*** NOTE: Due to vacation schedules, this blog will be back again on August 17th. ***
The blog post below from the Harvard Business Review on how organizations can make more effective use of social media for customer service highlights the misplaced fears that companies have of engaging with their customers using social media. These fears were brought into comic relief by several Chief & Chuck cartoons, including "Spooked by the ghost of a customer," "Hiding behind your wall" and "Embracing anti-social customer service."
While it is true that company brands can take a beating on social channels, particularly when organizations botch their responses, there are many advantages to be leveraged by integrating social media into your service and support efforts. Social media can help you respond faster and enroll your customers in providing information on how service can be improved. Proactive service reminders via social media can help keep your customers on track and prevent problems from occurring in the first place. And of course, having all of the exchange and dialogue play out in public via social channels is a great way for your prospects to see how responsive you are.
On a related note, I recently had a remarkable customer service experience with, of all places, the U.S. Treasury. I suddenly remembered that I had invested in I-Bonds years earlier and now I wanted to know what they were worth. I had lost the login information and my e-mail on the account was no longer valid so I couldn’t receive updates. The only option was to submit an electronic form requesting help, which I did with very low expectations. I had visions of a 100,000+ person bureaucracy dealing with thousands of complaints. Lo and behold, the very next day a real live person actually called me to follow up and quickly solved my problem.
I’ve since learned that the U.S. Treasury is an active Twitter user (USTreasury), and while a lot of their recent tweets are touting Dodd-Frank on its second-year anniversary, they are also tweeting about suggestions for new mobile apps! So I made it a point to praise the US Treasury’s response on both Twitter and their Facebook page. Oh, and by the way, the I-Bonds have appreciated 40% since 2003 – a very nice rate of return if you consider the alternative places you can safely store cash. Well done, U.S. Government!
Here’s what was in the IT consumerization news in the last two weeks:
July 25: Social media could add $1.3 trillion to the economy by Quentin Hardy via the NYTimes
A new McKinsey study says improved communications and collaboration from social media in four major business sectors could add $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value to the economy.
July 25: Four reasons why IT matters more than ever by Jonathan Hassel via CIO
IT departments are vital to any business, able to create value and sort the wheat from the chaff as stakeholders eye new investments or money-saving ideas.
July 25: E-mail in security hotseat with rise of cloud, BYOD by Taylor Armerding via Network World
There is a growing set of complex security challenges surrounding the secure transfer of sensitive data via email with the rise of BYOD and the cloud.
July 23: Why you need a social media will by Jason Alderman via HuffPost
This article provides a great overview of the importance of ensuring your wishes are followed after your demise, not something we typically think about.
July 23: Should all social media managers be under 25? by Kelly Clay via Forbes
The debate continues on whether successfully using social media to sell to a specific demographic requires the social media manager also represent that demographic.
July 22: Business transformation and the role of strategic CIO leadership by Michael Cobbin
As the evolving CIO role becomes more strategic, with innovation and transformation taking center stage, there is a new generation of technology executives at the helm.
July 20: Use social media to partner with customers and improve service by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss via HBR Blog Network
Social media improves service by making the market for peer-to-peer opinion more efficient. This is good news for good service and bad news for bad service.
July 20: Good big data, bad big data by Barb Darrow via Gigaom
New Pew Research report outlines two scenarios on how Big Data will affect us all, either positively or negatively – the optimists win by a small margin.
July 20: New research shows the truth about BYOD by David Tom via Midsize Insider
Research by Dimension Data shows nearly 60% of corporations assume complete control over their employees' tablets and smartphones.
July 19: Why big is bad when it comes to data by Patrick Houston via InformationWeek
“Big” doesn’t work as a modifier because it falls far short of not only describing the phenomenon, but also big data’s applications, opportunities and ramifications for IT and the business.
July 19: Mobile apps will drive the future of the Internet by Chris Horton via SocialMediaToday
This article covers an interesting new report from Juniper Research.
July 18: BYOD is less common than it seems, and rarely saves money by Ryan Faas via Cult of MAC
This infographic provides some findings from a recent research study by Xigo.
July 17: The merging of desktop virtualization and the consumerization of IT by Brian Madden
Madden calls this the new "end user computing." Desktop virtualization is about delivering all types of applications, data, and working environments, and consumerization is one of the pressures that affect how we deliver that environment.
July 17: IT consumerization, app stores sway software development efforts by Stephanie Mann via TechTarget
Mobile devices and social media applications are affecting application development departments by ushering in new types of middleware and open APIs.
July 16: Top 10 categories for big data sources and mining technologies by Jeff Morris via ZDNet
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Success lies in recognizing the different types of Big Data sources, using the proper mining technologies to find the treasure within each type, and then integrating and presenting those new insights appropriately according to your unique goals.