Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Rockstars of Social CRM event in Boston at the Renaissance Marriott, hosted by Chris Brogan and Radian6 (#soccrm for those of you who are interested).
Now I am the first to admit that I am a social media newbie, but when it comes to CRM I have a lot of experience from back when “twitter” was something schoolgirls did when you made an off-color remark. If you read my post last week, you will see that I was already on a CRM train of thought – and the event last night opened my eyes to some very interesting new ways that social media – and especially Twitter – can help with both offensive marketing and defensive (customer relationship) marketing, including customer service.
In particular, I was interested in what Frank Eliason, Director of Digital Care for Comcast had to say about how they are using Twitter to enhance customer service. He is on twitter as @ComcastCares. He actually reads and responds to tweets but that is kind of old news. Frank takes it a step further. For example, when Fox dropped its feed during a football game awhile back, Frank went straight to Twitter, which was of course lit up with tweets about how Comcast had dropped the game. Frank, having no idea if the problem was with Comcast or not, used Twitter to search for any tweet that had to do with the game blacking out, and discovered that dish users and other cable providers’ customers were having the same problem.
He was able to instantly 1) Realize that the problem was with Fox and not Comcast, 2) let the call center know that the problem was with Fox and not Comcast, 3) Let the field engineers know that the problem was not with Comcast, so they could stop troubleshooting, and 4) Get on Twitter and let his followers know that the problem was with Fox and not Comcast. His followers retweeted and a major customer service fiasco was averted. Pretty cool right?
Now, how is this relevant to B2B?
Monitor the airwaves
There have long been clipping services that will find and aggregate any news mention (TV or print) of your company and send it to you on DVD. www.newsclipsetc.com is one company I am familiar with. You can also set Google to alert you of any mention of your company on the web. For proactive PR and customer service reasons, I hope you are already doing this.
Using Twitter (and especially tweetdeck) makes it way too easy to monitor what is going on with your customers so you can head problems off at the pass. You should always have a search window open with your company name as the search term. Then when someone mentions your product – either in a positive or negative light – you can respond to them directly, with a “thank you” or an offer to help. Can you imagine a better way to surprise and delight your customers – not to mention all their followers who can see what is going on? And if something goes spectacularly wrong, like it did for Frank that day, you can be on top of it long before you would have heard about it through regular channels.
Have you had any experiences using Twitter or other Social Media for improved customer service or to enhance customer relationships? Please share them in the comment section below.