Playlists, Teddy Bears, and Awesome Customer Care.

Social customer service is essential—three tips to keep it creative and product-centric. 
Caroline Henley
June 26, 2015 - 4 min. read

If your company has even somewhat invested in social media, the importance of social customer care has surely come up time and time again. Responding and engaging with your fans is absolutely essential. Not only does effective customer service retain customers, it also increases overall engagement and brings your messaging to new customers.

We’ve recently discussed the social side of the customer experience, with tips on setting expectations (like KLM Airlines’ constantly-updated wait times) as well as settling on a holistic view for your company.

Beyond a fast response time, are there ways your business can stand out with creative and eye-catching social customer care? Here’s a look at some creative strategies that keep the customer and the product front and center.

Tip #1: The place to experiment
I was lucky enough to attend the panel “Content Marketing and the End of Ads” at SXSW with Dell’s Stephanie Losee. Stephanie talked about leaning into user-generated content—when fans began posting “Dellfies” on their own (“Dell” plus “selfies”… get it?), the brand decided to adapt its tactics and start using the content fans were already creating. After we wrote about Dell’s content marketing tips, Dell’s Global Social Media Manager, Susie Gidseg, tweeted back with a video response to Falcon Social as a thank you.


The Dell social team responds to articles with personalized video messages. Which is quite an investment of time and energy, but the video certainly left a positive impression on me. The message woke me up out of my text-filled Twitter jungle onto another, much more engaging level.

And, they used a Dell device to film the message, which leads us to our next tip.  

Tip #2: Send love using what you’re marketing in the first place
Just as Dell’s products shine through in Dell’s social customer care, Spotify has its own style of engaging with listeners. Spotify works to put its product front-and-center in its fan engagement.

The VP of Spotify’s Global Customer Service, Chug Abramowitz, spoke at the Corporate Social Media Summit last week about Spotify’s unique approach. A Spotify user tweeted at the brand’s handle, letting them know he found an error on a song track. Chug’s team used the moment not only to correct its technical error, but thank the tweeter with a Spotify playlist. The team quickly created a James-themed list, with plenty of songs by musicians named James, like James Taylor, as well as you’re awesome/thank you-themed song titles.

The gesture made waves across Twitter, had almost a million views on Imgur, and was picked up by the press as well.  

customer care


Tip #3: Above-and-beyond travels even farther than you’d think
When I think about above-and-beyond customer care, I think about my cable provider’s call center.

Just kidding! I think about this great example from Virgin Trains.

Last summer, 7 year-old Ted McCaffery lost his teddy bear, Rufus, on a Virgin Train. His mother tweeted an SOS to the one man who could help: Sir Richard Branson.


Richard used his immense resources to track down the bear. He found CCTV footage of the precise location Ted lost his teddy, and returned the toy to its owner. The experience inspired Richard, and he decided to create the Teddy Tracker–a social customer service program that returns lost toys to traveling kids.

Kids are given tags to place on their animals before boarding. In the instance that the toy is lost, parents can tag their missing stuffed animals with #teddytracker, and an agent will be on the case in a heartbeat.

social customer care

“We were so touched by the message from Ted’s mother that our staff have been working hard to come up with a solution. And that’s when we had the idea of creating a tracker that you can tie onto your teddy. It’s so simple but by promising to return any missing toys we really hope that it will help to ease any stress or anxiety that parents might have when taking a trip with their children and ensure every customer’s journey is that little bit better over the summer holidays.”

Richard Branson Virgin Trains

Master of marketing Richard Branson knew he could tug at heartstrings with the Teddy Tracker program–and it worked. The PR value alone is worth the customer service team’s energy here. Let alone the increased customer satisfaction and ensuing sales from attracting new families to the train service.

Get ahead while you can!
There are many companies ignoring the inherent value of customer care, leaving customer questions lingering and fans disengaged. This is a tremendous opportunity for companies that do understand the value of investing in social customer care to sprint ahead of their competitors. And with a unique and creative approach, your care team’s hard work will pay off in social’s holy trinity of currency: engagement, reach, and positive sentiment. 

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