Social Media Revolutionizing Customer Service?

Recently we posted on our blog about customer service at Comcast. This week we decided to take a slightly different slant and discuss what some other companies are doing as well as find out if the next step in the evolution of customer services is being proactive instead of reactive by utilizing social media. In this NY Times article, and as previously mentioned on our blog, Comcast has created a new position in their company called ‘digital care manager’. This new role was taken over by Mr. Eliason, and has since expanded to a staff of seven expected to grow to ten. As Brian D. Solis, from FutureWorks a public relations firm, mentioned, Comcast is ‘taking what used to be an inbound call center and turning it into an outbound form of customer relations’ When I checked another of the companies mentioned by the NY Times article, Southwest Air, I noticed that on their twitter page they have 2,088 followers. Apparently, they are also not only relying on people talking back to them, but also going out and actively seeking people who have twitterd about them. In fact this blog post recounts one individual’s account of how Southwest Air proactively responded to their twitter comments rather than simply relying on an inbound call center. Whole Foods Market is going one step further and rewarding consumers who twitter about them by having a drawing where once a week one lucky individual will receive a $25 Whole Foods Market Card as announced in their company blog. With more and more companies starting to use social media as not just a marketing tool, but as another step in the evolution of customer service it will be interesting to see how many other roles such as ‘digital care manager’ will be created. Also, it will be interesting to see what percentage of companies migrate away from the use of call centers and begin instead to capitalize on the social media revolution. Are your organizations taking these extra steps? Do you think that soon this will be the norm in customer service, and what the industry standard will become?