The best social media customer service ever?

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The idea of a staff member, or social media customer service representative, deciding to have what could loosely be describes as ‘a bit of fun’ with a member of the public is enough to fill any MD or marketing manager with fear. If you fall into one of those categories chances are the hairs are already standing to attention down the back, whilst images of ‘that incident’ replay in the mind.
In many ways then, whoever was responsible for sending a tweet on behalf of Argos last weekend, responding to a grammatically poor request for information, should be commended on their ability to use good judgement. Here’s how the brief but unarguably beautiful digital conversation panned out, which went on to make headlines in Manchester- the location of the store being called into question:
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Twitter 2
 
 
 
 
Tweet 3
Needless to say, it was enough to make plenty of people laugh, no doubt out loud, and the comeback- which actually answered the original question and therefore served its purpose for social media customer service- was then re-tweeted over 1,000 times. That’s more engagement than many unsuccessful social campaigns see in their entire duration, evidencing how well-timed and expertly executed impromptu posts can work wonders for a brand’s online visibility. But what if it had gone a different way?
We’ve seen companies come unstuck before due to badly thought out and poorly targeted content of all kinds. Indeed, there’s very little chance that had @BadManBugti sent a message using the written equivalent to Received Pronunciation he would have had a response employing the same style of language, and there’s more than a hint of dissent in Argos sending the distinctly urban-toned tweet. Yet nobody took offence.┬áSo, what can we learn from all this?
Cutting to the chase, as it were, the age-old mantra of knowing your customer springs to mind. Clearly ‘BADMAN’ isn’t a fan of formalities, but nor are many Britons a fan of his approach to communications. Albeit with some assumption, Argos clearly understands that by issuing what was both a useful and wry response neither the individual (and potential customer) was likely to be offended, meanwhile many members of the public would find the response rather amusing, and appreciate the company placed tongue firmly in cheek. In conclusion then, before attempting a similar move- no matter how tempting it may be- it’s vital to weigh up the specific situation and potential ramifications before testing the social media customer care water, but providing that’s done you could be in for some rather significant results.