Servicing Customers in the Face of Crisis

Khoros Alumni (Retired)



It seems all too common for big brands to find themselves in a very public crisis these days—a company spokesperson who keeps saying all the wrong things, a bystander video that goes viral, a product recall, or an ad that completely misses the mark. And with social media, these crises can bloom and spread across the web in minutes. The impact to the brand? Measured in millions of dollars, or more.


But while a crisis may be occurring, ordinary customers still have normal questions and concerns, like “why does my account still have fraudulent charges?” “Help, my flight is delayed!” “This product is defective and I’ve waited an hour on the phone.” These customers still have high expectations and will leave if you don’t support them. The last thing a brand in crisis needs is to lose more customers.


The magnitude of crisis-related posts on social alone can be staggering. For example, a Fortune 500 company recently hit 250x their daily average. In cases like these, Lithium Social Media Management handles millions of posts, and enables the core Social Care team to maintain stated response SLAs for all customers. This means the PR, Marketing, and Social teams can manage the crisis event (and its aftermath) while the Social Care team maintains day-to-day service levels. How can technology help?


  • Scalability: Lithium SMM handles orders-of-magnitude traffic increases without impacting how quickly posts get to agents. So posts keep flowing, and agents keep responding within their expected SLAs.
  • Filtering and Routing: Using advanced filtering and look-back technology, Lithium SMM can identify the crisis and automatically segregate these posts from normal traffic. So agents stay focused.
  • Advanced Analytics: Based on crisis signatures, Lithium SMM automatically spins up a dashboard providing real-time and historical baseline reporting. So you stay in control.

 Technology—and specific to this post, social technology—won’t fix a crisis. But, the right social technology can mitigate the effects: brand damage, customer churn, and needless expense.