Reddit might have the single most diverse array of content available on the internet. It's the only platform that has communities dedicated to both pugs and monster trucks — two interests that I don't assume have a lot of crossover appeal.
People with all kinds of interests, hobbies, and habits use Reddit. It has over 430 million active monthly users and it's not outrageous to think that a portion of that base will have an interest in your product or service. Marketers try to take advantage of that possibility, using Reddit as a forum for inventive marketing campaigns.
But Reddit's business utility extends beyond marketing. The platform can also be an effective way for companies to interact with customers and expand online support infrastructures.
To show you what that looks like, here are three businesses that leverage Reddit for customer support.
Examples of Reddit Customer Service
XboxOne's Reddit following is an interesting case study in how a brand can leverage the platform for customer support. There’s an active subreddit dedicated to the console, but Microsoft didn't have a hand in creating it.
It came up organically. Fans and customers founded it in 2013 for discussions about upcoming games, advice on common issues with the console, interviews with developers, and other XboxOne-related news and tips.
Microsoft partially moderates the forum — using a promotional account to announce news about the console, conduct competitions and raffles, and post information about different deals and flash sales. It also has a dedicated support account, devoted to answering individual support questions.
Though Microsoft's promotional and support accounts on the forum are a big help to the company's customer support efforts, perhaps the most valuable customer service asset on the subreddit comes from the users themselves.
“R/xboxone” has its own wiki, dedicated to information like game release dates, backward compatibility with previous console iterations, and — most notably — support inquiries and FAQs.
By propping up this branded subreddit, Microsoft was able to essentially crowdsource a customer service infrastructure, demonstrating the practical value Reddit can have for a business's support efforts.
Like Microsoft has with r/xboxone, Nordstrom has its own branded subreddit. The difference between the two is a matter of whom created it. R/xboxone came about organically — Reddit users made the subreddit themselves. Microsoft noticed the forum's increasing popularity and took the opportunity to engage with its customers and promote its product.
Nordstrom, however, took a different approach. In 2014, the company founded r/nordstrom1901 — a forum for users to discuss topics like new products and the Nordstrom employee experience. Though user discussion was certainly a priority in creating the subreddit, the community was primarily designed to allow the company to serve its customers.
Brand representatives answered customer support inquiries. Users had the opportunity to offer Nordstrom-related advice to other community members. And, the forum hosted interviews with industry and company influencers like its Progressive Shoes Buyer and brand subsidiary directors.
Activity on the subreddit has died down since its initial launch but, Nordstrom's approach to leveraging Reddit for customer support is undoubtedly innovative and could still be an interesting option for businesses looking to expand their customer support efforts.
Japanese casual wear designer, Uniqlo, started its Reddit customer support efforts after the company noticed tremendous interest in its brand on the platform. In 2012, an ecommerce manager from the company, Arielle Dyda, started answering Uniqlo-specific customer service inquiries on the site.
Under the username midnight1214, Dyda responded to questions about topics like shipping problems and expectations, return policies, and issues with the company website. She also posted information about flash deals and promotions the brand was offering.
Dyda spent most of her time posting to r/frugalmalefashion — a community that ultimately tagged her as its "Lord and Savior." Though she's no longer with the company, the success of Dyda's customer service efforts serve as a demonstration of the value of customer service on Reddit. Her posts and comments within industry-relevant communities made for better exposure and brand loyalty.
Reddit is a platform that can lend itself to innovative and effective customer support tactics. The website is an excellent medium for reaching and communicating with a broad base of prospects and consumers.
There's no definitive, cookie-cutter model for how to go about assisting customers over Reddit. It's a dynamic platform that allows for a wide array of possibilities when it comes to customer service.
The cases of Microsoft, Nordstrom, and Uniqlo can provide interesting templates and reference points for approaching support over Reddit, but there are still endless possibilities that are yet to be explored. If your business is interested in using the platform for customer support, don't be afraid to get creative with your approach.
Originally published Mar 16, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated April 15 2020