Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Biz-Tech)

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Meet Your Team Putting together your social media team is something that you should do carefully and only after some planning. In this section, I show you how I believe a social media team should be set up. Get to know them well. One thing to remember is that, chances are, you have several social media gurus one might know Facebook, one might know blogging, and so on in your company already.

So be loud. Same thing here. Got a company newsletter? C h a p t e r 1 Putting Together a Social Media Team 13The Customer Service People No one realizes it, but the customer service people simply have to be the heart of your social media team. If your social media plan involves listening and reacting to the customer and it better! The customer service team is more than likely the most integral part of your com- pany. They know more about the customer in one day than most of your company knows in a month. Does one of your products have a specific problem?

Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World

They know before anyone. Is a node down in Portsmouth, New Hampshire?

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They know before your IT people do. Did an agent bump a customer off a plane in Casper, Wyoming without cause? Remember this: Tech people are tech people for a reason. They love to communicate with inanimate objects. The same goes for marketers. They love to communicate with ads, rate cards, and job bags. Ad guys? They love to com- municate with logos. Customer service people communicate with the customers. Being able to communicate with your customers should always, always, always be the first rule of your social media strategy. NoteBy the way, reaching out blindly to journalists via social media can havedisastrous results.

Sending aFacebook message to a reporter out of the blue will more than likely resultin your untimely death. Trust me. Imagine if you have five people listening and responding on Twitter. This can result in two different people getting two different answers to the same question.

So listen to the PR person, no doubt. The High-Level Exec Ah, the high-level exec.

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This person is always a bit hard to get a read on. On one hand, she knows that a good social media plan can catapult you into the strato- sphere. Let the exec help you clear the oodles of red tape by keeping her in the loop. Work with these guys to make sure the social media team is on point in terms of how the logo of the com- pany looks, that the social media backgrounds are similar to that of the company logo but with a little more flair , and that key messaging statements are the same.

Another good thing about marketing is that they usually have access to the best SWAG stuff we all get. He might not be from accounting. He might be from management, or work in the shipping department, or—even worse—be the son of the boss. They can help! If they happen to know a lot, by all means, recruit them into your team. This person can be helpful, if you allow it. If this person feels involved, you can utilize his skills and get rid of some of the annoying busy-work that hits every once in a while. For example, you could ask him to research various Facebook groups and so on—stuff that needs to be done but might keep slipping off your radar.

Some of your most loyal company evangel- ists might be the kid with the blog who never thought he could help—until he shows up with Wordpress theme after Wordpress theme.

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Remember these people. As we know, this is just a rough guideline. But this should be a good start. If nothing else, it gives you something to look for. This will usually occur via one of two three ways:—via Facebook, a blog, or Twitter. When someone tweets about her cable being out or some other cable issue, Comcast can immediately reach out through Twitter, usually cutting through hours of customer service calls and red tape.

The one-time-complainer can actually be very helpful. If you can fix her problem immediately, you not only turn an angry customer into a happy customer, but you can also notice any trends that might be brewing. Say, perhaps a section of your market has suddenly lost power or a timing circuit blew in one of your games. Having one of your customer service people monitoring the chatter, as it were, can be tremendously beneficial for you.

Think about that cousin we all have, the one who is always complaining about something. His job sucks. He hates his apartment.

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What happens after a while? You stop listening to him. The same thing happens with the constant complainers.

Customer Service New Rules for a Social Media World Que Biz Tech

In the end, no one takes them seriously. Of course, you should try to solve his problem. Maybe she happens to be an attorney. Whatever the case, the axe-to-grind complainer can cause you a world of hurt. If these complain- ers have the time, the inclination, and the computer, they can start Facebook groups, buy domain names, call the local media, whatever they feel like. The axe-to- grind complainer should be dealt with the same as you would the one-time com- plainer.

You can use these people. Engage them in conversation. Offer them a coupon or a thank-you discount. Ask if you can use them as a testimonial. Turn a fan into a raving fan. And enjoy it. This is where your mixed discipline team really comes into its own. PR folks are used to handling journalists who act like divas. With these skill sets combined, your team becomes more than a match for this type of audience member.

End result I always think of dealing with groups, whether customers, clients, or employees, as taking a morning subway commute. Find a way to not only deal with them, but to extract the best out of all of them—no matter how bad or great they are. You never.

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That makes for an awesomely solid foundation. The conference call was about how best to pitch the media and included reporters. It was a big one, too. Well, 2 p. EST came and the call started. This was huge, and I was psyched. I made brief introductions of each reporter and asked them to talk a bit about themselves.

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Then, about 5 minutes into the call, I started with my prepared questions. No big deal, the call kept going. But then, another blip. And then another. And then, within 20 seconds, we no longer heard the call. Instead, we heard nothing but beeps and blips. I was shell-shocked. What specifically pissed them off?

What got them so angry? Who was respon- sible for it? Understand why it happened and what caused it to happen.