Who"s davidlian?

My photo
davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Who's job is it to serve the customer anyway?

An astute colleague asked me recently: "How long before social media becomes customer service? Will we have to keep dealing with customer queries all day?" She had a point.

Once you get to the nitty gritty of it, social media work looks very much like a customer service job. Once someone tweets you: "Hey, my XXX just crashed on me! Help!" If you're the social media person representing the company, you'd better bet you'll need to respond with a "Sure, let us help you with this. Could you provide this information..."

And yet, would you entrust a regular customer service person to handle your social media aliases?

There's much to be said about the blurring lines between communications, marketing and customer service. In a perfect world, they shouldn't be separate entities. Unfortunately, that's not the way most companies are organised.

So today's social media practitioner finds him/herself on the firing line of customer service. Of course, there are ways to manage the flow of enquiries and information. Setting up a separate alias to handle customer service, and having that managed by the customer service folks is one. But customers still see whatever presence you have online as an official channel of communication with your brand.

And that means, your messages and tone need to be consistent.

And that the customer comes first.

And that it's not a good idea to piss of the customer by not responding, or responding in a generally unhelpful manner.

Unfortunately for us working on Social Media, this means we will HAVE to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. At least every once in a while.

No comments: