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Social Customer Service at Dutch Railways

The Dutch Railways (abbreviated in Dutch as NS) daily converses with two thousand travellers on social media. They have the largest number of incoming ánd outgoing messages and are therefore the largest online customer service company in the Netherlands. The Dutch Railways uses Coosto to interpret all incoming messages and respond to them. Hessel Koster explains how they implement social customer service and how they use Coosto.   

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Why Social Customer Service?

Hessel Koster: “Dutch Railways wants to listen to all what happens on the trains and train stations. We want to be where our travellers are. We don’t care if the traveller shares its opinion on Twitter or via email, we want to listen and improve our services together with our travellers. This is why we started with social customer service and why we extended our contact hours to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Before this extension, we didn't see that travellers were stranded until the morning after. Now we can immediately respond to these situations. Even better is that this realtime information is at first hand, which teaches us more than surveys do.”

Coosto Set-Up

The Dutch Railways uses Coosto for their social customer service. It doesn’t matter how big the team is, there is no material difference between our employees. Hessel: “Everyone works with the same engagement feed. We do distinguish between types of messages. Twitter @mentions are prioritised over messages with our name in the hashtag. For Facebook, we separate comments from wallposts, because our marketing department sometimes take over social media engagement for two hours when they have a specific promotional campaign. The customer service team would still have to answer questions of customers on Facebook. That's why we need our interface and our workflow system to be flexible and to be able to distinguish between those types of messages.”

"An advantage of Coosto is that we can process all messages in just one tool. We use it for consumer and business communication on Twitter and Facebook, in and outside the Netherlands. Messages are labelled automatically, which makes it easy for us to measure categories. We also make use of Coosto Cases. This means that when a traveller and an employee send multiple (private) tweets to each other, it is counted as just one client case. We had to get used to this, but it means that all messages in one discussion are now allocated to just one agent. This is very practical, because this agent knows more than when multiple agents would respond to the traveller, and thus can support the traveller better. It just makes it all clearer than dealing with multiple, separate messages.”

"The reporting and search features in Coosto are superior. It all works enormously flexible and it enables me to always produce the right report for myself or my colleagues. At the same time, it enables me to interpret specific situations. When agents have questions, I can immediately subside or prioritise the case."

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