An interesting free eBook by Brian Solis of PR 2.0 titled ‘Customer Service, The Art of Listening and Engagement through Social Media is available for download.

Engaging with and empowering your customers as an extension of your marketing efforts isn’t new. However, in the era of social media, there are new tools and philosophies to more effectively listen and engage with customers and cultivate a more significant community, enhance your brand, build relationships, and hopefully create evangelists along the way.

Here are a couple of excerpts

‘Over the next year, customer service will fuse with marketing to become a holistic inbound, outbound campaign of listening to and engaging with customers that will rewrite the rules of the game. And, most importantly, the lessons learned in the field will be fed into the marketing department to create and run more intelligent, experienced, and real world initiatives across all forms of marketing, PR, sales, and advertising.’

‘Participation is no longer an option as Social Media isn’t a spectator sport.’

‘Whether you believe it or not, these conversations are taking place with or without you, so ignoring them only eliminates you from the conversation and also removes your company from the radar screens of your customers.’

‘…customer service is the new marketing…’

‘Services such as Satisfaction, ThisNext, and even DIY communities such as Ning, Yahoo and Google Groups, and Facebook are playing host to conversations between customers regarding products and services, and while they don’t invite marketing, they do seek helpful information, advice, and direction.’

‘….part of the concern companies have about engaging their customers in conversation online is that they have not already been engaging in ANY conversations with customers. Rather, marketing and PR have often created one-way communication vehicles (advertisements, press releases, articles/white papers).’

Several company case studies are reviewed in the book:

1. FreshBooks

2. AOL

3. ACDSee

To download the eBook, click here.

Brian Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning New Media marketing and branding agency in Silicon Valley. Solis is globally recognized for his views and insights on the convergence of PR, Traditional Media and Social Media. Considered one of the original thought leaders who paved the way for Social Media and PR 2.0, Solis is co-founder of the Social Media Club and is an original member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup.

Read more about Brian Solis at http://www.briansolis.com/about/

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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