Social Media Marketing

Using Snapchat—Including Snapstreaks—to Provide Fast Customer Service

Snapchat may be a viable customer service option for today’s progressive companies. See how it can be used and if it might be right for you and your customers.

Source: Wachiwit / iStock Editorial / Getty

Because Millennials hate to wait, a handful of successful companies have started using Snapchat to provide quick customer service.

There are several advantages to providing customer service via Snapchat:

  • Because Snapchat moves so quickly and is already a platform many Millennials use, younger customers can feel like their needs are being met in the way (and in the time) they want them to be.
  • It’s visual. While there’s a chat spot provided, customer service representatives can look at the snaps to see what’s going on. This has the potential to help customers who don’t know how to explain what they’re looking at or exactly what problem they’re facing.
  • It allows high-ranking company employees, such as Red Gaskell of the online retail store Everlane, to interact personally with customers.

There are, of course, disadvantages, as well. Because the data disappear so quickly, there’s no way to use Snapchat to track recurring or persistent issues. Large companies with complicated systems or products can combine customer service options (e-mail, telephone calls, and social media outlets—including Snapchat) to track problems, as well as provide customers with an in-the-moment response.

For companies catering to younger customers, Snapchat is a promising option, especially as Snapstreaks have the potential to weave their way into the customer service realm. Finding evidence of companies that already use Snapstreaks as part of their customer service strategy is difficult because it’s largely happening on a beta basis, but the possibilities are intriguing. Consider these three ways to use a Snapstreak for customer service:

  1. A customer service department can provide step-by-step instructions to visually oriented customers. The customer service rep would snap the first step of how to fix a problem. The customer would snap back, and the representative could provide immediate feedback before he or she moves on to the next step of the solution. It could work like a personalized tutorial in pictures.
  2. Snapstreaks could be used to help customers feel valued as one or two people at a company build a relationship with them. For some Millennials, a Snapstreak is a sign of friendship and sometimes even a sign of commitment. They’re willing to put work into keeping their streaks going, which could ultimately translate into an emotional connection with companies that Snapstreak with them.
  3. Depending on the product, a Snapstreak can be used to show improvement over time. With an acne medication, for example, a customer service representative would snap a question mark each day to the customer, who would snap back the results. Essentially, the customer service representative would be using a Snapstreak to track whether the product works for this individual or not and, if not, whether to provide a refund or offer other help.

The world is picking up the pace but still struggles to keep up with the Millennial generation. Using Snapstreaks for customer service issues might close the gap a little, and the possibilities for future use are fascinating.