Social Media Customer Service is a Failure- Frank Eliason

62fd77161c7b0ad8976f16.L._V136019344_SX200_My view is that social media customer service is a complete failure due to a number of factors. For example you have companies out there that are focusing on people with the high Klout score. I don’t think that works so well.  Look at that concept through the lens of some of the famous instances over the years. I worked for a cable company and at one point there was a video of a technician sleeping.  The person who put that video up had posted two videos, ever. Let’s face it, it was just good content. It was just something we enjoyed watching — so we watched it over and over again. I am not a fan of influencer-based marketing, or providing priority service based on someone’s Klout score.

I hear this all the time: “we want to be where our customers are and our customers want social service.” I say consumers don’t want social service, they just want it right the first time, and if it’s not right they’re looking form someone to fix the experience. What’s going on is these companies are doing social servicing because they think their customers want to be serviced that way but, they’re not taking this customer feedback and fixing what is wrong; they’re not using this feedback to bring about true change!

Think about this: everything we do sends a message to people.  We need to remember that.

We focus on call centers and we look at things like “call handle time.”  That sends a great message to your employees: “get the customer off the phone as fast as possible”; they’re measuring the speed at which the call center rep can end a call, not solve a problem.  This sends a message to the customer because, guess what? – they can tell when they’re being rushed off the phone. And on the PR side, for example, what are they listening for? They’re listening for that next PR crisis. But listening is much broader than one little silo. It is taking this information and putting it in the hands of the product people, the sales people, the C-suite, etc.  All people should have access to and understand this information because it can drive product and support changes, not just PR wins.

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Reinventing Customer Service Harnessing Social Media

Social media  leveled the playing field on which brands and consumers face off. Where  brands controlled the means of broadcast (through PR, advertising and news coverage), consumers now have a megaphone of their own in the form of social media to voice their opinion and force companies to rethink customer service

Social sharing and viral content means an angry mob has never been easier to assemble, and brands behaving badly can now find their reputation in tatters in a matter of hours. Just ask Addison Lee’s cyclist-bashing chairman John Griffin, who turned the company into a virtual punching bag for the denizens of Twitter and Facebook overnight. Griffin sparked anger by claiming the majority of cyclist road deaths in London are the result of inexperience on the part of the cyclist.

This is just one example from recent times when the consumer’s megaphone has become louder than that of the brand. Not only does social media amplify complaints, but with criticism out in the open it allows media outlets to offer coverage of the discourse, amplifying the criticism further How many news stories have you read which cite “Twitter outrage” or a “Facebook campaign”?

This reshuffling of power has forced many companies – both large and small – to rethink their customer service and marketing. Having suddenly had power wrested from them, many are now fighting back and employing some experimental and interesting methods to get back in the driving seat.

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Brands Ignore Negative Social Buzz at Their Peril

“In a world of social sites that allow consumers to post photos, videos and opinions about companies and brands, disparaging comments and other content detrimental to brands are bound to bubble up,” said a new eMarketer report “Dealing with Negative Buzz on Social Media.” “And that content can stay online forever.”

In February, American Express found that 46% of US internet users it surveyed had turned to companies’ social media sites to vent their frustrations about poor experiences.

“This buildup of negative buzz on social media can have a significant impact on brands because social media is more public and moves faster than customer complaints via traditional channels,” said eMarketer.

Top 5 Reasons US Internet Users Use Social Media for Customer Service, Feb 2012 (% of respondents)

Moreover, companies now have accounts and brand pages on so many different social networks that it is hard to keep up. “Having a plan in place for dealing specifically with negative buzz and then constantly monitoring, tracking and responding to comments on social media are two important ways to deal with negative situations on social media,” said eMarketer. But implementing these precautions requires integration between teams within a company, expanded thinking about what words and issues to track, and, in some cases, tasking outside companies and vendors to provide monitoring services.

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Almost half of online customers expect brands to provide customer service on Facebook

You can add customer service to the growing litany of shopping experiences affected by social media in general, Facebook in particular. Customers headed online to shop are bringing with them high expectations about the kind of customer service they’ll get once there, especially on social networks. In a Q4 2011 survey of worldwide online consumers, Oracle found that online users valued having a number of pathways to customer service support, including through social media, click-to-call services and instant messaging.

Given Facebook’s dominance of the social media landscape, it should surprise no one that 46% of those polled anticipated that companies would provide customer support through the social network. Expectations for Twitter were significantly lower; only 17% of respondents thought brands would provide support and information via Twitter accounts.

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Savvy Social Media Users Influence Peer Purchases

For consumers, the golden rule is “buyer beware.” For marketers, it should perhaps be: “beware of socially adept consumers.” New research indicates that consumers who are savvy social media users wield far greater influence among their peers.

Specifically, they tell significantly more people about their service experiences, and say they’ would spend 21% more with companies that deliver great service — compared to 13% on average, according to the 2012 American Express “Global Customer Service Barometer.”

This relatively small group of consumers is extremely engaged and vocal, according to Jim Bush, EVP of World Service at American Express.

“They … tell three times as many people about positive service experiences compared to the general population,” he said of social media users. “Ultimately, getting service right with these social media-savvy consumers can help a business grow.”

Unfortunately for many marketers, the survey — conducted in the U.S. and 10 other countries — also reveals a sorry state of service in general.

Deluxe Corporation Project REV

Very interesting presentation by Deluxe Corporation’s SEM and Social Media Manager, Nathan Eide.

Nathan shares how they launched a social media campaign to create brand awareness and gain customer feedback and insights on its products.

Nathan shows how you can raise awareness to your brand, gather intelligence on your product and services, do product development using social media