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Publisher / Editor @ CloudAve and Enterprise Irregulars. Industry Observer, Blogger, Startup Advisor, Program Chair @ SVASE (Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs). In his "prior life" spent 15 years immersed in the business of Enterprise Software, at management positions with SAP, IBM, Deloitte, KPMG and the like.

2 responses to “The Social Media Customer Care Machinery”

  1. David Alston

    Hey there Zoli,

    You bring up a great point about customer service in the public view and in private channels. For those companies that excel at customer service offline the transition to social media/online support is natural and expected. For those that don’t they often can look to social media as the “canary in the coalmine” for the signs where they need to improve and grow. But they need to want to listen to social media in the first place to know this.

    For those companies that decide to go to the next step and begin to engage and try to solve problems I say bravo. Striving to provide the best customer service possible is hard work but oh so rewarding. Doing it in front of an audience takes a lot of bravery because the spotlight is on. But those who do it with honest intentions receive a lot of kudos for first, just showing up and sometimes taking the lumps. This transparency and honesty is rewarded over time as relationships are formed in the community the company is serving.

    Having personally spent a lot of time around Frank I can tell you that he never rests when it comes to helping customers. You would have to pry his blackberry out of his hands during his waking hours and once you did he would pull out the iphone he carries as a backup (true story).

    And the other thing that happens when folks like Frank and his team at Comcast show up online to do their best to help is that a brand becomes human, approachable. As we all know it’s easy to take a couple swipes at a faceless logo but when someone from a brand genuinely reaches out to help many of us melt – because often, as you pointed out, we just wanted to be heard.

    I agree with you that I think social media will become the great revealer for many companies when it comes to serving customers – those who choose to ignore and treat customers badly will see their reputations gradually eroded as the sum of the conversations that define them shift to the negative. Those who recognize this in advance and decide they want to learn, grow and potentially change will definitely be rewarded.

    Thanks for the great post.