Radian6, a social media monitoring platform for marketing, communications, and customer support professionals. is sponsoring Twebinars (hour long audio interviews)  to share how companies are using Social Media on a regular basis. The most recent Twebinar covered how Xbox is using Twitter to augment their customer service. Here are some highlights of how Microsoft Xbox support team called the ‘Elite Tweet Fleet’ is using Twitter.

Tweet types:

1. ‘Ats’ Try to respond to customers within 5 minutes when sent a direct ‘at’ message

2. ‘Founds’  Respond to customers who didn’t come directly to Xbox support on Twitter (those that are ‘found’ on Twitter). They didn’t talk about response objectives during the presentation but they talk about the importance of responding to ‘found’ comments about Xbox, both positive and negative.

3. Positive Comments:  The value of turning customers around is that they will often tweet a positive comment which is something that can go viral. Compare that to the limited publicity from a  single one on one individual phone calls in a normal service mode.

How to Handle Negative Tweets:

1. Microsoft has specific people who respond to Xbox service related Tweets. They are called the Elite Tweet Fleet and represent 4-5 people who are passionate about helping people and who are gamers themselves. They use the same language as the Tweeters and speak to them in a conversational way which is appropriate to this audience.

2. Empathy is an important characteristic to help diffuse problems, even if the problem itself cannot be solved using Tweets or cannot be solved at all. Empathy goes along way. Gamers feel they have been ‘heard’ and that someone at Microsoft cares.

3. Being found is important. The gamers who tweet dissatisfaction to their followers are often very impressed that someone from Microsoft cared enough to contact them. The Radian6 tool seems to be used to find these situations.

4. Try to keep the same agent responding to a single customer. If shift problems cause a problem, they will change agents but try to keep the same person talking to a single customer.

5. Provide guidance on how to fix the problem if it can be done on Twitter. If not, direct them to the right link or support.

6. Billing and things related to contracts / legal are not handled using Twitter, they are deflected to support lines.

7. Engage Xbox Live Ambassadors. Xbox has encouraged helpful Xbox Community members to form a team to help other Xbox users. They are called Xbox Live Ambassadors. These people are game enthusiasts who may take it upon themselves to help newbies or teach someone how to start a party. Microsoft Xbox encourages these Xbox live Ambassadors with special FAQs. I had the impression that there might be other ‘privileges’ given to the Xbox Live Ambassadors but that was not covered in the interview.

8. Provide Public Service announcements (PSA). This team will help disseminate information out to the community..important information gamers might need to know. This attitude of preventing known problems or alerting to possible problems, helps gamers feel that the company cares. If someone complains about a problem, and a public service announcement was previously tweeted, the attitude of the gamer can be turned around more easily because Xbox did try to alert gamers. This goes along way to helping sooth sore feelings.

Measurements and Metrics:

There was a distinction made between Measurements and Metrics. Metrics are what the organization is accountable for (there is a target). Measurements are interesting information but no targets. For example:

Number of followers would be a measurement

Customer Satisfaction metrics as measured by a survey would be a Metric. Examples of metrics in the survey would be

a. Overall Satisfaction with Support

b. Was the Issue Resolved?

c. Would you have called support otherwise?

Organization within Microsoft:

Xbox Live is part of  Service Delivery. I gathered that Service Delivery (Xbox) is part of a bigger organization called Customer Service and Support.

If the Elite Tweet Fleet cannot solve a customer problem, they have a pipeline into Customer Service and Support.

Call logs are not keep for issues on Twitter but they do track all tweets (which could ask like a Call Log)

New issues, not in the ‘known problem’ data base are fed into the Xbox database.

Management Reporting:

Management reporting is done on a monthly basis and includes the following kinds of data

1. Issues Resolved

2. Customer Satisfaction metrics from the surveys

3. Calls prevented (to service)

4. Top Issues

5. Report Card (not sure what is included in this)

6. Number of followers

7. What is coming next (future actions / programs)

Other Social Media Activities:

In addition to Twitter activities, the Elite Tweet Fleet also monitors the Facebook Fan page which has 700,000 followers. The Facebook fan page is where the community helps each other but if a problem festers beyond an hour, the someone from the Elite Tweet Fleet will get involved. They also monitor 3rd party sites and forums and try to get the gamers to the official and ‘correct’ information site run by Microsoft. The Xbox Live Ambassadors are helpful on these sites as well.

How did Social Media Get Started at Xbox:

The response to this question was very general. It sounds like it rose through the Customer Service and Support organization and drew on many inputs from the service organization. It also appears that this group is not designed to catch ‘defects in the code..ie Bugs’.

Words to the Wise:

1. Every Tweet is important

2. Twitter is an unique way to listen and engage, especially for those gamers who don’t know you are listening

3. Who you have supporting the product is key.

4. Know your audience and how to speak to them in their language and conversational tone.

Summary:

The Twebinar program provided by Radian6 is an excellent vehicle to listen to how organizations are implementing social media. The talk radio program is not a commercial for Radian6 and its features. If you want to listen to the full broadcast go to the Radian6 Blog Talk Radio Site.

They have interviews with other organizations on their site as well, such as Coors, Mullen, Dix and Eaton, and Kodak. They provided  this link to listen to their most recent broadcast. (Please note I have no affiliation with Radian6).

Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

4 Responses to “How Microsoft Xbox uses Twitter for Customer Service”

  1. Amber Naslund Says:

    Hi there, and wow! Thanks for the awesome recap, and for being part of the Twebinar. I’ll be sure and send folks here if they want to know what they missed!

    Appreciate the support.

    Best,
    Amber Naslund
    Director of Community, Radian6
    @ambercadabra

  2. Tweets that mention How Microsoft Xbox uses Twitter for Customer Service | Customer Satisfaction and Reputation Management -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rebecca Odell, Adele Berenstein. Adele Berenstein said: How Microsoft Xbox uses Twitter for Customer Service including metrics, organization and management http://icio.us/ibozjj […]

  3. McKenzie Eakin Says:

    HI! McKenzie / @MacheteBetty here, Sky Captain of the Elite Tweet Fleet. Just wanted to say thanks for the summary and, to anyone wondering what our handle is, we’re @XboxSupport . Hit us up with questions or concerns, follow us for news, updates, and contest!!

  4. Missy Wengler Says:

    Like your blog 🙂 I’ll check your site later again.

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