Having my roots in contact center management, I’m aware of the trends as mentioned in this found post.
Great for me to reflect on (and actually, our company is adopting fast), connect on and starting acting.
However, regular readers of my blog know that i have my beliefs.
One of my beliefs is that mostly goods and services will in the end become commodities, which amongst others implies an operational excellence approach. I do not believe that social media as such should be considered as enriching relationships and lead to customer intimacy.
Talking about relationships, maybe social media fit well in relations. But – drawn from my own experience – they even better fit in encounters or pseude-relationships.
Anyway, connect to the content and connect!
Once companies begin to build some brand presence on online social networks, customers begin to interact with them.
Some of the interactions focused on customer service and support issues. And when companies respond to the requests through the same channel, hence a new concept of customer service through social networking.
Engaging customers and prospects on social networking sites is not new, but it is evolving to involve customer
service and expanding to formal contact centers.
No longer can a company afford to ignore one unhappy customer.
His grouses might be heard by thousands within moments, and this can spell disaster for the company.
On the other hand, a happy customer can tell his experience to thousands within minutes, shining some light on the company’s existence and services.
This is the power of online social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and companies of all types have started to see the possibilities to better market themselves to potential customers through these services.
The pace at which information is shared and the wide reach made possible on social networks has forced companies to think about how to reach and service customers and prospects in these channels, says Ian Jacobs, senior analyst for customer interaction technologies at Datamonitor.
Whether it is through online contests, coupons and discount offers or just an extended presence to shine positive light on brands, social networking has become a darling of the marketing world, he says.
While much of that activity has been pure marketing, some leading-edge companies have started to offer customer service and support through social networking. The trend is most prevalent currently in the North American region, followed by Western Europe.
Jacobs says customer service through social networking is an outcome of increased corporate presence on these networks, which also leads to service interactions between company and customer.
Once companies begin to build some brand presence on online social networks, customers begin to interact with them. Some of the interactions focused on customer service and support issues. And when companies respond to the requests through the same channel, hence a new concept of customer service through social networking.
“Some of these interactions result from a direct contact between a customer and a company. But with new social media monitoring tools, companies have also begun to inject themselves into customer conversations.
“If, for example, a customer complains to the world about poor service, the company reaches out to the customer and tries to solve the issue. When done properly, social network-based customer service interactions increase intimacy between a company and its customers. Customers will feel that the company listens to their complaints and cares about their preferences,” says Jacobs, who authored the report The Rise of Social Networking and Emerging Channels in Customer Service.
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