.
The other important part is the feeling of community and exploiting its power. You are not the only one having problems, and when several dozens of people post about their problem, your voice adds up with the voices of the others, and ISP brands feel certain amount of pressure which motivates them to act rapidly.
IT CAN GET EVEN BETTER
However, even in “modern” communication through social media channels, one issue still remains. A customer is not sure what is going on with his, or hers, inquiry. Ok, we’re sure the provider saw it because they replied to us that they’ll take a look at it, but other than that, we don’t have any other clue.
Iskon, of course, had that challenge as well. Communication with customers on brand’s Facebook Page was great, but they also wanted to provide their customers with an even better service. So, together with Iskon personnel, we jumped right at it and started developing a solution. One that will provide new customer experience.
Our goal was to make a distinction between general communication and customer care communication. We wanted to provide Iskon users with simple and and effective way to contact Iskon customer care service.
Now, users can send an inquiry directly to Iskon customer care service through the Facebook Page application. The application is segmented into services (internet, television and phone) and is set up in several steps that lead the user to the most specific definition of the problem. After the user’s inquiry is posted, user can track the status of the situation.
AND OF COURSE… SUCCESS AND THE NUMBERS
Iskon help tab turned out to be a very helpful communication tool. Almost 75% of negative communication was channelized from the public to “administrators only” sphere, solving more than five hundred inquiries so far.