The surest sign that a company has a bright future is when its employees are focused on the customer. If the various Twitter customer service anecdotes (Comcast, Jetblue, etc) have done anything, it is to expose gaping holes in the lifeless void that most customer service operations force customers to navigate.
In the WSJ, I found Comcast’s Twitter Guru Speaks.
But unlike other marketers using the service, Mr. Eliason said he’s unconcerned with how many followers he has. “When people follow me they’ll see me say ‘Can I help you?’ 150 times in a row,” he said. “I wouldn’t follow me either.”
Amen to that- he's not trying to build a community of influencers, he's trying to fix a broken customer support system. There aren't that many communities with multiple cable companies- people know Comcast is the local monopolist. So this is not about finding people who don't know about Comcast and convincing them to buy, this is about loving your customers...forever.
What is sad is how recent this phenomenon is. Airlines, telecom companies, cable companies, all use enormous call center operations to deal with the inflow of customer contacts. And they usually do it very, very badly.
The fact that Social Media approaches find so much low-hanging fruit is more a testament to how bad the other systems are at dealing with customers. Should we be rewarding Comcast for NOT screwing up this time?
I'm digging into the CRM Magazine's June 2009 issue entitled, Who Owns the Social Customer and will be posting a few thoughts about how CRM is both an integrated customer relationship function and a marketing function, but also a recognition that the world's largest firms MUST change the way they do business.