To Social and to Serve

Comcast, Dell, and JetBlue are just a few of the companies who have found a home on Twitter.  And not only did they find a home, with a communication outlet that reaches customers in new ways, but they decided that it was the perfect place to set up a customer service outlet.  And they never looked back.

Today, customers want to communicate with the companies that they have a relationship with more than ever before.  Part of what living in the digital age means is reaching customers when and where they want to be reached.  And social media has become a hub of complaints, questions, and service inquiries for companies large and small.

Some companies continue to ignore it, angering and deserting what could be loyal followers.  Others have embraced it, and are succeeding the customer service world because of it.

A few weeks ago, I wrote on a post on how to create product evangelists. This is a lot like that idea, but involves focusing a concentrated customer service rep or team of reps online to deal with issues in real time as they come in. 

This customer service team should have guidelines to follow, but should be empowered to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.  Since all of these conversations happen, and will continue to exist, in the public space, it is important to get things right.  Others, who may not be customers, will be watching.  And you can really help the image of your company by creating positive interactions and listening to people’s problems and responding immediately.

Facebook and Twitter make it easy to follow conversations, respond in line to customers, and take care of quick and easy customer complaints without phone or email.  And customers are asking for it, so you need to come through for them or suffer the wrath of the angry (self-entitled) consumer.

For more information, check out Peter Shankman's latest book, Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World.