Don’t Let Social Derail Traditional Customer Support Goals

This is just a small thought – as I have far too many ideas that are too big for a tweet and not really epic blog material.

But looking at Michael Maoz’s recent blog post around customer service vs. social. He makes a great point: good service is a must-have goal of any company and you need to man the phones, handle email well and essentially do all the traditional customer service channels well if you want to be a great company.

All to often, both companies and consumers are finding themselves accepting social as a band-aid to bad service rather than an additional tool to extend the relationship. This is dangerous: simply clinging to a new trend could be damaging to your brand, and how your customers see you.

The “Comcast cares” initiative is a great one. While yes, the Twitter users may help some customers – the campaign’s popularity is a glaring indictment on how bad Comcast’s traditional customer service is, and how low in esteem consumers hold the brand.

Sometimes, cutting the corners can be an efficient means to gaining new capabilities. SaaS CRM is a good example of that development. But with customer service, we can not simply jump to social alone. There are far too many people and processes that need to occur via traditional mediums and with the help of real people, etc.

And ultimately, this could be said about all areas of CRM: sales people are not ONLY going to use social tools to ferret out leads and try to close deals. And marketers will still mail, email and perform webinars and ads in addition to Tweets and Facebook campaigns.

5 thoughts on “Don’t Let Social Derail Traditional Customer Support Goals

  1. Excellent observation. The discipline of servicing a customer and treating feedback as a two-way dialog must be wired into an organization first. We must address the root problems of communication and data collecting before we slap on a social layer. Social media is just another business function. We must improve upon what is existing and not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    Lauren Vargas
    Sr. Community Manager at Radian6

  2. I sort of feel that social works better for some companies than it does for others. Firstly you need to have a customer base that actually use social media sites. Many of our customers are manufacturers, and do not spend a lot of time on facebook twitter and so on.

    I think you are essentially right – customer support goals have to come first, and if social media is not applicable in achieving this it becomes another ‘buzztool’ that companies think they should be using because everyone is talking about it.

    MARCOMS specialist at ProspectSoft

  3. Lauren and Rob,

    Thanks for the great comments – yeah, you really need to walk before you run (to social at least!).



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