Zen And The Art Of Social Customer Service

Before you all jump on defining Zen and what it has to do with anything. let me enroll my millions of friends at Wikipedia to explain Zen.  According to Wikipedia:

Zen emphasizes experiential wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment

I am truly interested in attaining enlightenment in when dealing with customers.  This enlightenment is the only way we will succeed at understanding them, knowing them, and serving them properly.  Without enlightenment you have — well, most contact centers today frankly.  It is this art of attaining enlightenment about the customers that Social Channels can serve very well.

Or can they?

We assume that since social channels for customer service generate engagement, interactions, and tons of data that we are using it properly and getting some value out of it.  Alas, no one has taken the time to figure this out beyond the individual case — until now.  I am going to take the plunge and find out about using Social Channels for Customer Service.

My good friends at Sword Ciboodle (they are not only friends, they are also a client) asked me to work with them on a research report on what it actually means to do Social Customer Service today.  How could I turn that down?

We created the survey, set it up on SuveyMonkey (see link below) and went to town.  We are very ambitious, and we have a short schedule.  Although the survey has been around for a week already (I am late to publish this, but been on work-vacation-work-vacation in the UK last week) it closes on November 23rd.

Why are we doing this? Mitch Lieberman from Sword Ciboodle, who is working with me in this project, wrote a post about this project and he said:

One important debate topic, which the survey hopes to shed light on, is whether or not investments in social customer service is “money well spent.” Everyone’s knee-jerk reaction to this is ‘Of Course’ – but when you ask “why”, the answer is harder, and less consistent.

I was asked to write in one paragraph what I thought was the best way to describe what we were trying to find.  I said:

(…) even though Contact Center managers knew they had to do something about Social Media, the fear of doing something wrong, or not getting the expected benefits, made them adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

And what are the waiting for? Someone else to tell them what and how to do.

Well, that is what we are here for.

We will collect all the information we can from as many practitioners as possible and then go to town.  Do you want to know what worked and what hasn’t? What is good, bad, and just plain ugly? How to get started? How much to invest? What does it cost?

All those questions can be answered – if you help us.  Please take the survey (see link below), there are 16 very simple questions and one matrix question that will take a tad longer.  All in all, 17 questions and 6-10 minutes of your time at the most.  In exchange, we will tell you what is going on – and what is going to happen.

Care to help? Here is the link.

One Reply to “Zen And The Art Of Social Customer Service”

  1. Hi,

    I was actually late to read the blog and the survey seems to be closed. Will look forward to the results of the survey.

    I believe a lot is being written regarding the effectiveness of Social CRM in customer service management. In a B2C scenario it can prove to be a great brand building exercise since participation and quick responses can show that you are very progressive as a company in using new mediums to reach your customers. In a B2B scenario where you do not have enough data to measure the social media activities of the customers it becomes difficult to justify ROI on social media investment. In fact there are not very clear guidelines on how the end users, when they are representing their organisations should behave on public forums.

    Will be interesting what your research results are.


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