As you know, customer service is becoming a very public experience these days. The world now is privy to all the details about everyone's good and bad customer service experiences, as they're bantered about on blogs, parodied in YouTube videos, and, finally, picked up by mainstream media. At the same time, customer expectations are higher than ever, while budgets are strained. All this adds up to the need for companies to engage with their customers in an honest and transparent way. In short, authenticity is becoming a business imperative.

Social media has pushed customer service into the spotlight. Making the most from each customer interaction is, therefore, critical if a company hopes to create a great customer experience. Companies should view social media as one more way to respond to and engage with their customers. This is not to say that social media should necessarily replace current customer service channels; rather, it should be included in a company's overall strategy based on how its customers prefer to interact.

If, for example, you know your customers are online frequently, social media might be a good place to provide customer service to them, especially if they are already using social media to interact with others. How can you determine whether this is a good channel for servicing your customers? Listen to what they are saying on these social media sites, and then ask them! 

We Hear You

Consumers expect to engage with companies via ...

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