marcel lebrun meet customers where they areIn just the last few years, customer service has begun its most profound transformation yet. The volume, speed and public nature of social media conversations is not only making it possible for companies to better understand their customers’ preferences, perspectives and personalities — it’s forcing them to.

When a customer calls the contact center, they provide agents with their basic account information so they know who’s calling and can move forward with solving their issue. When customers ask you a question on Twitter or post a comment on your Facebook wall, their name and basic information is there — available for you to use to identify who they are.

Some companies, like KLM Airlines, are using social data about their customers to show them they both listen and care.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines used information available in customer social profiles to identify a suitable, personalized gift to surprise them in the airport on the way to their next destination.

todays customers want to be heard appreciated david alstonOther companies aren’t even lending an ear.

That’s a problem for today’s customer. Today’s customer wants to be treated as an individual, and expects you to utilize the information at hand to understand who they are so they don’t have to tell you each time. Customers are bypassing the letter, the fax, the telephone, the contact form, and even email in favor of Twitter and Facebook because it’s faster, and because they can. But some things haven’t changed. They want to talk to humans and know they’ve been heard.

And when they don’t feel like they’re being heard? One of two things will happen: they’ll go to a competitor, or they’ll find a bigger, more public megaphone to get your attention. A polite Tweet might evolve into an elaborate blog post about why no one should ever do business with you again.

Customer service is the new marketing.

customer service is the new marketing - social phone

Your customer complaints, questions and compliments are publicly visible in your social marketing channels, as are your responses. Every response is an opportunity to invest in a customer relationship on a real human-to-human basis through sharing valued knowledge, resources and assistance.

The payoff? When customers need additional products or services they immediately think of you first. Your organizational responsiveness will have demonstrated your company values, culture and charm without having to advertise any of it to prospective customers.

It’s time to incorporate social media listening, response and engagement into your contact center. That’s exactly why we worked with the Salesforce Service Cloud team to write Meet Customers Where They Are: Incorporating Social Media Into Your Customer Service Strategy — an ebook to help your company replicate the one-to-one, in-store and over-the-phone experiences in the online world. You’ll learn:

  • How to make the case for social customer service
  • How to meet customers where they are online using social media listening
  • How to foster two-way dialogue with customers through social media engagement
  • How to truly transform your company’s customer service processes and methods

Go ahead and download it. It’s free!

Is your company adapting to the convergence of customer service and marketing?