To celebrate our 10th episode of the Focus on Customer Service podcast - a milestone we weren't sure we'd ever reach - we thought we'd take a walk down memory lane and look at what we've learned so far. So Dan Moriarty and I recorded a special "recap" episode with just the two of us to summarize what you may have missed in episodes 1-9.
We started the podcast because lots of people are talking about content and marketing on social media, but far fewer are focusing on the other side of social - customer service. Enlightened brands have already discovered that "customer service is the new marketing" because great service makes happy customers and happy customers are more loyal to brands.
When social media entered the picture, it began as a channel of last resort, when other service channels failed. This resulted in a larger proportion of comments being negative, which in turn scared off some brands from ever entering the fray. But over time, social media has become a channel of first resort for many customers, requiring companies to be as prepared on social as they are in the call center, on e-mail, or click-to-chat.
We set out to learn from the brands who are doing it every day. How their teams are structured, where they fit in the larger organization, what their customer service strategy is, how they deal with difficult customers, and more. And so far, our guests have certainly delivered the knowledge, insights, and best practices we had hoped for - in addition to quite a bit of fun.
In case you missed any episodes, here they are in order with links to the Social Media Today posts. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud by searching for "Focus on Customer Service".
Episode 1: Natanya Anderson, Global Director of Social Media, CRM and Customer Service at Whole Foods Market
Favorite quote: "Every social media channel you open is a channel for care."
Episode 2: Laurie Meacham, Manager of Customer Commitment and Social Media at JetBlue Airways
Favorite quote: "We've really infused our brand's personality through social and that's what differentiates us."
Episode 3: Joe Stupp, Head of Social Media at Chipotle Mexican Grill
Favorite quote: "We have zero goals around social customer care. We do not track it. We do not keep an eye on it. It's just something that we do."
Episode 4: Nicole Miller, Community Champion at Buffer
Favorite quiote: "We view every interaction that comes our way - every single tweet, email, question, mention - as a real privilege to know that someone has taken the time out of their day to think about us or get in touch with us."
Episode 5: Ashley Boone, Care Social Lead at ModCloth
Favorite quote: "Imagine yourself on the other end of that call and act accordingly."
Episode 6: Lindsey Jesseau, Director of Customer Experience at Vega
Favorite quote: "It's not just about having a competitive advantage over your direct competitors; the consumers expect a response through social now, so it's looking at 'are we as good as the best companies out there?' and that's really how we set our standards."
Episode 7: Monty Hamilton, Head of Digital Operations at Telstra
Favorite quote: "It's really important that we start with empathy and understanding."
Episode 8: Shanda Maloney, Digital Marketing and Social Media Director at UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Favorite quote: Social media "is the best place to get word-of-mouth understanding of what the fans or the customers are saying, how they feel about your product or brand."
Episode 9: Jessica Mack, Senior Social Media Manager at OtterBox and LifeProof
Favorite quote: "Our customers mean everything to us, and we try to involve them in our brand as much as possible, have fun, and really treat them as we would treat a good friend and not just as a customer on the other side of the computer."
Listen to Episode 10 for a list of key themes that we have extracted from the first nine guests. And don't forget, you can nominate a brand to appear on the podcast by tweeting at us (@dgingiss and @iamdanmoriarty) or by simply using the hashtag #FOCS.