Why brands trying to address customer problems on social media should take a note of #LenovoServiceLive

Lenovo Service Live, an effort to solve problems by being where the customer is, is indeed a bold effort to show how serious Lenovo India is about solving customer queries

From celebrities to politicians to common people like me, everybody is going live on social media. Being live and in the moment is the cool trend. So why shouldn’t customer service go live, too? Is it a tough ask? But then brands will argue that they are already live, solving problems and have service level agreements too. “Exactly how effective are they?” is the question.

Making consumers happy in the service industry isn’t an easy job. Social media and the access to mobile have made life of a brand miserable. A brand is more concerned about its online reputation than offline, since online has no limits and can’t be manipulated or controlled. The choice is for the brand to make whether it wants to be with the consumer or hold it back thinking of repercussions.

Lenovo, the technology giant is right now addressing this in India by trying to solve online consumer problems while going live. Speaking to Lighthouse Insights, Bhaskar Choudhuri, Marketing Director at Lenovo India was very candid in accepting that the brand has had major issues related to after sales service. “We knew that it was hampering our sales and specially the premium PC section. So over some time we have been working on making things proper at our after sales service department but we felt that it was not being spoken in a manner it is supposed to our target customers.”

“This is an organic exercise with an intention to resolve consumer problems by being right where she is.”

#LenovoServiceLive is a 48-hour campaign where by you can Tweet, Instagram, Facebook or even send a snap with your queries/issues related to Lenovo laptop/PC issues. Post that the Lenovo team will address the query in next 30 minutes and hopefully leave you happy and earn itself a happy customer.

A week ago, Lenovo India launched a set of 30 second videos titled #BreakTheWait. The brand promise was to assure the customer, if there is something wrong with her laptop then the brand’s after sales service team will address with a guaranteed response in just thirty minutes.

#LenovoServiceLive - addressing digital queries live

As they say, “charity begins at home first”, so to make it more than just a marketing activity, the top bosses rolled up their sleeves and have joined in to support customer queries. To begin with the real Rahul Agarwal, MD and CEO joined in a prank video from Lenovo’s biggest service center in Bangalore that ended with him making the campaign go live.

The campaign is not only about solving customer issues in the next 48 hours. As Rahul informs, this live initiative is also about telling you who are the faces of after sales service, what effort goes on to solve an issue and how it is being made better.

To add a dose of humor to this 48-hour live exercise, stand up comedian Utsav Chakraborty has been roped in. Not only has he tried to be the fake Rahul Agarwal in the prank video, he is also managing the show, doing Facebook Live videos and boosting the morale of the 500 employees from Bangalore who are doing their best to address customer issues.

Here is a video that he takes you through showing what happens when a consumer tweets a query or complaint. The video shows you how a customer’s problem got solved in four hours and the loops involved in to get the query resolved.

To get more participation and keep the buzz going around, Lenovo invited hardcore gamer and pro shoutcaster Kiran Shadeslayer Noojibail to do a Facebook Live video for gaming fans. The 45-minute live video saw a great response from hardcore gamers. The comments thread is the best indicator to check out the quality of participation.

Lighthouse Insights was also told that from the CEO to the Marketing Head, in total four senior members are stationed for the next 48 hours at the center taking turns to face the heat and solve issues.

The latest activity on the page while writing this story was Bhaskar solving consumer problems for 30 minutes streamed live on Facebook.

Speaking over a call, he says that it is not a regular campaign or a product pitch. “We wanted to show the people by being present where they are and how we are working hard to solve issues. Nothing that we can prove rather than just doing.” He further adds that reputation change doesn’t happen in short time but it is their job to make people aware. “There is no better form of marketing than word of mouth. We can achieve it if we can solve customer queries.”

The campaign is already seeing signs of success with appreciation notes from customers on social media.

Talking to LI, Sandip Maiti, CEO at Experience Commerce - the agency for digital business, mandated to handle the social media duties for Lenovo India stated that this campaign is the first step in their journey to translate brand belief to behavior. In an era where the consumer is slowly tuning out of advertising, perception about a brand is built by observing its behavior on social. One way to build a meaningful connect with your customer is by delivering delight at multiple touch points - service certainly being the most critical of all.

“In online media you get a lot brick bats and accolades are hard to come by. With this initiative our objective was to open a window into the world of Lenovo services where hundreds of happy customer stories come to life everyday. What we did over these two days is merely make our processes more transparent and show how committed the brand is about service.”

Here is one instance but the job is yet to be done:

The right way to serve your customer

#LenovoServiceLive, the 48-hour live campaign is more than just being gimmicky when it comes to customer service over social media. Talk to any digital guru, she will tell you to use social media to resolve queries but we have enough examples where the brand manager wanted to delete a negative tweet or post by a consumer. As it is said your social media skills are tested during a crisis.

Lenovo India does admit to lagging behind when it comes to after sales service or customer support. So rather than just doing a plain campaign backed with heavy media spends, the brand has opened up its door for the customer to find out what all is happening. It is a bold move to do such an exercise when you don’t know the kind of queries that would surface; will it be genuine and what impact it would have. But that makes this campaign so interesting is it sets the standards of listening on social media right where it should be.

The campaign is also a morale booster for its employees who are slogging and trying their best to solve customer issues. Getting the top management in the midst and letting them face the heat, is a morale booster for employees. Additionally, it also creates a genuine impact on the customer when she knows her problems are taken seriously, with a senior guy looking into the matter.

Customer problems are never ending in this service industry. Today Lenovo is trying to address a customer problem in 30 minutes, tomorrow it would be great if competing brands can come and say we are addressing your computer problems in 15 minutes. This will only set the industry benchmark higher. It is a fancy wish but for now the campaign is gaining response, buzz and the efforts are being appreciated by the customer.

Will it lead to an increase in sales? Well, too early to say but it will certainly spike the brand’s reputation.