Thought-provoking article in MediaPost today on how companies plan to use Twitter and Facebook for customer service in the coming year.
According to a Gartner, Inc. report referenced in the story, roughly one in three large companies will begin using their online communities to improve customer service in the coming year (that’s up from a mere five percent in 2010).
Right now, most companies manage their social media presence through their marketing departments, which works pretty well for proactive communication, but few companies have found a way to effectively respond to customer complaints and constructive criticism using social media (after all, marketing is about making promises, not keeping them)
“[Gartner] identified several hurdles slowing the shift to customer care through social sites. Despite the hype surrounding social media as a customer service tool, there is a lack of back-end technology in place to support customer service operations through online social channels. ‘There are a myriad of technology and process issues that arise when you go from ad hoc support to scalable and structured support,’ said Drew Kraus, research vice president at Gartner.
In recent years, we’ve all been working hard to integrate sales and marketing to ensure that the promise (marketing) is living up to the customer’s expectations and serving her needs (sales).
We now need to incorporate customer service into the mix. I think that’s what Philip Kotler et al. are talking about in their book Marketing 3.0. Randall Ringer has a nice viewpoint that you can read HERE.