The Perfect Storm in Customer Service

The Perfect Storm in Customer ServiceCustomers have been adopting Social Media for the last few years and I think it is fair to say that we Social Media has gone mainstream especially after last year. Companies too have gotten on the bandwagon of Social Media and become more social themselves and again I think it is fair to say that ones that have adopted social aren’t going to switch back to being “antisocial” tomorrow it’s a state of being now for them.

In my last post we discussed the 3 reasons why using Social Media pays to provide Support: Customers prefer a good customer experiences to low prices, helps aid in spreading WOM, makes customer less likely to defect and results in high profitability for the company. Last time I checked those are some pretty good outcomes especially since the cost of acquiring new customers is 5 to 20 times more expensive than retaining existing customers.

But the back side of those objectives is where the perfect storm lives!

If your company is not listening to the volume of conversations out on social media – you are effectively ignoring them. Last time I checked ignoring your customers on social media is a really bad strategy. Just ask Dell regarding their batteries that caught fire. The folks at Dell confided in me and said if they knew now and had the tools in place to listen to customer via social they could have spotted that trend before it hit the front page of the NY Times.

The risk of corporate reputations being ruined by poor customer service interactions has greatly increases as customer have gaining the ability to share their experiences and their opinions with each other via the social web. But in the economic situation that many companies find themselves in these days you typically see cost cutting exercises across all departments and mainly those dubbed as cost centers such as Marketing and Customer Service. But Marketing and Customer Service are the two that can be listening and responding to the customer conversations that you can’t afford to ignore. So by cutting these very departments makes you the ability to deliver on a great customer experience that makes your customers less likely to defect and results in high profitability – meaning you set yourself up for another round of cost cutting for the company.

Some trends in business may come and go but delivering a great customer experience will never go out of vogue. In this case a counter intuitive, counter cyclical investment in the customer experience will actually reverse customer defections and declining profitability.

Also if you are interested in checking out my new book Social Media and the Contact Center you can sign up for a free copy here. This is a special limited time offer for my readers as we wait for the book to be published at the end of April.

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