Archive for July, 2011

Why should you care about social media influencers? Influential social media users can spread bad press about your product, service or organization at frightening speeds using social media. The more influential they are, the wider the reach they have. And with the presence of mobile phones, they need not wait until they get in front of a home computer to get the word out. If there is a complaint about a product or service or a crisis, these influencers can be a help or a real headache. Learn how to find them and some tips on how to work with them.

Have you ever had the problem that management and employees who are not on the front line, don’t focus on how they personally impact customer satisfaction? This is a common problem in large organizations. In my years at IBM, it was one of the key challenges. Often decisions made in departments removed from day to day interaction with customers set policies, designed systems or created products, services or promises that were not customer friendly or could not be implemented in the real world. Here are some tips to get buy in and focus internally.

One of the things I always ask myself when our service organization wants to say that the customer is wrong, is …what made the customer think this way? Did our sales force sell it wrong? Is there something wrong on our website or our packaging? Read about a car manufacturer that misled customers but could weasel out of it legally through a disclaimer on the web. A few tips are given on how to handle situations where you have to say ‘no’ to a customer.

Case Study: Amex loses a customer

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do, one of my favorite books and Dell Hell, has posted a story called An Amex Member no more about his recent experience with his American Express credit card and why he is no longer is a member. This is a classic case of misalignment between management and the service organization. This is a classic case of an organization that forgot what made it great and why customers were attracted to it.

Google+ is a new social media initiative started by Google and somewhat in competition with Facebook. While Google+ isn’t rolled out everywhere, due to its popularity, there are some studies of the new features assessments of how they could be used or impact Customer Service. Specific features such as Circles, Hangouts, Instant upload, and Huddle, are explained. Customer Service organizations will need to learn about the new features and how they might impact them or be used productively.

One of the key trends in the free world today is that corporations and people can not longer hide what they say or do. Here’s an example where parents have had to turn their own children into the police for crimes due to social media pressure. This affects businesses, governments and not for profit organizations as well. See 4 tips on how to handle mistakes.

In the Software business at IBM, some customers would expect Support to handle every issue they had, especially when they were paying for a support contract. Sometimes, the customer’s support request went beyond normal ‘Defect’ or ‘How To’ support. Customers wanted the product to have features that were not available in the product or needed training to use the product effectively.

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