4 Simple Ways To Increase Customer Retention In Under 3 Minutes

Shane Ketterman
Jan 8, 2018 · 5 min read

Social Customer Service (Care, Support, etc.) isn’t a new thing. For the larger brands, it’s part of their culture and has been integrated into the fabric of their entire customer experience. They are seeing huge increases in customer retention, sales, and loyalty.

That said, there’s still a lot to be done. Each and every day, businesses are missing out on opportunuites to deliver customers experiences over social.

We would like to share some of these social customer service interactions and then point out a few things you could do to improve upon them. We have removed the name of the company and people in order to maintain confidentiality. In all cases, it would take under three minutes to fix any of these “blunders” and retain a customer.

1. Shifting Someone Off Social

In example below you can see that someone is reaching out to the brand and voicing frustration. They are using the hashtag of #badcustomerservice which is public and looked at by a lot of people.

The brand does a great job of responding quickly, using a personal name, and it’s friendly. But then something else happens: they direct the user off-channel and want them to send an email.

This is exactly what people do not want to do. Most of the time, they have already done that and thus they are here on social asking for help. If they have not yet done that, they still don’t want to because they are trying to get something resolved quickly.

And you can see the result. The customer has already tried to get this issue solved and is frustrated.

Shifting Support Off-Channel

What could be done: The social customer service team could have let the customer know that they could take this conversation private (DM) so they could gather personal details and get it resolved right within the same interaction.

If this isn’t possible, the company should find a way to reduce that friction as much as possible and make it easier for the team to resolve this within the channel.

2. Not Responding At All

In the example below you can see the problem. This customer is reaching out to the company and using their Twitter handle. Thus, we know that the company has a social presence.

As you can see, not only is the customer frustrated but they are also going to go to a competitor. This is loss of revenue and if anyone else sees this, then they might not choose to do business with them.

Not being responsive to someone that reaches out is like shutting the door on a potentially great relationship.

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say that this company DID respond but they did so in a private direct message. We can’t see that, so, we assume that they didn’t.

Non-Responsive Brand

What could be done: First and foremost, have good social customer service practices in place and respond quickly. If they did respond privately, then make sure to make an initial public comment that they will do so because that’s what people see; what they don’t see is anything being done.

3. Ignoring Praise

In the example below, someone takes the time to thank a company.

Everyone tends to think that it’s the “problems” or “complaints” that are the only things needing to be addressed. This could not be farther from the truth.

When a customer takes the time to send praise, this is a huge opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. First and foremost, respond. A simple thank you feels really good to the customer. They feel like you are there and listening. They feel connected. It makes them feel special.

Second, this is great data. You can keep track of the things that make people happy and keep doing those things. This is part of a great experience.

Praise Should Be Responded To

What could be done: Issue a response. Say thank you. Send a virtual hug. Collect this data and keep track of it.

4. Delayed Response

Have you ever sent a text message to a friend or family member and had them respond a day later? Ever called a company or left them an email and they get back about 2 days later?

What is happening while you wait? You are wondering what’s going on. You feel a little let down and surprised. You need something but do they care?

Social Customer Service is no different. In fact, it should be treated with priority. Did you know that 2/3 of adults feel a response should come back within 60 minutes or less? Yes. Otherwise the customer moves on.

Look what happened below:

13 hours to reply…

What could be done: Respond within 60 minutes or less and if this is a pressing issue that could go viral, respond quicker. Have an escalation plan in place to triage these situaions. If for some reason you could not respond due to an unforseen circumstance (try to limit these in any case), then explain to the customer, apologize, and help them get their issue resolved right away.


These are four very real situations that happen each and every day. In Dan Gingiss’ book, “Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media”, he starts off by saying,

Customers now expect to be able to engage with brands wherever and whenever they want, and a brand’s response (or lack thereof) plays a big role in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Remember that social customer care isn’t going away. It’s not a trend. It’s not a fad. In the future, the channels will increase, there will be even more ways customers can contact brands and phone/email will continue to take more of a backseat.

There has never been such a great opportunity for smaller brands to increase customer retention and get this close to the customer. That, in and of itself, is remarkable and a huge competitve advantage.