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For years now, businesses have understood the potential that lies in social media. What started out as a convenient way to stay in contact with friends and family has quickly transformed into a potent tool for businesses of all types. Many companies have used their various social media channels to reach out to new customers, promote their products, and make special announcements. Every time a new social media option comes along, businesses have been quick to come up with ways to use it to their advantage. This is true of nearly all companies, whether it’s a hotel chain, big data as a service startup, or furniture outlet. Social media has proven its worth, and one channel that is getting renewed attention is Snapchat. The app was released only half a decade ago, but it has quickly caught on among both casual users and businesses. And while organizations may see the app as a worthwhile marketing opportunity, much of its potential and future may be tied up in customer service.
It’s no secret that customer service can be tricky to do correctly. Customers have become accustomed to prompt responses and directly address whatever problems they may be facing. Social media has been instrumental in cutting down on the response time, but even so, many companies continue to rely on automated answers. Generally speaking, a customer service experience with a robotic reply doesn’t always go smoothly and often leaves the customer feeling neglected. With social media, businesses have the opportunity to take customer service to a new level, but Snapchat has largely been ignored in this context.
One company quickly found out how valuable Snapchat can be when helping their customers. iOgrapher, a company that specializes in cases, microphones, tripods, and other easy-to-use video equipment, has to interact with customer regularly. These customers often have questions about their products and may run into troubleshooting issues from time to time. As iOgrapher’s founder and CEO David Basulto explained, the company discovered that Snapchat provides a new way to interact with those customers and get them the help they need. Using video and pictures, customers can send the company details on what problems they’re having, and iOgrapher in return can send a response detailing what solutions can be applied. This can all be done in a matter of minutes as well, a much more efficient way to help customers than the typical call center approach.
Snapchat has helped iOgrapher even further, allowing the company to post video tutorials on how to use equipment that can help clear up any confusion before problems are encountered. It all equates to an experience, one which Basulto has described as having a much more personal feel. There’s certainly something to be said about actually having a face-to-face interaction with a customer representative rather than simply talking to them over the phone. It has the potential to make these types of conversations friendlier while also showing the customer that the company has their full attention on the matter. Snapchat also happens to be a better way to explain problems and solutions. Trying to describe what a problem is through words can sometimes be a challenge, but if customers are able to send pictures or videos of those problems (particularly with electronic equipment), they won’t have to fully describe them. Solutions are reached more quickly, and everyone leaves the interaction happy.
Snapchat as a customer service tool is still a relatively new idea, but it’s one that might represent the app’s future. This becomes especially important as the use of wireless devices continues to increase, flash storage components become cheaper, and the Internet of Things (Iot) turns into a reality. Everything will become connected, and the ability to take pictures and videos will be made easier. Snapchat could be used as an interactive tool that makes good customer service easier for businesses to achieve. It’s at least one worth thinking about. While it’s always difficult to accurately predict what we’ll see a decade or two into the future, it’s not too far-fetched to believe that Snapchat and other products like it will be at the center of a customer service revolution. Many businesses have already seen that to be the case. Time will tell if it actually happens.