Blog archive


Strengthening social customer service for Nectar

As described in this case study, we’ve been working with Nectar over the past two years, helping them make the most of digital. For a leading loyalty brand, digital presents a huge opportunity and so it’s been great see Nectar using social platforms to engage with customers. This is evident externally on their Facebook and Twitter presences, but it’s internally where the necessary interesting capability building blocks have been put in place, with a network of web and product specialists.

Two weeks ago Caz and myself spent two days further strengthening this capability to meet increasing customer need, training contact centre team members to better deal with customer service questions, comments and complaints in social media. This was exciting for two reasons:

1: Customer service is where brands meet real people, and so training customer service teams always ensures that processes stand up to stress, and those unexpected but vital questions and quirks are flushed out.

2. As well as Nectar team members we also trained employees from Nectar’s outsourced customer service partner;  equipping them with social media skills means that Nectar are that much more resilient and able to engage at scale.

We split training over two days; the first was more traditional in format with NixonMcInnes explaining the broader social media landscape and then going through the three key platforms that Nectar use for customer service: Twitter, Facebook and MoneySavingExpert (not actively used at present).

As with any training, we checked in with all attending at the beginning to gauge the level of personal social media usage in the room, and as with any training there was a real mix of Facebook enthusiasts, casual Twitter users and complete cynics. The latter are most rewarding to train, because as you uncover concerns or dislikes you encourage debate among the whole group on the value of social media, and a healthily balanced mindset emerges.

The second day was wholly scenario based, something that we’ve been doing more and more as it helps embed skills and more importantly encourages discussion amongst the attendees. Seeing a group of ten people come back with ten different responses for a seemingly simple collector query is proof that customer service in social is still just humans communicating with other humans. Nectar understand that social media isn’t a platform for pure marketing, or sanitised messaging; it’s another way for them help customers and so customer service best practice still applies.

Through discussion of the different responses collective norms were established, and in conjunction with Nectar social media guidelines the group gained strength and consistency. Seeing the same person who on day one had never explored a Facebook page, on day two pointing out a better way of wording a response to a contentious wall post, is really cool.

Nectar is committed to providing exceptional social customer service, and we recognise the need for ongoing investment in the right training and resources as our social activity scales.
Ross and Caz’s course was perfectly tailored to our needs; interesting, fun, practical, and delivered at a comfortable pace.  Although the team began with vastly different levels of social media experience, they left equipped with all the skills needed to listen to and communicate with our collectors online in a helpful and human way.
Ruth Tapley, Website & Social Media Manager, Nectar

Needless to say, two days of training was pretty exhausting, but a big success. We enjoyed our time with the attendees and it was great to work alongside Ruth so that she could sanity check those inevitable questions that preparation and guidelines simply can’t prepare you for.

If the above sounds interesting and you’d like to talk to NixonMcInnes about training, our academy page has more detail.

This post was filed under Current work, Digital transformation, Training and tagged , , Comments are currently closed.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] role of a customer service team within a large organisation, using our experience with clients like Nectar and First Group. Together we discussed typical characteristics of a customer service team, typical [...]

  2. By Social customer service roundtable #1 - NixonMcInnes on 22nd November 2012 at 10:53 am

    [...] With Nectar we developed a social engagement strategy that included the development of a new social customer service function that now includes their outsourced CS partner. More about the training here. [...]