5 Social Customer Service Lessons from ASOS’s Epic Eminem Rap Battle

Would the real social customer service champion please stand up? Maybe you’ve heard about the British online retailer ASOS’s Eminem rap battle with their customer Jay Whalley. If not, allow me to drop some knowledge.

Jay contacted ASOS with a complaint about a delivery delay. But instead of simply explaining his problem he decided to phrase his Facebook message in imitation of Eminem’s famous song “Stan.” Here’s how it went down:

Screen_Shot_2016-07-29_at_10.18.27.png Pretty cool, huh? But what makes this story even better is the way ASOS responded:

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This has "viral story" written all over it, and offers valuable lessons for anyone striving to deliver the best service to their customers on digital channels. Here are 5 things we can learn from this epic social customer service rap battle.

1) Match the customer’s tone

This awesome exchange is a great example of an agent matching the customer's tone. What might have been a cookie-cutter reply turned out to be a fantastic response that generated great publicity for ASOS, and made their customer really happy.

Of course, not every customer will come at you rapping. But a customer's communication style—their tone, diction and register—is as important as the language they speak, the product they've purchased, and the channel they've used to get in touch. If you're not paying attention to that, what are you paying attention to? 

Make it happen: Agents should look for telltale signs of their customer's tone, and respond accordingly. 

2) Give agents room to be real

Flexibility is key when it comes to social customer service (see how it's done at T-Mobile). If the agent doesn't have the freedom to go off-script, they won't really be able to treat each customer as an individual. Okay, not every agent has the skills to write a dope rap response, but if agents aren't given room to be real they won't even attempt to make a connection.

Agent personalities and quirks are assets, not risks. Agents who are allowed to be themselves will be better prepared to relate to customers, and they'll feel more satisfied about their jobs. Of course, some boundaries need to be set and this requires a great deal of trust in employees. But if you know your agents as well as you should, trusting them shouldn't be a challenge. 

Make it happen: Encourage agents to make real connections with customers by using their sense of humor and personal interests when appropriate. 

3) Be solution-oriented

One of the reasons this social customer service exchange has gone viral is because it's funny. But humor in customer service is a means to an end (delighting the customer), not an end in itself. If responses aren't solution-oriented, then all the laughter in the world isn't going to please the customer. Humor and personalization will make the customer happy in the short-term, but effective solutions will keep them coming back. 

A charming agent is an invaluable part of any social customer service transaction, but it's only one part. Above all, agents need the knowledge to offer real solutions quickly. In the above example, the agent makes sure to foreground the solution by mentioning it first, before going on to continue the joke. That's an important order: Solution first, humor second. 

Make it happen: Ensure that your agents have the skills and knowledge to solve the customer's problems, not just a sense of humor to make them laugh. 

4) Great service inspires loyalty

I'd be willing to bet that Jay Whalley is now a loyal ASOS customer for life. Something would have to go seriously wrong for this level of delight to be lost. Not only will the positive emotions from this exchange continue in the future, they give the company and the brand a common language to build upon. One great social customer service experience builds the foundation for all future communication between brand and customer.

Companies with a social customer service program experience a 7.5% YoY increase in customer retention, while those without one only see a change of 2.9%. The right agents and the right social customer service software lead to excellent social customer service, which can improve your business now and grow it in the future. 

Make it happen: Hire the right agents, get the right social customer service software, and put it to use by serving your customers across all digital channels. 

5) Word-of-mouth is your best friend

The fact that this social customer service story went viral shows the power of word-of-mouth, especially on social media. The shareability of posts on digital channels means customer service exchanges are hardly ever private anymore. That might sound intimidating, but brands should take a positive approach: social media is the perfect place to show off your great social customer service. Showing the public how well you take care of customers is the best advertising you can have. 

Make it happen: Serve your customers well and they will talk about you. 

Great social customer service comes in all shapes and sizes because customers do, too. But no matter what situation you're in, if you've got the right social customer service software on your side, your agents will have all the tools they need to deliver personlized, effective, efficient and results-driven social customer service. Whether you're a large business or a start-up, selling M&Ms or Eminem merchandise, Brand Embassy can help. Check out our website to learn more, or sign up for a free demo today. 

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