Stay Ahead of the Game: Social Media and Digital Customer Service in Shopping Centres!

Corry van den Brink
Founder & CEO

This post discusses the importance of digital customer service in shopping centers and the impact of social media on customer service. It emphasizes the need for shopping centers to adapt to customers' online behavior and leverage digital channels for faster and more accessible support. The post suggests choosing the right social media platforms and building a strong online presence to effectively engage with customers. It also highlights the importance of effective communication strategies, real-time customer service, and monitoring customer feedback. The challenges and future trends in social media customer service are mentioned, emphasizing the need for adaptability. Ultimately, the post encourages shopping centers to embrace the digital space to enhance the customer experience and thrive in the modern age.


We all know how crucial customer service is in our shopping centres. In fact, the quality of customer service can make or break a customer's overall shopping experience. In my years in the industry, I've witnessed this truth firsthand. But over time, I've also seen a dramatic shift in how customer service is delivered, especially with the advent of social media and digital customer service in shopping centres.

Understanding Digital Customer Service in Shopping Centres

So, what exactly is digital customer service in shopping centres? Think of it as our traditional customer service, but amplified with technology's help. It involves using digital channels like email, live chats, and - you guessed it - social media, to communicate with customers.

Digital customer service has exploded in popularity recently, and for good reasons. It offers a faster response time, provides 24/7 support, and most importantly, caters to modern consumers who are spending an increasing amount of time online. As a shopping centre professional, I’ve learned that adapting to our customers' needs is key, and right now, they need us to meet them on their screens.

The Impact of Social Media on Customer Service

I'm sure you've seen it: a disgruntled customer tweeting about a poor experience or a glowing Instagram post about top-notch service. Social media has indeed become a pivotal platform for digital customer service in shopping centres, and in my experience, ignoring it is like ignoring a phone ringing off the hook – not a great idea.

Social media platforms offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage with our customers in real time and in a public setting. It's a double-edged sword - mishaps are visible to all, but so are excellent customer service stories.

IV. How to Effectively Leverage Social Media for Digital Customer Service

A. Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms

It all starts with being in the right place at the right time. Ask yourself - where does your target audience hang out the most? Is it Twitter, Instagram, or maybe Facebook? Different platforms will work for different centres depending on the demographics of your customers. Once, I spent a lot of time building a Facebook page before realizing my customers mostly engaged with us on Instagram. Lesson learned.

B. Building a Strong Social Media Presence for Digital Customer Service in Shopping Centres

Once you’ve chosen the platform, it’s time to build a strong presence. This means consistent posting, engaging with followers, and of course, delivering fantastic customer service. Think of your page as a virtual extension of your shopping centre.

C. Effective Communication Strategies for Social Media Customer Service in Shopping Centres

Now, onto communication. When a customer reaches out or posts about their experience, be responsive, be empathetic, and, where needed, be solution-oriented. Your response could turn a negative situation into a positive one. A simple, "We're sorry to hear about your experience. How can we make it right?" can go a long way.

D. Real-Time Customer Service

One of the biggest perks of social media is the ability to provide real-time service. Imagine a customer struggling to locate a store in your centre. They tweet at you for help, and in minutes, you're able to guide them. Not only have you solved their problem, but you’ve also shown everyone else watching that you're attentive and responsive.

E. Monitoring Customer Feedback

With tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, you can easily monitor mentions of your shopping centre, allowing you to step in when needed. I remember once seeing a tweet from a customer who couldn't find parking at our centre. We were able to quickly guide them to an available spot, turning a potentially poor experience into a positive interaction.

Challenges in Implementing Social Media Customer Service in Shopping Centres

Despite its many benefits, implementing social media customer service can come with its own set of challenges. Handling negative comments publicly, managing high volumes of messages, and maintaining a consistent brand voice are just a few. However, I've found that with a little patience, a dash of creativity, and a committed team, these hurdles can be conquered.

Future Trends: The Evolution of Social Media Customer Service in Shopping Centres

As we look forward, it's clear that social media customer service is not just a fad. Emerging trends like chatbots, artificial intelligence, and integrated customer service platforms like Arii are shaping the future of social media customer service in shopping centres. As always, staying adaptable and receptive to these changes is crucial for success.


In the end, leveraging social media for digital customer service in shopping centres is all about enhancing the customer experience. It’s about meeting our customers where they are and providing timely and effective service. I’ve found that by embracing the digital space, we can redefine what customer service looks like and ensure our shopping centres continue to thrive in the modern age. So, let's roll up our sleeves and dive into the digital world. Our customers are waiting for us there.

May 1, 2024