Social Media Customer Service Management – #Pubcon South 2011

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This is a live blog post so some things may be inaccurate and there will be typos.  Just a heads up.

social media presentation
social media presentation

Kat Mandelstein.  Adam Prohel.  Aaron Strout.  Brad Pierce.  Joe Laratro.

Social Media Customer Service, Management, and Measurement.

Social media today is publicized customer service.

Kat Mandelstein.

Social Business.

  • How Social is transforming all areas of your business.
  • Characteristics of a Social Business.
  • A look at the Business Impact of Social Adoption @ IBM

The world is changing and becoming more…

  • Instrumented – smartphone shipment will outpage PCs by 2012 – Gartner
  • Interconnected – Social networking accounts for 22% of all online time
  • Intelligent – The social data analytics opportunity wull grow to 1 Zettabyte by 2011 – Gartner 1 billion terabytes!

The business world is changing.

of nearly 1200 executives surveyed by McKinsey

  • 74% integrating Social with customer interaction
  • 75% integrating social into employee day to day activities

Social enables your business processes.

It has taken us from push marketing to being engaged with our customers.  It is helping us crowd source our new ideas and improvements to our products and lines.  It is helping optimize the workforce for recruiting in HR as well.

What are the characteristics of a Social Business.

  • Engaging – connecting with people whether they are employees or customers as networks to drive innovation.
  • Transparency – removing unnecessary boundaries and corporate hierarchies so that you can get more people to participate without the boundaries.
  • Nimble – Leveraging these networks to speed up business, gain real time insight and make quicker and better decisions.

Both public and internal communities, trust is key.

  • 5% Engaged authors. Always comment on others’ posts or author their own.
  • 75% Casual participants –  occasionally comment on posts or their own comment.
  • 20% Silent Observers – do not ignore them, engage them and get them to listen.  They read but don’t comment.  Try to engage them.  These are normally the people who can tip the conversation and make decisions.  Sometimes they are the highest up.

Social Business Goals.

  1. Drive Client Loyalty.
  2. Reach new customers.
  3. Provide proactive support.
  4. Crowdsource Innovation.
  5. Develop and retain top talent.
  6. Recruiting talent.

Impact of Social Software Adoption at IBM.  (These numbers are for the people inside the internal social network.)

  • Improved customer satisfaction 42%
  • Increased sales 60%
  • Increased sense of belonging 65%
  • Improved personal reputation 65%
  • Increased productivity 74%
  • Reused assets 77%
  • Shared knowledge with others 84%

Your employees and partners become the voice of IBM.

People are already talking about your company, are you listening?  Who is responding?

develop guidelines: your employees need clear boundaries so they can deel secure.

Your employees are your brand – encourage them to create external profiles (use Linked In), provide education on managing the brand and how to work with it.

Engage through experience.

What is an exceptional web experience?

It is creating a dynamic experience using videos, surveys, interactions.  Use things that are engaging and can turn someone into a “passionate evangelist” for your company by educating them and interacting with them on your site.

Aggregation of Social Content.

  • Use social feed widgets embedded on your Web pages.
  • Aggregate Content into a Landing Page or Community
  • Interact with social feeds interactive touchscreens.

We used giant screens for our widgets to allow conference attendees at one of our shows that let them interact.  they could grab comments and ideas and drag them to their own emails, etc… and everything was live on the screens for all attendees to see.

The most important thing with social media is that if you’re going to do it, measure it.  If you don’t measure social media, don’t do it.

Adam Proehl.

Social Business Best Practices.

What it isn’t.  Tweeting does not make your business social.  If customers check in at your location on GoWalla or FourSquare is not social business.

Social business is listening, measuring, interacting and ……….

Negative comments.

  • 68% of those who posted negative reviews got responses from retails and then
  • 33% reposted a positive one and
  • 34% erased their original negative comment.

Free Tool.

Geo tweets – – measures geo tweets.  Great for delivery services, utlities, franchises, food service chains, etc…  Lets you see how your stores are doing with happy or pissed customers.


Crowdsource Market research.  It shows you what your customers want by crowdsourcing, however it also shows your competitors what you may be doing next and what your customers want.  It can also show what you are doing wrong so they can attack your weaknesses.

Uservoice.  Between $5 and $35 per month.

Allows you to listen and interact with your customers.

