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Personalize Your Brand

January 25, 2013

3 foundational elements I believe brands should use when responding to questions/inquiries:

1. Personal – allow whomever is responding to customers to personalize their responses. Don’t sound like a robot, nobody likes that, but also stay true to the “voice” of your brand, whatever that may be.

2. Professional – remain professional in your responses to customers. Don’t lose site that you are representing a brand and in some cases that means that you don’t use internet language (LOL, OMG, UR, 2, etc.), but again, don’t sound like a robot, be human.

3. Factual – answer the customers question. Don’t just send them to a web page and have them go get the answer, actually provide the answer to the question they asked. If you have the ability to provide additional information by linking them to self service sites, then do so. But don’t make that your answer alone.

As someone who uses Social Media for Customer Service I find that the brands that do the above stand out and show they care. It shows they want to help and most of all they get my business.

These of course are what I believe, what do you think, would love to know?


Where is the Customer Service?

January 6, 2013

We all have heard or know that Customer Service is the key to keeping customers and gaining new ones. We have also all heard or know that Customer Service via Social Media is bursting at the seams with new companies (large and small) joining the mix everyday.

What shocks me is how little the main platforms pay attention to this. I have yet to see any of the major platforms (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.) actually truly focus on how to use their platform for Customer Service. Oh, they love the fact that their platforms are used for Marketing and that large corporations are willing to pay them large amounts of money, but what I feel they are missing out on is the Customer Service angle. I have written about this in the past, but it continues to surprise (and to some extent irk me) that new platforms and new tools that are supposed to help make using said platforms easier, forget or do not focus/highlight Customer Service usage.

I am not sure what the answer is nor when the large platforms will finally take notice and see it as an opportunity to actually make money by charging customers to train them on the best way to use their tool and maybe even provide analytics only they could provide. I mean, they all know their tools are being used this way but none of them seem to actually want to focus on that opportunity. 

Oh well, maybe someday, but for now Customer Service will continue to fight an uphill battle for relevance with the main Social platforms and do the lion share of the usage/engagement/responsiveness on those Social platforms.

What do you think?

Easy Peasy

December 21, 2012

So, I got my first Nike Fuel Band in March at SXSW. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a “pop-up” store they had set-up and found out they were selling them. So I waited in line and purchased one. I LOVED it! It was so cool and so easy to use and really helped to keep me motivated to not just sit there and be lazy. I wore it ALL the time, gym, home, work, yard work, etc. 

Then one day it stopped working, the button would no longer press and i was sad 😦 . Well, since I work in CS in the Social space I looked up their support handle ( @NikeSeattle ) and asked for help. They immediately responded and moved the convo to DM, which I expected. Then they said, come on by and we will swap it out for you, that simple. Super easy interaction and swap out experience.

Well, recently that one had the sam problem, so I DM’d @NikeSeattle straight away and once again an immediate response. Come on in and we can swap it out, so the next day I did just that. They even helped set the new one up without haste. I even got to pick out one of the new colors (I picked Ice).

I really wish other companies made the experience so easy when the hardware fails. They were so easy to do business with and really great and friendly in person.

Now, I’m sure some of you are saying to yourself “Nike is a huge company, that is the least they should do”, and I would agree with you. But you would also be surprised at how rare that is now a days.


I tip my hat to you Nike for continuing to set the bar high in your Customer Service channels.



October 20, 2012

Well, it was only a matter of time before I came up with an acronym to describe how I see Customer Service in the Social Media world. Everyone has to have their own take on how they see the universe they operate in, so I came up with my own.


So, here it is:

L is for Listen: listen to what your customers are saying, listen to what they are not saying as well. Just listening for mention of your brand or social “handle” is not inclusive enough. You need to broaden the satellite to listen for key words or phrases that are used to describe your business.

E is for Engage: As Brian Solis has said. “Engage or Die”, I truly believe this. If it were up to me I would engage in just near 100% of the posts we pull in. I know the criticism can be daunting and i may seem like that’s all there ever is, but just wait, you will find the golden nuggets (oh and by the way, when you have that much negativity that means there is a bigger problem that needs to be solved).

A is for Adjust: after you have “Listened” and “Engaged” it is time to learn from what you have heard and done and adjust your team, your business your self to better optimize what you are doing, seeing and hearing.

D is for Deliver: do what you say you are going to do, follow-thru, “Deliver” on your promise and your customers will Love you for it. Pay Attention just a little bit more, pay attention to the details and you will be amazed at what can happen.

Let me know what you think.

My Coffee House – Paying Attention to the Customer

October 16, 2012

Whenever I work from home I make a trip to the local coffee house. I try to work from home as much as I can, although I still make it into the office pretty regularly (not the point of this story though, sorry).

Every time I go into my favorite coffee house, I am transported to a place where customer service is the main goal, the entire interaction is all about me and my family and how things are going. Every time I go in there, no matter what time of day, everyone who works there has the biggest smile (which works wonders by the way) and just seems genuinely happy to be there. I wish more companies did this, you can hear a smile in someones voice over the phone or even in their typing online. 

I truly appreciate how I am treated, how they remember the little things about my order (yes I do in fact like the end piece of the banana bread), how I like whip cream but my son does now, odd I know, he’ll learn). I always leave there with a bounce in my step and a smile on my face and ready to take on the day.


Thank’s Van Gogh Coffee House, I appreciate the effort, the attention to detail and everything you do!

If you are ever in Seattle, please stop by and try it out for yourself ( )


October 9, 2012

I have read several different articles in regard to what customers expect when they post a question/comment/thought on social platforms. Some want almost instantaneous responses, others (and a pretty decent %) want a response within an hour. Being on the end where we try to meet those expectations it is hard to meet what the customer expects and what we can do. I struggle everyday to try and justify that the time frames we have created (turn-around times if you will) are attainable (even when we can’t meet them). I know deep down what we have set as “goals” is the right thing for the business but ultimately the customer.

See, I remember what it’s like to be a customer, to have some mental note of how long it should take for someone to respond to a reasonable (no abusive or curse riddled post) to their Twitter page or Facebook Wall/Timeline.

Can we meet what customers expect, I truly believe, YES. Can we do it right now, unfortunately no. There needs to be the same focus on CS in Social Media as there is for brick & mortar call centers and until there is, hitting these targets will continue to be a “goal” and not something we actually achieve on a daily basis.

Expectations are good, but it sure helps if you have support from the top down.


October 5, 2012

I see more and more comments from people who are just flat-out negative and I don’t get it. I am sure you have a valid complaint against whatever company/entity you are upset with, but when you start a post/comment out with “F*ck XXXX” what good does that do you? I mean honestly, do you expect the company/entity to respond back with a constructive post that will temper your resentment or negativity about them? I get we all get upset, trust me I get it. But coming in guns a blazin’ doesn’t help anyone in this situation.


Why has sitting behind a computer give all of us a “license to say anything”? When did that change? When did we throw civility and basic manners out the window? I was taught better than that and from time to time I have flown off the handle, but as I see more and more negativity I have really tried to pay attention to what I am writing/posting so that in the event a company/entity picks it up, they can actually figure out what my issue is and try to help me.

Please everyone, enough with the nasty comments, the downright horrible attitudes and personal attacks. I understand your issue is unique to you and it is beyond irritating, but please try to think for a split second if what you are about to click “send” on is going to articulate your issue so that when someone does get it, they can act on it and try to help.

We truly do want to help…trust me…