Fake news

Paolo Gaggero, Senior Account Manager

We tend to think of “fake news” as a new thing.

But this goes back much further, to the 18th and 19th centuries.  Back then, coach travellers would stop at a town called Stony Stratford, north of London.

They would refresh themselves in one of the town’s two main coaching inns, The Cock or The Bull, where fanciful tales and so-called news would become hopelessly embellished.  The two establishments still exist.

The town’s website says that “the High Street still contains a wealth of coaching inns that thrived in this period, including The Cock and The Bull; in these inns travellers vied with each other in the telling of outrageous stories…”

So, telling cock and bull stories is nothing new.  But what makes them important now is the power of social media.

Simply, a Tweet or Facebook post from an unhappy customer can be read by millions of people, even if it’s outrageously wrong.

Taking social media seriously is important because it has increasingly become a destination for customer interaction service.

So SYKES is serious about social.

Many companies don’t take social media seriously enough in customer service, because most social messages to companies aren’t answered for days.

But nearly half of customers expect an answer within 60 minutes and 72% of customers complaining via Twitter expect a response within two hours.

Social media has been growing at a huge rate.  There are 7.7 billion people in the world, and at least 3.5 billion of us are online. This means social media platforms are used by some one-in-two people in the world, and by more than two-thirds of all internet users.

Further, over 90% of social media users are accessing from mobile devices, making it absolutely immediate.  So, a dissatisfied customer can make their feelings known from anywhere.

But social media for customer service is something that a lot of companies struggle with because it’s out of their comfort zone and few, frankly, recognise its importance.

With about 80% of all internet users being active on at least one social media platform, social media is key to being in touch with customers where they are.

Before social, an unhappy customer would phone or write.  It was a private interaction.  Now, they can conduct the conversation very much in public.

But it’s a problem that is professionally handled by SYKES because customer interaction is our business.  Increasingly, our clients get on with their core business and turn to us for insights and answers.

The strategic purpose of our social media team is to ensure that clients remain on top of customer journey trends, because some 67% of customers now turn to social media for service support.

We monitor and analyse traffic across channels, listen to what’s being said and respond to posts in a time period agreed with each client.  That can be a matter of minutes.

And that’s not just for large companies with many thousands of followers.  We also work with small clients for whom social media support can be very important.

This approach takes a challenge and turns it into an opportunity to engage constructively with customers, and enhance brand values and customer loyalty.

Getting social media customer support right is an opportunity that companies cannot afford to miss. For more information, please get in touch! 



Posted on

December 11, 2019

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