Crashplan.  This is one of his clients so it is a pitch.  Offers twitter customer service by responding back to positive tweets and thanks everyone who leaves a nice comment.  They also do prospecting for you and get people to give you a try.  What they do is monitor and listen to conversations and respond back to people talking about you.  They use Hootsuite to monitor.

Apple is not engaging anyone!  they only follow 5 people but have over 777K followers.  Only 2K+ tweets.

Embrace reviews.

  • Highly measureable. – You know how people like your products with 2 stars vs. 5 stars.
  • Great interaction opportunity
  • SEO benefits.  – The difference is that with  facebook like you are not engaging by just listing the button.  With this you are engaging.  Clearing up from the above comment on Facebook like not being social business since it counts to the Google and Bing algorithms.


heardable – gives you insight into what people are saying.  listening in tool. – Helps pull together whose actually talking.

Backtype: shows you how many times your url gets tweeted.

Keotag – searches multiple engines for you.

Aaron Strout.

Location Based Marketing.

What is location based marketing – writing location based marketing for dummies.

Location based marketing is the art of engaging your customers and prospects using services ife foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp, Gowalla and Whrrl to drive loyalty, word of mouth marketing and referrals.

The golden rules of LBM.

  1. Stake your claim to places pages in every system.  Do not be afraid to try more than one.   You want to own your names and urls, mainly vanity ones so people don’t take them from you.
  2. Connect with mayors, ambassadors, leaders, duchesses, chiefs, etc….  connecting helps to get some of your best customers to keep interacting with you and makes them feel special.
  3. Test, learn and optimize – especially while costs are low with: risk low and return potential high.  Measure both qualitative and quantitatively.
  4. Follow the Ben & Jerry’s Rule.  Check into Ben & Jerry’s and you get 3 scoops for a certain discount price.
  5. Be creative and build your own thing using an API.

Who are the location based players?

Yelp, Where, scvngr, whrrl, Gowalla, Foursquare.

Brad Pierce.

How we handle customer service at REW with a worldwide presence.

Anyone in this room can sell what we sell, but where we do it different is by providing a great customer service, and that is where social media comes in.

  • Transition to Social media Customer Service.
  • Where do we start?  Don’t wait for it to happen.  create your strategy.
  • Behind the times – don’t fall behind the times, your customers are out there now.
  • Quit waiting for an invitation – self explanatory.

Building a following.

  • B2B is much less “sexy” than B2C.  (I 100% disagree with this.  B2B can be seriously sexy.  This will be a post next week or sometime next month).
  • Plaster your social media info everywhere.
  • FREE! Discounts, Contests, Giveaways.
  • Build a positive customer base quickly before any complainers show up.  If we were going to be successful, we have to build a happy customer base before we try to have everyone else find us.  (I think this is the best point so far in his speech!  Great info!)

Timing is everything with complaints.

  • Passive monitoring vs. dedicated job function.  Don’t be passive, be prepared.
  • Social media is a bank account for your reputation. You need to devote resources to having someone to respond to complaints and deal with customers both negative and positive.  You need to have a dedicated person there to do it.  (Side not, not everyone can afford this so there are tools for you to use this).
  • Tracked, monitor and report.

Comment Engagement

  • Uniform priority regardless of positive or negative comments.  regardless whether good or bad, you need to respond with urgency to both.
  • Empower your staff. – Give your social media person the authority to make decisions and respond without red tape.  This can be scary.
  • Engage your customer. – If negative make sure they can help to fix issues.  Let your dedicated person work on getting replacements for broken items, faster shipping if packages are being delayed, etc…
  • 1-800-no-customer-service
  • Use reference code for calls.  Give people a tracking code when you respond and pass the issue with a detailed message to customer service so they know how to fix the problem.  When its fixed go back to the social media channel where you found the issue and make a comment thanking them again and letting them and everyone else know that the issue is resolved.  It shows you are proactive and actually exist.  (Great advice).
  • Complete the message chain showing a resolution and closing the loop.

You basically want to make it so that comments, questions and reviews don’t look like they fall into a black hole.


  • First Point – Comment is posted.
  • Second Point – we become aware of the comment being posted.
  • Third Point – comment is assigned to a staff member.
  • Fourth Point – staff member responds to the customer

You need to recognize and fix weak points quickly!

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