Article

Sophia Skinbjerg
Sophia Skinbjerg 5 July 2016

Spotify: A Lesson in Exceptional Customer Experience

I don’t know if you noticed but a week or so ago Spotify was down and all hell broke loose on the internet. Some people were experiencing difficulties logging in and others simply couldn’t find a connection. So, like many other users I jumped onto Twitter to check when it was expected to be up and running again. What followed was the absolute best customer support I have ever experienced in my life.

Now why does that merit a place on a site or forum where I usually cover email marketing? Because the experience I had with their support is something that I think everyone should aim to provide in their own customer experiences, whether that’s done through email or another channel.

Phase 1: Make it easy for people to reach you

So when I noticed that there was a problem with my Spotify playback, I immediately jumped onto Twitter to check what was going on. Doing a quick search for their handle showed that they have multiple accounts; @spotifystatus, @spotifycares, @spotifysweden. Which one was I to choose from? I ended up tweeting to @spotifycares because I assumed a handle with the word ‘cares’ had to be a support line. I was right.

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Now, it’s important to know that this (realizing there was an issue, jumping onto Twitter, searching and choosing a handle) all happened within a few seconds – arguably the most crucial few seconds. Why? If these few seconds hadn’t of been so easy, I would have felt frustration instantly. That’s because when I notice an issue with a product or service, I want to be able to reach out to someone who can solve the problem as soon as possible. Your customers probably feel the same, right?

Knowing this, do you also know which channel your customers or users prefer to use to get the support they are looking for? I often turn right to Twitter. Others shoot a quick email. Or maybe you pick up the phone and call. The point I’m making here is that the channel that people use to reach out is going to be different because different customers or users have different preferences and it’s your responsibility as a business to be on the channels that they use. 

How to use this in your own strategy:

  • Determine what channels your customers or users prefer to use to contact you – and make sure you’re on them!
  • Include this information in your mailings so that people know there is more than one way to reach out to you

Phase 2: Be timely in your response

Getting back to your customers or users in a timely manner is one of the core aspects to excellent customer service according to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research. Which shouldn’t really be news to anyone.

When I noticed the issues with my Spotify playback, it was almost the end of my work day so I wasn’t too fussed if I couldn’t listen to music anymore. But nonetheless, the team made sure they got back to me in about an hour letting me know that the issue was fixed.

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How to use this in your own strategy:

  • Pay attention to the way people engage with your mailings and follow up accordingly. For example, if someone replies to your mailing make sure you respond to them directly, not once the campaign end date has passed.
  • Has someone answered a survey with a less than satisfactory response? Reach out to them within 24 hours and offer ways to better their experience.
  • When a customer-wide issue is solved (e.g. system down), use text messages to reach people instantly and directly.

Phase 3: Let people know you’re there to help

Letting people know you care is a fundamental part of the customer experience. Without it, customers will quickly pick up on your lack of empathy and may even start shopping around for another alternative. Spotify were fast in letting me know that they were there to help and as a result, I was grateful. I was also highly amused by the way they chose to tell me so.

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Spotify responded with a wonderfully clever way of saying “We’re always here to help”. 

Screen-Shot-2016-07-05-at-11-08-42.png
When I clicked through on the link, the tweet and link together read “We’ll be…right here waiting”.

How to use this in your own strategy:

  • As soon as someone contacts you with a support issue, let them know you understand their struggle or frustration.
  • Be human in the way you first connect with someone.
  • Fun and novel ways to show you care will ALWAYS beat an automatic, robot-like response.
  • If you use automated mailings in response to support issues, don’t be afraid to be creative with the design and language.

Phase 4: Continue to delight after the issue is solved

Essentially, this phase is about encouraging the user (in this case, myself) to become a brand ambassador; whereby a person is willing to give praise or a good review to the brand they’ve received good support from. And that’s exactly what happened in my case. Once I knew that the issue was solved, I was happy enough to keep listening to my Spotify playlists as normal. But I also wanted to give praise to the team for a fantastic customer experience and I wanted to once again broadcast that on Twitter. So I tweeted a response back to the previous tweet you saw above;

Screen-Shot-2016-07-05-at-11-10-02.png


And I don’t know what I really expected in return from them; I think I honestly thought this would be the end of the exchange but I was wrong. Once again the support team replied with another witty and human response:

Screen-Shot-2016-07-05-at-11-10-38.png

Here’s a screenshot of what was in that link. Hint: read the song titles from top to bottom.

exceptional customer experience from Spotify

If you’re still not getting it, the message reads (with grammar inserted by yours truly):

“Hey Sophia, You are the best thing. We love you more. Have a nice day with wonderful things, friends, smiles and laughter lines”

Is this not amazing? I don’t know about you but as a marketer, all I wanted to do was scream “Yes, yes, YES!” with enthusiasm. What a fantastic way to continue to engage with a user after the issue was solved! Something this simple blew my expectations out of the water and as a result, I was ready to give my first born to Spotify (not really, but you get the point).

How to use this in your own strategy:

  • Create something for those customers that make the extra effort to review you positively on social media
  • How do you currently go above and beyond to exceed customer’s expectations in your mailings, surveys and text message campaigns?
  • Is there anything in your mailings that you could do to ‘delight’ customers after they have purchased from you?

Exceptional customer experience is achievable

This is what exceptional customer experience looks like. And it’s totally achievable with your brand too. You just need to include these elements into your own strategy, regardless of whether you choose to do it via email, surveys or text messages.

Beven keol
Beven keol

For me Spotify is very reliable music streaming service. If you have any trouble with Spotify, You can rely on free and legal music streaming services like <a href="http://musicparadiseproapp.com">Music Paradise Pro app</a>.

Jessica Mizerak
Jessica Mizerak

Great list - and doable for companies of all kinds and sizes!

Knut Schroeder
Knut Schroeder

Great article Sophia, and some really useful lessons and tips for any size organisation. Will try to put into practice :)

Patrick Cantellow
Patrick Cantellow

I think this just sums up Spotify's brand personality perfectly. I love it.

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