Leveraging the Sharing Economy for Customer Care

It’s no secret that the sharing economy is transforming businesses. Samsung recently tapped into a new sharing economy model for Customer Care in partnership with Directly, which uses Samsung loyal customers who are avid product users – dubbed “Samsung ambassadors” — to help other customers with their tech questions in real-time, through messaging right on their smartphone.

“At Samsung, we’re constantly pursuing innovative options to deliver great customer care. Our partnership with Directly came about as part of the company’s vision to leverage our community in the sharing economy to help our customers,” said Michael Lawder, Sr. VP of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America during the “Execs In The Know” panel at the Customer Response Summit in Chicago on September 20th.

Antony Brydon (left), Directly CEO, speaks with Michael Lawder (right), Sr. VP of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America during the “Execs In The Know” panel at the Customer Response Summit in Chicago on September 20th.

Antony Brydon (left), Directly CEO, speaks with Michael Lawder (right), Sr. VP of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America during the “Execs In The Know” panel at the Customer Response Summit in Chicago on September 20th.

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Lawder, joined by Directly CEO Antony Brydon on stage, said the innovative new way of helping customers through messaging with vetted Samsung customers who have the expert knowledge to share has quickly resulted in a 90% customer satisfaction rate on the Samsung + mobile customer service application. Only 10% of cases need to be escalated to an agent, most often for scheduling service appointments.

“With text messages outranking phone calls as the dominant form of communication among today’s consumer– especially with younger users — the service is straightforward, literally at their fingertips, and efficient,” said Lawder.

How it works

When logged in to Samsung +, customers use a messaging interface to text back and forth with an expert, creating a convenient, anytime, anywhere communication system for immediate response.

The experts are actual customers of Samsung who’ve previously been invited to apply to become part of the expert network and have passed a skills test to be able to administer the service. Experts then get paid by resolving the customer’s issue, based on customer feedback.

“With the integration of the Directly model into the Samsung + platform, we have the ability now to create an expert network extremely quickly,” said Lawder. “When we launch a new product, you’ve got hundreds of thousands of customers, loyalists, with the product in their hand in the first few days, who can help your new customers who are going on, in the case of mobile phones, to Android for the first time and this allows Samsung to be even more accessible to our customers and contributes to building more personal relationships with all users.”

Currently, experts on the platform support the Galaxy S5, S6, S7 and S8, including plus (+) models as well as Galaxy Note4 and Note5. Note8 messaging support is also in the works as well as a broader rollout of the messaging support feature on Samsung.com.

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