Social Business Consultant at IBM
17 June 2009 01:10am
In a landscape increasingly fragmented by social media, in which customers are evolving their own resolution networks, what will customer service look like from a company perspective? Companies are seeing the gradual erosion of a centralised model of customer service - where the customer comes to them - in favour of one where customers can legitimately complain or seek help elsewhere. These other platforms are no less trusted than the ones provided by the companies themselves.
Co-founder at Plebble.com
17 June 2009 13:03pm
Hi Guy, I agree with you that social media will cause a gradual erosion of a centralised model of customer service as consumers rely on a number of different third party platforms. This is already happening. What this means for customer service for businesses is that they will have to go to where their customers are, on the platforms where they choose to leave their comments. This is a very different approach to customer service as the rules of engagement are different in a public forum and there are different rules for different platforms. Staff will have to be re-trained and software that makes the 'social media' customer services job more efficient will have to be adopted.
Your and other brands use of Twitter and other sites like Plebble as a customer service tool is a great example of what is starting to happen.
Will (Co-founder Plebble)
19 June 2009 09:57am
Totally agree with you Guy and Will, and I actually believe businesses who are more focused on a customer service led social media engagement strategy; as opposed to a marketing one, will become the stronger and more attractive brands within their specific market sectors.
However, it does mean the management and measurement of customer service is a bit more complicated as all the places within the social web where "customer service" conversations are taking place need to be found, monitored and analysed. Very similar to a brand reputation monitoring approach.
Will we soon see similar operation centres within organisations akin to the IT NOC who monitor network performance on a 24 x 7 basis, but instead focused on observing the social web?
Freelance at Language4Communications
19 June 2009 13:25pm
Good points - especially the focus on online customer service being online marketing. The myriad social media where these conversations are taking place increase the more product/services and countries/languages a company operates in. There's one digital agency I saw describing this increasingly complex process being like "herding cats." Hence there is a need to dedicate sufficient internal or exterally resources to doing this. An add-on to this is channelling this feedback into improving the product/service experience, developing new products and services and leveraging the positive comments/supporter to provide more authentic marketing and communications.
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