Mr. Sterling has an interesting post up in advance of the C3 conference entitled Social Media Force a ‘Conversation’ Between Marketing and Customer Service. I have been thinking a bit about this in anticipation of the social media advisory service I am helping BIA/Kelsey launch. I was speaking with a client yesterday about their social media efforts. They had started out testing social media channels (primarily Twitter and Facebook) to acquire new customers, but they quickly found that these platforms were much more productive when they focused on interactions with current customers. Twitter became a way to both answer questions quickly and to engage with customers who were unhappy with the service. Facebook became a way to alert customers to new features, promotions, etc.

While these channels have not replaced support emails, customer service phone numbers, etc., they have started to become a much more important part of the mix. And the cost-savings and customer satisfaction that has resulted has been significant.

From Greg’s post:

A simple metaphor is: Who owns the Facebook page?

If it’s marketing exclusively a valuable customer care touchpoint is missed. Indeed, part of a “social media” program should be service; this gives the “campaign” something more to be about than just promotions or “brand messaging.” Collecting feedback and addressing customer concerns and complaints in an authentic way should be as much a part of “social media” strategies as pushing sales and offers.

Greg has put together an incredible lineup for C3 next week. Speakers from Yelp, Groupon, Microsoft, Closely, Cisco, Oodle, MerchantCircle, Praized and a number of other great local focused companies will be there as will I.

Hope to see you there.

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2 Response Comments

  • Lee  January 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    A site of mine was down last night, and it was amazing how much more information there was on Twitter to help me understand the outage than there was on my ISP’s website (which was also experiencing problems). Smart companies are seeing all of these social media touch points as opportunities to connect, share, support, and sell.

    I wasn’t happy about the downtime, but the company’s Twitter feed keep me well informed so I wasn’t just pacing around my house swearing.

  • Nick Stamoulis  February 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Social media is all about connecting with others. Therefore, it’s a great tool for customer service. Since the people that “follow” you or are “fans” of you are most likely people that have already used your product or service, it’s likely that they might have questions or concerns. Often, addressing these questions or concerns can be done quicker in a social media platform.