Serving the Social Customer: How to Look Good on the Social Dance Floor

  • Nicola J. MillardEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9191)


Customers are increasingly coming to expect brands to deliver customer service on the social media dance floor. The dilemma is that brands don’t always understand the mechanics of the dance. The first step to looking good on the social media dance floor is to watch and listen to the dancers – so this study investigates what customers are actually engaging with on social media (primarily Twitter, Facebook and forums) with respect to brands. It takes two 1 week snapshots of customer (not brand) activity on social media for 13 brands in 6 vertical sectors across 2 time periods (one sample during 2011 and one in 2014). We discovered that customers were actively engaging with brands on a number of levels – from complaints to complements and beyond – that different sectors had different challenges, that saying sorry wasn’t necessarily enough to satisfy customers and that social dancing often requires brands to do a coordinated conga through multiple channels and complex internal processes.


Social media Customer experience Omnichannel Customer relationship management Contact center 



This paper couldn’t have been written without the help of Dr. Hamid Gharib from BT TSO Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Telecommunications PLCIpswichUK

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