The Slideshow from My European Vacation

No, don’t worry – won’t bore you with bad pictures or slides from my trip though UK and Italy these past few days. I do have a few pictures – but they are mostly of food (especially of Italy — mamma mia!) and a few of Milan (the three tourist things you have to see while in town).  If you want them, let me know; the food ones, especially, will make you wish you were here — and salivate profusely. But, I digress.

I wanted to share with you the decks I used while presenting there.

First stop, London for the Strategic Social Business Summit (#SSBS12) which was a resounding success by the feedback and attendance. I shared a brand new-ish deck (I just had to use a few slides from past lives, would’ve not be me otherwise) on how to do Customer Service using social where I shared a lot of stats from the report we did with Sword Ciboodle as well as other research I did.  There is some powerful stuff in there — and irrefutable proof (as I was told by attendants) that using Twitter and Facebook for customer service is useless — and communities hold a lot of promise.  The Slideshare-hosted deck is right below (if embed codes work).

everything you wanted to know about using social channels in customer service (but did not know who to ask)

I then moved to Milan, Italy (I know, the sacrifices I make for you – my loyal readers) for the Social Business Forum (in it’s fifth edition, run by Open Knowledge and managed by Emanuele Quintarelli) where there were 1,500+ registered participants.  Yep, you read that right – trust me.  About 1,000 of them showed on day one, around 500 on day two — as expected for most events in Europe these days (if you want to take two days in the middle of a recession go ahead, I dare you — double-dog dare you!).  The content and quality of conversations was superb – best I had about Social Business in a long time.  Won’t steal their thunder because Emanuele is trying to get the videos online — but trust me when I tell you that we took it to “levels unknown to humankind” (bonus points for referencing the quote in the comments – maybe something else if I can get a prize or two to the first person).

I did two presentations there, the first one on developing customer service  over the next 10 years.  I must confess I cheated, I used slides from the past (including a few from London the week before), but also used a different narrative that made it very interested.  Got good feedback in the form of emails, tweets, and 1:1 conversations (you do know that 1:1 is not a new social network – right?).  The deck for that one is below, but you may have seen most of these already in other places — que sera sera — I try my best, sometimes I need to leverage past and foreign genius to make it work.

The way we will complain

I followed that with a panel with Mark Tamis, Frank Eliason, and Bian Salins from BT where we discussed the right way to do customer service using social. To be honest, it was unfair — two of the people who know the most about using social for customer Service versus Mark and I — we never had a chance… they minced us with their knowledge and experience — all that was left was some gerrymandering and try to deviate from their experience to my theories and soundbites — almost worked, but at the end they won, by a country mile.

All in all, it was a killer discussion and if it is somewhere in this world in video will definitely post it here.

Finally, the talk of the town — the buzz of the city — the hype of the municipality — the summary of my perspective on how to  better understand and implement social business.  This deck includes a new model that I introduced — will not say what it is – but think about the number three.  Most people that were there know what I am saying, and when the video is up in 2-3 weeks, so will you (until then, ask me via email).

Social, connected, and collaborative

Well, that’s it. One intense week, very little sleep and far behind many other projects…but totally worth it.  The level of conversations and new contacts I made were absolutely out of this world.  If I met you this past week, my most sincere appreciation for your time and knowledge.  Wont’ go to waste – promise.

Comments? Thoughts? Ideas? Insults (just kidding)? Praise (definitely not kidding)?  Feel free posting them below.


5 Replies to “The Slideshow from My European Vacation”

  1. I mainly agree on your point on Twitter and FB being useless for customer service, but I think it’s a very industry-specific point and depends on what customer service means in a given industry. For example there are cases where, IMO, communities can’t help you and you need a direct contact with the company on the channel that will be the more comfortable for you in the given situation (usually twitter I think). I’m thinking about the travel industry : a community can help you to make the best decision when you need to choose a destination / hotel or organize a long trip in an unknown country where you have no ideas of how things work. But when you flight is cancelled or delayed, what you need is getting in touch with someone able to give you information and eventually rebook you on another flight.


  2. Esteban, what a witty and delightful account of your European tour! Having attended both your talks in Milan (but not the panel, unfortunately, as one needs to master the art of cloning if one is in a conference with simultaneous tracks…) I now need to take the time to go through the presentations again to digest some of the details.

    I definitely see the reasoning behind Bertrand’s comment.

    Could it be that we tend to see FB & Twitter as “regular” customer service channels when in fact we should look at them as:
    #1 – signalling/warning channels (ex: “We are currently facing problems in our online payment functionality. We’ll tweet when solved. Sorry”)
    #2 – solvers of minor questions or the equivalent of FAQs (ex: “Yes, you can take your little pet on this flight, just check here how to proceed…”)
    #3 – as a sorting mechanism for escalating other issues but that somehow feels more human than the “press 1 for inquiry, press 2 for…” that we are used to (Ex: “Esteban, please contact our ticket office for that. Here are the timetables…”?


  3. Hi Esteban, I’m very pleased to take part in the Social Business Forum in Milan. I take part to your speech and I thank you for the input that you’ve give to us about the social, connected and collaborative enterprise. In particular your slides about the confrontation between Distance, speed and time are strongly impressed on my mind! See you next time! Vanni


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