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Posted by Darika Ahrens on March 6, 2012
Here is a picture of a cute cat doing something Internet related!
(Click image to see larger version)
That got your attention didn't it? Something else which gets a lot of attention is when customers share stories of exceptional customer service online (if those examples include cats that's just a bonus). This fantastic forum thread taken from UK ISP Be Broadband is currently doing the rounds. In it the customer complains his wireless network is frequently disrupted by his cat's fascination with the router. After some playful banter that issues with feline "agressors" are a known problem the customer was supplied with a tactical decoy router. Subsequent images of the clearly fooled cat were posted by the customer showing success.
Wow. If you were currently feeling disatisfied with your ISP what would your brand perception of Be Broadband be right about now?
In this age of marketing it's well known that customers make purchasing decisions based on peer influence and that social technologies are being used to share brand stories daily — often customer experience driven. Customer service is an essential factor in social marketing because Conversationalists and Critics are using social technologies to talk both positively and negatively about their brand interactions, something that previously stayed between the customer and the person on the other end of the line in the call center.
If you're getting customer service wrong, or it's simply nonexistent, then it doesn't matter what you're marketing on your Facebook page or Twitter feed; frustrated customers will start voicing their concerns and a negative brand impression will pervade. Social marketing cannot operate in isolation of what the customer service team is doing.
The organizational structure isn't going to change overnight and if social is still new to your business it's unlikely you're going to know how you want the two areas to work together yet, but here's what you should be doing as a minimum:
We live in an age where companies must become customer obsessed to survive. This means breaking down silos (particularly in the digital space) and sharing intelligence, but also creating truly delightful customer experiences — like the cat on the router story — to drive customers to use social technologies positively on behalf of the brand.
See also: UK supermarket Sainsbury's renaming of 'Tiger Bread' to 'Giraffe Bread' in response to a letter from a three-year-old customer — the complete correspondence was uploaded to Facebook by the little girl's mother.
[Story credit: Al Storer]