Our social business event in London last Wednesday explored how the enterprise is going social – not just customer service, but marketing, sales, HR, and almost every other aspect of companies today are changing because of social media.
And in some cases this is a complete about turn in how business is done. Think of the customer service function as an example. What was it like in the past?
- It was defined; you always had scripts or guidelines for controlling the interactions with a customer.
- It was controlled; you had defined ways in which the customer service team could be reached – a free phone number or an email address for example.
- It was channeled; you could prioritise some complaints or compliments or customers over others.
But what has the advent of social media done to this one area of the enterprise?
- It is now undefined; there is no fixed way to interact with the customer.
- It is uncontrolled; there is no specific channel that has to be used, customers can be complaining or complimenting you anywhere without informing you.
- Unchanneled; it is more difficult to prioritise when the comments can be across many different channels, rather than sitting in a single funnel waiting to be actioned.
The customer now expects a customer service team to find them and their comments, rather than coming to the company via a fixed channel. This has turned the customer service department almost entirely on its head and meant that for many companies the function starts blending with marketing.
At TP we have believed for many years that a great customer service team works as a marketing device, but now customer interactions are becoming online and transparent this is truer than ever before.
Photo by Artem Svetlov licensed under Creative Commons