While at the Forrester IT Forum this past spring, I was invited by Tony and Alfred to visit Zappos.com. I was intrigued about what I had heard about this company. Could it be actually true that even the receptionist understood what customer lifetime value (CLTV) meant?
Zappos.com was known for their extreme customer service... but was the whole culture really like that? And if so, how did that work? I had enjoyed the tweets I'd seen of the nearly 400 Zappos.com employees on twitter- they seemed authentic, genuine... Zappos had built its business through developing relationships, creating personal, emotional connections and delivering high touch (WOW) customer service.
I reached out to Tony via Twitter and let him know I would be in Las Vegas.
I've had a number of interesting debates on who should lead the customer social media interaction in the last few weeks. In part, this question comes up because a great deal of social media was initiated in the Marketing department via listening or brand sentiment programs. What we do know is that all departments benefit- marketing, sales, service, product dev, engineering from the voice of the customer information that results from deploying social media.
And while I know that not everyone will agree, after studying all the various departments that could lead social media, I'm still convinced customer service should lead the customer social media interaction.
If you follow me on Twitter (@drnatalie) you have seen the on going conversation around whether Social CRM and Customer Service actually exists or if it is a fantasy.
Paul Greenberg has put his final stake in the ground on defining what Social CRM means- You can read more on the post that drove a huge discussion.The debate centers around alot of things - whether CRM is a strategy, a process, a technology. At the end of the day, most agree that its an all inclusive way of building relationships with your customers. Bill Band, Vice President and Principle Analyst at Forrester, has written about Social CRM in his ever popular doc CRM 2.0: Fantasy or Reality?
There's a lot of buzz right now surrounding social media, Twitter, Web 2.0 — and whether there is any business value. My gut said there was... but having a Ph. D. in engineering, I knew that hypothesis needed to stand-up to testing. I began talking to customers, the brave souls who have ventured down the social media path, about what they were observing. None had calculated an ROI, but they could share with me their observations — their benefits, their costs and the risks. I looked for trends.