I was listening to a pretty darn good (if you remove the “look at what we do” part of the presentations) webinar from CRM Magazine talking about how to do Social Media and Customer Service well. There were some interesting discussions of different things to do, with different vendors, when I heard from Gregg McMullen from West Interactive (in case you don’t know West Interactive, they do Customer Service outsourcing) something that stopped me in my tracks.
Yesterday, I threw a public hissy fit when I found out that Tumblr’s customer service had acted on a trademark request from a company called Zephoria who had written them to ask that they release my account to them. (Tumblr has since apologized and given me my identity back.) In some ways, I feel really badly for Tumblr – and all other small social media companies – because brokering these issues is not easy.
In years of running a direct marketing firm that included a small call center, my objective was to eliminate, or at least minimize, waiting time for phone customers. We knew (from those times when we didn’t have enough staff in place) that the longer callers waited to speak to a representative, the higher the probability was that they would abandon the call.
After hearing Forrester analyst Diane Clarkson talk on “Customer Service Is the New Social Marketing” at eTail last month, I just had to ask her to share her insights here.
Diane’s work at Forrester focuses on online customer service and she’s become convinced ”social media and customer service are no longer flirting — they are getting serious.” Take a listen to this interview to hear Diane:
Due to weather conditions, Heathrow airport has been thrown into complete chaos, shutting down and leaving hundreds of travelers stranded (I'm writing this from London and will have to head there tomorrow). Aside from the major inconvenience, it also serves as a clear demonstration that companies who initiate social initiatives (such as a Facebook page, Twitter account etc.) will naturally over time learn that they serve several functions. As shown below, Heathrow (thankfully) has been using its Twitter presence to provide updates that are better than what you'd get from many other sources:
The term “Social CRM” is used a lot in the digital age. Traditionally, “customer relationship management” dealt with acquiring, enhancing, and retaining customers through interaction in person, on the phone or via email. Social media adds a new layer of interaction to the mix. We explore the champions who are changing the way businesses do customer service.
Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to hire and partner with other service providers. It’s been interesting because I’m usually the one service-providing.
These have been great learning experiences for me, as I’ve gotten to enjoy first-hand the benefits of working with really good service providers — as well as feel the frustration and disappointment resulting from working with some not so good ones. I thought I’d share my observations from the other side of the table.