Yesterday Apple made customer support history with its Beats By Dre support videos tweeted out natively in Twitter. With the purchase of Beats by Dre came the Twitter account @BeatsSupport. Post-Beats acquisition there is now a disconnect between the customer support you get from the Beats brand and the customer support you get from the Apple brand. Beats By Dre is very active in social media with a Twitter account, Facebook and even Snapchat. Apple HQ is now responsible for Beats By Dre customer support so you can assume that the AppleCare team was instrumental in creating the @BeatsSupport Twitter video strategy.
The reason this is newsworthy is we don’t see brands publishing customer support video content natively to Twitter. Looking at the entire customer service industry, the future will see more in-channel support like Beats By Dre is providing. Brands today still seek to control where the customer conversation happens. Companies want customers to come to them even on social media, rather than finding customers where they are and engaging in the customer’s preferred channel (with native content). Apple has set an interesting precedent this week. Customer service teams can learn from the way Apple has chosen to publish video content directly in the customer’s preferred channel.
Apple currently doesn’t offer Twitter support, however if you tweet to Apple’s CEO @Tim_Cook you might get help from the support team. The AppleCare team has been known to call customers who tweet to Cook.
So while Apple hasn’t launched a full Twitter support offering yet, it is possible we will see more Apple social customer support in the near future.
No other large brands are currently offering customer support videos natively in Twitter. Other brands do offer support video content in YouTube though. Examples are McDonalds “Our Food. Your Questions” series, Cisco’s WebEx how-to videos and Sephora how-to videos. All of these brands post their videos to YouTube which requires consumers to switch social media channels.
Apple has used real-time video in the past for customers who need help setting up their Apple Watch. These were scheduled appointments. Other brands are also doing real-time video support such as Amazon’s Mayday video offering. Gartner predicts that 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will offer video based chat by 2018. We might see more video responses to Beats By Dre customers via the @BeatsSupport Twitter handle in the near future.
Apple is obviously experimenting with social customer care. The only Apple channel that currently publishes social media content is iTunes promoting various podcasts and other media. Apple has popular customer support communities (AppleCare team members might jump in), however they haven’t yet rolled out a full-blown social customer support strategy. With the 500 millionth iPhone sold earlier this year (and that’s just phones), the AppleCare team would need to scale quickly in order to offer full Twitter support.
Video is a powerful way to engage customers. Today 100 million internet users watch videos every day. 90 percent of online shoppers said they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. That said, video is only going to grow in popularity.
YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. That said if more brands start posting videos directly to social networks, this will alter how we use both YouTube and other social networks. Customer experience leaders need to literally think differently about how their brands engage with customers. What how-to content are you creating and how are you making it accessible to customers? Today it’s about meeting customers where they are and creating engaging, elegant and easily digestible content. I look forward to following the AppleCare’s social customer support evolution.
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2015/07/28/unprecedented-move-apples-beats-by-dre-publishes-customer-support-videos-natively-in-twitter/ by Blake Morgan