5 UK brands providing exceptional social customer service examples, and how you can too

So, you’ve just had an unsatisfactory experience at your local gym, store or with a service, what do you do?

The answer for many would be to head to Facebook or Twitter to publicly complain and hold that organisation accountable. While this is by no means a new phenomenon there is still a great difference in how organisations respond to these enquires, if at all.

In today’s blog we wanted to shine a light on those brands who are excelling in social customer service and pick out some actionable tips to apply to your own organisation.


1. Barclays

It can be particularly challenging for organisations that are bound by strong governance to fully flourish on social media for fear of breaking codes. However, Barclays are proving that even the most difficult questions can be answered in the first instance on social media without the need to be referred elsewhere.

This is a practice that more and more organisations need to try to adopt as consumers continue to expect a faster response! It’s all about being creative and working around the restrictions — in this case by not asking for personal details associated with the question, a quick public answer can be provided that may head off other customers’ questions in the process!

The example also shows how the social customer service team are going above and beyond where possible, like offering to book their customer into an appointment to talk further. It’s this kind of service that creates competitive advantage, particularly in sectors such as banking where added value can make all the difference to retention.

TOP TIP — when it comes to working with strict regulations, training is crucial! Make sure that your social customer service teams know exactly what they can and can’t ask customers for online and most importantly build confidence. 

2. Gymshark

When it comes to social customer service, few can say they are as successful as Gymshark. Having won a Guinness World Record for the speed of their responses on social media there’s a lot to learn from this organisation!


Not only are Gymshark exceptionally fast at responding to customers and stakeholders but they respond with personality. The example shows how simply this can be achieved by adding emojis and responding in a natural conversational tone, making it easier to convey real empathy.

Again, working in this way is a differentiator and it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, just make the most of the great personalities you have in your teams and encourage those to shine through.

TOP TIP — encourage your colleagues to sign off on messages with their first name, this is a really quick and simple way to start introducing your colleagues to your audiences. It can also help to remind particularly unhappy customers that they are still talking to a fellow human being and to be respectful on public forums!

3. Vodafone UK

vodafone-ukYou can’t assume that your customers will always directly tag you in customer service questions or complaints. In many cases feedback might just include your brand name. This is certainly the case for Vodafone as seen in the example here.

But what is very impressive is that Vodafone are actively listening out for content such as this so that they can jump into the conversation and offer help. In this case the social customer service team have been able to offer help within only a few minutes of the post being created and in the early hours of the morning too!

Is your organisation set up to monitor untagged brand mentions? Again, being able to provide an unexpected response is a great way to demonstrate to audiences that you are there to help and creates opportunities to turn negatives into positives and improve retention.

TOP TIP — accurate and consistent monitoring can be a challenge. If you haven’t already, find out how social media management platforms like SoCrowd can help you with social media listening!

4. The Bannatyne Group

bannatyne-groupIts rare that one part of your organisation will have all the answers to all questions posed by your customers and stakeholders. In reality its likely that knowledge of your clients and their specific interests will be spread across your organisation, especially if your organisation is UK-wide!

The Bannatyne Group do a fantastic job of capitalising on that knowledge by involving all relevant teams in responding to customer service queries. Not only does this ensure a faster and more accurate response for the customer, but this frees up more time for other colleagues to crack on with questions relating only to their specific knowledge areas.

FIND OUT MORE about how to manage this process in our case study with The Bannatyne Group here!

5. Give Blood NHS

Give-blood-nhsFinally let’s talk partners. Give Blood NHS is not alone in working closely with other public-sector partners, but it can be tricky to effectively co-ordinate efforts when responding to customer service enquiries.

The example here is a perfect demonstration of just how simply this relationship can work. In this case referring the member of the public to their Scottish partners to pick up the conversation. By establishing these relationships, it is likely that you will soon see more opportunities coming through from partners to pick up on — a win win for both of you!

TOP TIP — include partner tracking in your social media reporting to analyse how this relationship impacts your KPIs over time. We’ve often seen spikes in social media engagement and new followers but this will be different for every organisation and should be in line with your priorities.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive and if we could write about all the brands we’ve seen doing great work we would but for now these are our top five! Let us know who you think should be on the list and get in contact @SoCrowd