In his last blog Andy mentioned a report by Useful Social Media. I followed the link and had a look at some of the quotes myself. To recap, they have collected together the top ten corporate predictions for social media in 2012 – with quotes direct from several large international companies.
Scanning the list, I liked the sentiment expressed by the communications and social media director of aircraft manufacturer Boeing, Todd Blecher.
The one thing I would like to see in 2012 is organizations more fully integrating content efforts in marketing, sales, public relations, public affairs, and community relations. Those functions directly impact the organization’s most important asset, its reputation. If those entities come together to develop content that truly resonates with various communities, I believe the organization would realize tremendous benefits.
This is an important statement. Todd is connecting together the customer service function of any organisation with the reputation of that business.
Of course, the customer service function has always had to be polite and professional, therefore projecting an image of the brand and protecting reputation by offering good service, but in a social environment everything changes:
- Customer interactions are often transparent and visible to every other customer if they are conducted on social networking sites.
- Customers can broadcast (retweet or share) good or bad experiences, amplifying anything that your customer service team does.
- The customer service team may be engaging with customers who have never officially made a complaint – they just mentioned to friends on Facebook or a blog that they are not happy with your product. Or they may never have even bought your product if they are repeating something published by a friend… your customer service team is far more critical to reputation management in this environment.
Once the customer service function starts engaging with prospective customers, or those seeking information then they need to integrate with the sales and marketing team. And whoever manages your customer community. And whoever manages the press relationship because you might be engaging in social networks with journalists or industry analysts and experts who are all influential in your market.
Social media is not just enhancing the customer service function by allowing you to add a Facebook and Twitter channel your existing email and voice service centre. It could entirely change the way your company runs and interacts with influencers, prospects, and existing customers
Photo by Patrick Ashley licensed under Creative Commons