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Customer service becomes more social

With the advent of social media — blogs, Twitter, Facebook — one customer’s experience can be broadcast quickly to many other potential customers. Recently, we wrote about a company who is using social media to their advantage: Zappos.

On Wednesday, USA Today published a story entitled “Social Media Like Twitter Change Customer Service.” The article quotes Pete Bradshaw, a Nielsen executive:

Social media is not a panacea,” says Blackshaw. “It is a catalyst for fresh thinking on how companies can improve customer service in the digital age.”

The bottom line is that even though customer service is a one-on-one interaction, a bad (or for that matter, a good) interaction can go out to many people, impacting the perception of the company.

For instance, a colleague of ours here recently tried to buy some furniture at an office supply store. The store was out of stock and did not offer to find the furniture at another store, or issue a raincheck. The problem was compounded by bad information and general lack of initiative among the employees. The colleague wrote about the situation on Twitter. The problem then becomes larger for the store.

What do you think? Is social media a good watchdog for customer service?



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