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Microsoft

Azure Support

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Social

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Project Details

Never underestimate the power of a Twitter handle

< 12 min.

service response time

5 min.

outage identification

90%

of customers say they’ll keep using @AzureSupport

Challenge

The @AzureSupport project didn’t start with an ask—it emerged from a need we discovered while doing other work for them. When we first joined the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise marketing team, Azure was occasionally experiencing outages on various levels of severity. And when these happened, our protocol was to shut off all outgoing marketing—to avoid that awkward situation when a banner ad touts Azure’s amazing service while Azure itself is completely down.

To better our response time in these situations, we did a little research and found that most Azure customers were airing service grievances into the Twittersphere. These tweets were highly visible and revealed both a risk and a missed opportunity to build customer relationships. That’s when it all crystallized—to really make an impact, the Azure team needed a better way to respond to customer needs on social.

Solution

We started by setting up a listening dashboard to track all comments related to Azure service outages and interruptions. When we detected a pattern in these comments, we immediately reached out to Microsoft engineers, becoming the first line of response for Microsoft customers. Then we took it a step further. We created a dedicated Twitter support handle, @AzureSupport, and built a specialized social support team that could respond immediately to detected outages and customer frustration. The result? We saved time and gained customer insights that were unprecedented for Azure.

Information

Inspiration

Information

Twitter trouble

Research revealed that Azure customers aired service grievances in tweets, so we knew the Azure team needed a way to respond to customer needs on social.

Inspiration

Social customer care

We created @AzureSupport, a new Twitter handle for Azure service outages and interruptions, developed from our own first line of support for customers and established communication with engineers.

Results

@AzureSupport successfully created a direct line between Azure and its users, turning disgruntled users into brand advocates and developing critical business relationships. Customers gained a 24/7/365 support team, and Microsoft improved brand equity, increased revenue, and tapped into customer and market insights that will power future Azure endeavors. Not too shabby for a little Twitter handle.

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