After few Indian Mobile Phone manufacturers have launched few Android based feature rich smartphones in India, usage of data services has gone up considerably. Not only smart phones, but also many other cell phones in India have browsing capability. With this browsing capability, many companies in India have started exploring option of Twitter/Facebook and other social media for customer service. Airtel is one such mobile service provider in India which actively uses Twitter for customer support.
Till now, IVR was the only option for quick and free customer support channel for many companies. But now, Tweet has become one of fastest, easy mode of customer support.
I had posted about competition of smart phones to IVR in the field of customer support earlier. But with data charges in India going down along with price of smartphones, many companies seem to be preferring social media over IVR for speedy customer support.
There are few advantages of using social media for customer support:-
1. Low Cost
Social Media like Twitter or Facebook are free to have an account and there is almost no limit of interaction. Also, these services are now available even in small towns in many low cost smartphones. These low cost smartphones comes Twitter and Facebook pre-loaded So, it is a low cost interaction between customers and service providers.
Most probably, all service providers will launch their ‘Apps’ soon for their services which will be available on any type of Smart phones.
2. Service Response in Public Domain
Both support request and its response are publicly available live as well as stored for any future reference. This helps both the service provider as well as the customer. If service provider solves the customer complaint quickly, normally the good feedback also becomes public instantly. So, one can gauge the mood of customers about customer support quality easily.
But still, IVR seems to have some advantages too
1. Native Language
Though some smartphones support regional languages, still it is not easy to type them on phones easily. So for those who don not know good English, it is not easy for them to use social media for support. IVR can use any regional languages and can speak to customer service executive.
2. Social Media Limitation
Twitter has 140 character per tweet which may not be sufficient to explain problem. Again, there may be many spam support request which may need filtering by human agent only.
So, most probably, with low cost smartphones by Indian Mobile Phone manufacturers ave opened a new channel for customer support. Traditional IVR is going to stay along with smartphones.