How Social Tools Enable Great Customer Service

When I see a company doing something right, I always want to write about it. Of course, it’s pretty fun to write about those who get it wrong too! But I’ll save that for another post 🙂

My Experience

I recently experienced excellent customer service from Brabantia, who makes our cool and beautiful Touch Bin.

The lid had cracked, and I loved the trash can too much to just give up on it. So I did a bit of Googling to see how I could get a replacement lid. I discovered that the company was active on social media and a lot of people were talking online about what great customer service they had.

I read that I could simply tweet them about my issue, and they would help me.

It sounded too good to be true.

But what did I have to lose? If I could avoid the annoying-lost-in-autobot-answering-system-time-warp, I would do it.

I found Brabantia’s Twitter handle, @BrabantiaLife, and sent a message explaining my issue, along with a photo of my broken trash can lid. They responded quickly; we interacted via email, and they solved my issue. Presto: I have a working lid for my awesome Touch Bin and even more important, I am happy.

It was the most painless customer service experience I’ve had… ever.

Effective Customer Engagement

Along the way, I learned a lot about Brabantia. They started over in Europe, so it’s not as much of a household name as Rubbermaid or Herman Miller.

Brabantia has a user-friendly website, and they are engaged via Twitter, Facebook and through their blog, Brabantia Life. It’s easy and fun to learn about their products. The company seems transparent and likeable. I’d love to interview their communications staff to find out what results they are getting from their efforts.

However, based on this one experience, I have connected with the brand. I am following them on Twitter, Facebook and via my RSS feeds. I’ll be looking for their logo the next time I buy anything for my house. Not only is their stuff cool, attractive, and well-built, but they seem to understand customers a lot better than most American companies I deal with.

Compare the Difference

How many companies have we tried to reach but found it difficult to find a direct link to someone? Answering bots and annoying forms. What this type of customer service says to me is, “Leave us alone. We want your money, but we don’t need your loyalty.”

Many companies put as many barriers as possible between the customer and their staff so they don’t have to deal with problems and defects. Perhaps I would have given up on my Brabantia bin if it had taken me hours to get another lid. But I wouldn’t have forgotten it. And I wouldn’t want to buy more products from them. But now, I have a warm, fuzzy feeling for this company. And I know a lot of people, and I’d definitely recommend that they buy Brabantia when they are looking for their next housewares item.

 All because Brabantia answered my Tweet. Quite simple, really.

Other things we liked about Brabantia’s social media engagement efforts:

  •  The company puts photos of its social & customer service staff on its Twitter pages and uses initials to make it clear who is tweeting. It makes it all a bit more personal.
  • Their blog is targeted to interior design and doesn’t try to be everything to everyone.
  • They didn’t make me fill out a form or call someone else. They helped me directly.

What do you think about Brabantia’s social media and customer engagement efforts? Do you know of other companies who are using social media to improve their customer service?


Sonia is the marketing strategist & word geek for NeuConcept.