4 Things Game of Thrones Taught Me about Social Customer Service

I’m no TV junkie. To be honest, I don’t even have a TV. But there’s something about Game of Thrones that has really captured my imagination. And not just me. 8.1 million viewers tuned in to the season 6 finale. All that action and adventure got me wondering whether we can apply some of the lessons of the series to one of my other passions: social customer service. And indeed we can, in ways that just might surprise you.

So here are four things that Game of Thrones taught me about social customer service. Now that season six is over, enacting these lessons will give you something to do until next season.

Progress is inevitable

Oh, Hodor. The lovable oaf with a tiny vocabulary has been the subject of a great deal of speculation over the past few seasons, all of which came to an incredible end in “The Door,” one of the most powerful episodes of the entire series. Hodor meets his end holding a door against the wights, allowing Bran to escape. It’s an emotional moment in which some of the show’s prevailing mysteries are explained while making Hodor a legendary, if hapless, character.

One thing this teaches us about social customer service is that progress is inevitable. Yes, Hodor did indeed hold the door against the invaders, but not permanently. This is analogous to brands that are still lagging behind in their use of social customer service, either eschewing it entirely in favor of legacy call centers, or not maintaining an active, responsive presence across digital channels. Social customer service is becoming more popular every year, and is now the preferred method of contact for customers. Brands that don’t embrace this change risk suffering the same fate as poor old Hodor.

How to do it: Embrace social customer service and be aware of new developments, trends and technologies.

Be ready for anything

For many fans, season six climaxed with “Battle of the Bastards,” when Jon Snow and his ragged band of wildlings faced off against Ramsay Bolton. All looked lost for Snow and his men until the Knights of the Vale arrive unexpectedly, brought in by Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish, to crush the Bolton army. Even if you weren’t prepared to believe that Snow would be killed during this episode, you were almost certainly surprised by the way the battle played out. Even Snow himself seemed resigned to defeat, which made his ultimate victory even more exciting.

After five-and-a-half seasons of twists, turns, tricks and surprises, Game of Thrones fans should be ready for anything, and yet, like Ramsay Bolton, we were taken by surprise with this episode. Brands utilizing social customer service should take a lesson from this.

The public nature of social media makes it unpredictable because an individual customer complaint can very quickly become an invading army of negative sentiment as other customers join in. Not only should brands be prepared for unexpected customer complaints and queries, they have to be on their toes and ready for moments when things quickly go from bad to worse on social media. Having a trained social customer service team with great communication skills, strong empathy and an awareness of the niceties of each social customer service channel is a great way to start.

How to do it: Employ a diverse social customer service team that has great communication skills and can handle a variety of queries and complaints.

Show off your strengths

Brash and beautiful, Daenerys Targaryen has plenty going for her. What has made her so alluring in season six is her willingness to show off her strengths when confronted with enemies. Some of the season’s most dramatic moments involved her finally regaining control of her dragons – and then showing off their devastating power. These moments are intensely fulfilling because they show a strong character taking charge.

Most companies don’t have dragons (unfortunately), but every company has a particular set of strengths. Social media is the perfect venue to show of strengths, whether that’s humor, fast response times, or great results. Rather than shuffling customers to private channels, brands should use social media to show off the quality of their social customer service, which will not only please current customers but will also attract new ones.

How to do it: Don’t shuffle customers onto private channels, but instead show everyone what you do best.

Keep your promises

Early on in the series, Brienne of Tarth swears an oath to keep Sansa Stark safe. While the journey is difficult and at times even Sansa herself turns Brienne away, in the end she triumphs, makes good on her promise, and saves Sansa’s life on more than one occasion, which ultimately has important effects on the direction of the series. There are few characters more loyal in Game of Thrones than Brienne.

Brienne’s central virtue, her steadfast faithfulness and her determination to keep her promises, is something that all brands can learn from and apply to their social customer service. When brands appear on social media, they are telling their customers they’ll always be easy to contact. Brands that don’t maintain an active presence on social media, or have very high first-response-times, aren’t fulfilling their oath. And just as Brienne becomes one of the most admirable characters on Game of Thrones because she keeps her promises, brands that keep their promises to customers will inspire loyalty and love.

How to do it: Be easy to contact on social media, and respond to customers as quickly as possible.

Life isn’t a fantasy television show, and business isn’t necessarily a game of thrones, but these are important lessons that every brand can learn from. Of course, simply watching the show won’t improve your social customer service. For that you need advanced software like Brand Embassy. We’d love to show you how we can help your brand become a king (or queen) of social customer service. Sign up for a free demo today and start inspiring your customers tomorrow.

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