How to Deal with Customer Angst in Social Media Channels

In the previous blog, I discuss the new book and site, Business Model Generation. One fundamental question that the book asks repeatedly is this: How do our Customer Segments want to be reached?

This is a particularly important question to social media marketers because customers are increasingly turning to social media channels for customer support as much as for interaction. On a daily basis we witness our clients’ customers reaching out to Facebook, Twitter and blog comment areas to offer new product ideas, propose business partnerships, and yes, air grievances when traditional customer support channels aren’t responsive enough.

Heads should explode when customers post things in social media logos Facebook like “I see you here every day but you still haven’t fixed my software,” yet these posts go unattended for hours, days and weeks. I think this happens for two primary reasons:

-There’s nobody home. Companies buy into creating a presence on social channels, but still don’t fully understand how much of the communities they build shape their public image.

-There’s somebody home, but they don’t feel that dealing with customers within their job description. Marketers don’t view customer service as core to their job, and they don’t bother contacting someone in the company who is.

What we need to realize is that customers view social channels as fully integrated entities – a direct line to the company’s major decision makers. To some, this may be just a cute delusion. But it shouldn’t be. It should be a wake-up call that companies need to spend less time in traditional channels and look at social as more than just another place to issue press releases.

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