Posted on : 09-09-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Customer Service, Social Media
In social media, the basics of service are no different than any other communications channel. I find it interesting to watch companies work within social media to try to engage with their Customers. It is obvious to me that there is still a fight as to who owns the social media interaction. In most companies it is either PR or Marketing, but isn’t Customer Service the area that talks to Customers? Many can say this is a new space and companies are learning. I agree with that, but there is enough information out there to know what approaches tend to work best. If you are there for PR, or even marketing, it may not be necessary to personalize the interaction, but for service it is a different story. The trouble is many in marketing or PR view this to be all about the brand. I have a little hint for you, the company or department does not own the space, your Customer does!
So how does the basics of service matter? Because this is how all interactions should be, no matter the channel. When someone calls your business do you answer the phone “XYZ Company, What do you want?” No, most businesses answer the phone XYZ Company. This is Frank speaking, how may I help you?” The first key aspect that you learn is the human connection is so important. Unfortunately this space, companies are too focused on the brand not their Customers. You do not have to look at my Twitter handle to see this success, just look at Dell, who was truly a pioneering company in the space. They have recognized this for years. Now Zappos provides an even more in depth look. They encourage, and teach, all their employees to participate in the space. Now that is personal.
There are many ways to personalize Twitter. My preference is different ID’s for different people, but I can understand why that may not be the preferred method for some companies. Below are a few companies that are doing it right. Ford has Shawn handling the FordCustService account. QuickenLoans lets us know via the bio section that it is Kelly helping out, and Office_Live demonstrates a way to have multiple people on the same account. Charter, and the UMatter2Charter team have been doing a good job in creating that personal connection. They use separate accounts and they connect with their Customers. Don’t you prefer to interact with a person? I know I do.
Other basics to serving Customers is to have a conversation, do not sit there marketing outward the whole time. Also, just like a call, make sure you resolve the Customers needs prior to offering sales. This is where companies really make it about them, instead of their Customers. I applaud all companies for trying to find ways to have success in this space. I am always happy to see new companies learn about social media and ways they too can participate.
Who are some other companies that you view doing it right on Twitter?