UPS Social Media Customer Service Team
Company: UPS Social Media Customer Service Team, Salt Lake City, UT
Company Description: UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year
Nomination Title: UPS Social Media Customer Service Team
Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
For more than 100 years, UPS has strived to be recognized for quality service
and customer satisfaction, but our recent engagement in social media opened our
eyes to a wealth of customer sentiment that represented missed opportunities to
retain or gain business.
In 2010, UPS expanded its customer contact channels from telephone, chat, e-
mail, fax and letters to include two social media channels: Facebook and
Twitter. We entered social media reluctantly, thinking it a fad primarily used
by the millennial generation. Also, we were already managing more than 300,000
phone calls and 12,500 e-mails daily from around the world while controlling
cost and maintaining service level expectations.
The expansion into social media quickly changed our perceptions. After just a
few days of monitoring, the two people who began observing came back to report
that small business owners and others in the general public were posting about
UPS with brutal honesty, describing their frustrating experiences with the call
centers, drivers, UPS’s online tracking system and more to their “followers”
and “friends.” And those followers/friends were interacting to share similar
We immediately selected a team of highly skilled Customer Service
Representatives to monitor and respond on Twitter and Facebook. Processes and
procedures were created and documented for consistent training, emphasizing a
balance of communicating professionally while observing the approachable style
of social media. The end result allows us to personalize service while
protecting our brand reputation.
From two to eight and growing, our specialized social media team now supports
customers seven days a week, handling an average of 850 tweets and 375 Facebook
messages per week. They connect with customers immediately and respond
empathically. Most of our social media engagement remains in the public eye,
but when appropriate the conversations are moved to e-mail, Direct Message, or
phone to protect the customer’s privacy.
Just as we analyze information from customer phone calls and e-mails, the
social media team compiles data about our interactions and the information is
shared throughout the organization to help re-evaluate the operations of our
business from the customer’s point of view.
Online customers are responding positively to the relationships they are
forming with our social media team, evidenced in the increase of followers on
Twitter and “likes” on Facebook, and appreciative individual posts/blogs. Our
@UPSHelp Twitter profile and UPS Facebook Support Tab display names and photos
of the team, allowing customers to “see” who they are working with online,
similar to the familiarity customers have with their UPS driver.
We discovered that people of all ages use social media for a variety of reasons
and many are savvy consumers. We learned that our launch intended to support
U.S. social media channels was actually a launch of English language support
for international services as well.
One of the biggest lessons learned is that social media allows us to assist one
customer while influencing many. Within the next year, the support will be
expanded to include multiple languages and other social media properties.
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Examples of Positive Customer Comments via Twitter:
Very impressed with @UPS for following up on concern voiced over twitter. Solid
customer service strategy. – April 29, 2011
Sweet, @UPS has a social media team that can make stuff happen. I am getting my
packages thanks to @UPSHelp and @EvanAtUPS – May 4, 2011
@UPSHelp @ups Driver stopped back just now and I got my package. Great service,
thanks! – October 4, 2011
I love it how to get instant responses from companies on twitter. //cc @feedly
and @UPS #win – October 6, 2011
RT @UPS: Need help with a #UPS question or shipment? The @UPSHelp team is on
Twitter to assist. – October 7, 2011
Many thanks to @UPSHelp for helping me with delivery woes. Much appreciated! –
October 7, 2011
@UPSHelp - Thanks! I will have my friend email you right away. I appreciate
your quick response to this issue. – October 7, 2011
Twitter and Customer Relationship Management:
management/#comment-58 Posted on 2011/01/28 By Marta Majewska
Working as a digital and social media strategist, I often get a question on
whether companies can really use Twitter as a platform for customer
relationship management. My answer is affirmative. And let me tell you why.
This Christmas holidays, I played a ‘Superwoman’ by pushing a UPS delivery
vehicle out of a snow ditch. I was so proud of myself I tweeted about it right
away. Within an hour, I got a tweet from UPS, wanting to hear about my
little ‘rescue action’. After telling them the entire story, they asked for my
shipping details and when I was back to the office in January, I received a
hand-written thank you note with a little UPS truck, a notebook and a thermo
cup. I am not a loyal UPS customer, I have previously shipped goods with UPS
but I have never chosen UPS because ‘it is UPS’. I just never felt any
affiliation with the brand, nor did I with any of their competitors. I usually
chose a shipping service because it is cheapest or quickest – depending on what
I needed at the time. That one experience has changed it. The day I have to
ship something again, I will choose UPS. And it’s not because of the lovely
gifts. It’s the personal interaction and positive experience I had with UPS on
Twitter that has increased the level of brand relevance and loyalty for me.
Just as UPS, a growing number of companies have noticed Twitter’s ability to
build loyalty and advocacy for their brands and are turning to Twitter as a
platform for customer service. Customers love Twitter for its immediacy,
sincerity and portability and are not shy in looking for help there. In a
recent survey, 58% of people said ...
Mommy Blogger, Kristine McCormick Twitter Handle, @Kristine_Brite (997
Kristine McCormick runs an on line charity. She had arrangements for a donation
of educational materials to be distributed to new mothers at hospitals. UPS
misdelivered the package. We reached out to Kristine through twitter after she
tweeted about her situation and worked with the local center on the trace. When
it was determined that we would not be able to locate the missing materials, we
contacted the shipper to see if we could help with a replacement. The shipper,
having already donated the first box, offered to sell the replacements at cost.
UPS paid the wholesale cost for the replacements and the shipping charges.
Kristine wrote the following in her blog: "I woke up to good news. A few
tweets (thanks Twitter!!) and phone calls later (thanks Emily!!) and I was on
the phone with @EvanatUPS. He cared. Like, I could tell he really cared. He'd
heard what the packages were about and why they needed to get here. And, he
fixed it. Not only did he fix a problem that he could have wiped his hands free
of, he went out of his way to make it more than better. He pressed the easy
button when I needed it most."
Chicago Blogger, Lauren Twitter Handle, @LaLaLauren (777 Followers)
Lauren is a blogger in Chicago who reached out to us through twitter back in
February. She had a basic delivery issue that we were able to resolve through
Direct Message. Lauren has become one of our biggest cheerleaders on Twitter.
Anytime she sees on of her followers tweeting about a UPS issue, she graciously
refers them to us.
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated team:
Larry Darrow is UPS’s President of Global Business Services (GBS) and is
responsible for shared services and end-to-end processes across all UPS
business units in the areas of Customer, Finance, Operations, People,
Procurement, Strategy and Technology. He is a leader in developing and
implementing solutions to enhance the customer experience and foster customer
satisfaction and loyalty across the globe.
Darrow chairs numerous cross-functional UPS committees that shape customer
experience. He and his GBS operations team have transitioned numerous
segregated service centers into a consolidated and consistent global network.
In addition to using the typical modes of customer contact - phone, e-mail,
fax, or letters – Darrow has been instrumental in positioning UPS as an
industry leader in the use of social media.