September 22, 2010, 5:17 PM

Why Rosetta Stone is offering customer service on Facebook

The retailer says it wants to offer help wherever it’s most convenient for customers.

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One of the main pillars of Rosetta Stone Ltd.’s customer service strategy is to help customers wherever they are. That’s why the computer-assisted learning software retailer offers a variety of means for consumers to receive customer support ranging from over the phone, via e-mail, an online support portal, live chat, and, since August, Facebook.

“We want to be there to help them, regardless of whichever channel they’re most comfortable in,” says Jay Topper, the retailer’s senior vice president of customer success.

That’s why, when the retailer found consumers were contacting the retailer on Facebook with questions, comments and complaints, the retailer decided to find a way to offer consumers a  formal response system. To do so, the retailer turned to customer service software vendor Parature Inc., which already handled its other service channels. 

By using the same back-end portal regardless of the channel consumers are using, Rosetta Stone can aggregate customer data and adjust to customer complaints or suggestions however they come in. For instance, if the retailer receives several consumers asking about the retailer’s instructional methods it can craft an article on the topic that appears in the site’s online support portal, as well as on Facebook.

Rosetta Stone tailors the content to the channels. For instance, when it launched its Facebook support initiative it edited each of the articles featured on its online support portal for pithiness.

“We made the assumption that people would spend less time reading an article on Facebook than they would on our web site,” says Topper.

The Facebook support tab also features a live chat feature, manned by customer service associates specifically trained in-house by Rosetta Stone to communicate on social networks. About 15% of its customer service staff has completed the training, which involves learning to keep social media communications on-message and on-brand, Topper says.

By providing help on consumers’ turf, Rosetta Stone is able to reach far more people than it otherwise would, says Topper.

“We knew some people would use our Facebook help center, but the response has been 100 times what we thought it would be,” he says. “That’s because we’re where they were already looking.”

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