Businesses Not Making the Pivot from Lip Service to Social Customer Service

This article discusses how social medial is now affecting the customer service practices of businesses. We all know by now that social media changes everything – marketing, sales and even customer support are viewed as areas of engagement, not simply departments.  As social media continues to grow rapidly, many people question how this will affect the overall customer experience.  It’s simple for a business to utilize the tools of social media – how customers respond to this is a bit more challenging.

Many top level executives agree that improvements in customer engagement through social media are necessary however very few have actually made the proper investments required to meet these aspirations. The times are changing and businesses need to take a serious look at moving from what the article calls “lip service” to updated “customer service”.  As more customers are becoming accustomed to using social media, their expectations of businesses making the same transition also increase.   This creates a huge opportunity for these businesses to meet these growing expectations of their customers by improving customer service experiences.  Through this, these companies can also strengthen their brand image, which according to Amazon’s Jeff Bezo “is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.

This is not to say that all businesses are showing reluctance to make this shift towards social customer service.  From 2011 to 2012, the number of businesses who made this transition has grown however many companies still need to align these resources.  As the article states, a social business is a way of business and a philosophy.  It requires a corporate culture of customer-centricity rooted in vision, employee empowerment, company-wide integration and supporting processes. 

During the early 1990s, some companies thought the internet buzz would not last.  It’s safe to say that these critics were clearly wrong.  Do you think that companies today would view social media as simply a fad that will die down or will they adapt themselves to these new opportunities?  Do you think that many more companies will begin to allocate funds specifically to the development of social media tools within their business model?  Do you think there are any reasons why a company would not want to expand in this area?


5 thoughts on “Businesses Not Making the Pivot from Lip Service to Social Customer Service

  1. Companies need to adapt and utilize the social media tools that their customers are using. These social media platforms require dedicated resources in order to be managed properly. Companies can’t just set up a Facebook or Twitter account without monitoring and responding to activity. Their online presence provides the opportunity for customers to voice both positive and negative feedback for other potential customers to see. Without addressing these comments in a timely manner, it can negatively impact the company in the long run.

  2. Companies constantly adapt their public relations and advertising campaigns according to their customers needs and desires in an attempt to gain greater market share. Social media campaigns should be no different, and if the public is gravitating towards greater customer service via social, these companies must lessen their “lip service” and invest in greater “customer service.” The internet is here to stay, so while sites like MySpace and Friendster may come and go, business plans need to adapt and money needs to be invested in the next “big thing.”

    Recently I utilized microsoft’s online customer service and it was incredibly efficient. I had a quick online chat with a representative, they emailed me a packing slip and I quickly sent my product in for repair.

    Great article.

  3. This article reminds me of our last case study. I think most companies take social media seriously and they fall into either “measure and adjust” or “naive optimist”quadrant.Only a few companies are in the “iterate for success” quadrant because social media is a relatively new tool, so companies need some time to figure out how to implement it effectively. But “iterate for success” is their ultimate goal and I believe one day they will achieve it. Companies which consider social media as a fad will be knocked out from the market for being shortsighted and refusing to embrace the latest format of customer relation management.

  4. II think social media is a trend that a lot of companies will adapt themselves to. If your rival use the social media for customer service but you do not, the customer may have a negative impression on your company. Social media is just on the beginning stage of development and there are still a lot of potential in this area. You never know what will happen to the social media in the future and it will be too late to get into it when it happened. So it is better to get involved in advanced. I think maybe not many companies are willing to spend too much money to develop social media tools for themselves because the return is hard to measure and not immediately acquired. Maybe use the already exist social media is an economical and practical choice for them. For some companies of which customers never use the social media, maybe they do not want to expand in this area. For example, company that sells clothes to elder people who hardly use the internet as well as the social media.

  5. I believe the only way for the continuation of companies is to adapt to customer needs and appreciations. I do not suspect many companies think social media is just a fad after the amount of popularity many sites have gained in just a matter of a few short years. Companies should already be in the process of adapting themselves to these new opportunities before their competitors do because before we know it the next social media site will be hitting the internet. The business model of a company should be everchanging to align with the interests of their consumers and with the changing technologies available.

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