MAD Perspectives Blog

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 Customer Support - Are You Listening to Your Customers?

Peggy Dau - Monday, June 18, 2012

A client recently asked me about using social media for customer service. I am engaged with this client on a variety of marketing topics, but nothing related to social media - so far! I like that the client asked about how social media could help them enhance their ability to serve their customers. It shows their intent to satisfy their customers. It also reflects their curiosity about how different platforms can help them.

This customer has recently integrated Salesforce.com into their overall support process. They are able to track trouble tickets more effectively and manage potential escalations more efficiently. Their goal is to resolve problems as quickly as possible. However, they would also like to help their customers with some self-service options - allowing them to quickly diagnose and fix simple issues on their own. They would like to be proactive and prevent problems before they occur. This requires the capability to understand customer concerns before they actually call the help desk.

This client has a limited social media presence. They are using the primary social networks in a controlled manner, at present. Given their cautious approach to social media, I did not suggest that they start tweeting customer support answers (or create a Facebook page or LInkedIn Group dedicated to support). Rather, given their pre-existing relationship with Salesforce.com, I asked them if they were aware of Radian6 and its ability to monitor the social web to understand customer comments, concerns and sentiment. They were not familiar with Radian6, but were intrigued.

We discussed how platforms like Radian6, Visible Technologies, Sysomos, Attensity360 and others, provide the platform to listen to online customer conversations related to a brand and its products. We brainstormed how this client could combine its in-house data related to customer issues with social interactions related to product performance, installation, usability or competitive products. The client understood the power of gaining greater insight into customers concerns. They were intrigued to understand that they could use this insight to help define their strategy for self-service support.

The client is at the earliest stages of developing this strategy. Given their relationship with Salesforce.com, i'm confident they will pursue a discussion with them about Radian6. I anticipate Radian6 helping them with a trial to demonstrate the type of data they can obtain to help them understand customer priorities. Customer support is the most critical element in securing customer satisfaction. The power of listening to customers is an art that continues to evolve thanks to social media monitoring platforms.  Are you listening to your customers?

What's your perspective?