Face-to-Face Customer Service

Yesterday we posted that Columbia, which is based on BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, opened up a new strip mall that will sell policies and answer any customer service questions. To add to that story Spokeswoman Lauralee Shapiro mentions:

“I just think with the confusion in the marketplace, it gives an opportunity for people to come in and actually get information for their health care plan.”

Do you think that with the current economic situation we will be seeing more personal face-to-face customer service interactions?

Archived Webinar: Using Online Collaging to Better Engage Research Respondents

If you missed the webinar Using Online Collaging to Better Engage Research Respondents last week, here’s your chance to view the archive. Martin Oxley, the managing director of BuzzBack Europe, presented BuzzBack’s recent research on US and UK consumer attitudes to Sustainability and “Being Green,” and how unique interactive techniques were used to develop traditional quantitative data and qualitative insights in the same online research study. Take some time to view this hour long webinar at your own leisure.

Watch the archived webinar

College admissions and social media

A study was recently published about the use of social media in college admissions offices. An astounding 41% of admissions offices in US colleges and universities have blogs. This is considerably more than the 13% of Fortune 500 companies who are currently blogging. Universities are also integrating social media into admissions, as they do research the students, 23% of universities using search engines and 17% using social networks. Click here to view the full report presented by UMass Dartmouth.

Health Insurer Opens up Shop

Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina has opened up a strip mall store in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Relatively new to the health insurance industry, this store will provide a way for customers to buy individual, group and children’s insurance. It will also provide an alternative to calling help numbers, as employees in the stores will answer questions about insurance program benefits.

This type of customer care is new to the health insurance industry. Do you think this will catch on beyond Blue Cross Blue Shield?

Source: AP

Market research critical in new businesses

At the Norman Transcript, they cite that 50% of new businesses fail within the first two years and 80% fail within the first five years. One of the key reasons for this is lack of market research before they enter the market. Companies are not taking the time to get to know the landscape of the market before the enter. Market size, creating a target market, studying the competition are all important factors that should be researched and written into a business plan at the very beginning of any business launch.

China Leads the Way for Headsets in 2009

Despite the worldwide decline in mobile headsets, China is expected to see a growth in the industry in 2009. According to EETimes.com, this can be due to wireless operators continuing to attract new subscribers by reducing service fees, attracting first-time buyers and enticing existing customers to add a second number. The Chinese government has yet to issue 3G licenses to the country, but may do so in 2009. More growth will be expected. So how did China seem to grow in mobile headsets whilst the rest of the world struggles? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

Bank of America Using Twitter to Solve Customer Problems

Bank of America has taken a new approach to customer service–Twitter. The banking giant, now in a bit of hot water thanks to Merrill Lynch, has decided to reach out to the masses in with help in only “140 characters.” Many readers on Consumerist.com have reported quick help with the website, refunds in fees and cancellations. Check out the Twitter helper at: twitter.com/BofA_help

Adults Taking Over Social Networking Sites

The Social Media Club of Salt Lake City was featured in KSL.com amid new reported research that adults were taking over social networking sites. No surprise to any community 2.0 member. With the growth of such inter generational social networking sites, i.e., Facebook and LinkedIn, more adults have found that connecting with their friends online is beneficial in private and professional matters. Again no surprise. If you’re in the Salt Lake area, check out this club and let us know what they’re discovering and learning. We’d love to hear more.

Virgin Media Improves Customer Service

According to this post on Mycustomer.com Virgin Media, the UK telecommunications company that is not known for its customer service, has completed a data migration and customer relationship management software project that is intended optimize technology and operational performance.

Virgin teamed up with Convergys to launch a customer care and billing system to improve customer service. Riki Allon, senior vice president and general manager for Convergys in EMEA mentioned:

“With ICOMS in place, Virgin Media can now execute more innovative product launches across the entirety of its customer base and reduce time to market to maintain its competitive advantage.”

What companies have you partnered with to improve on customer service?

Read the January Community 2.0 Roundup

Here’s your chance to view our monthly newsletter that we send out to our Community 2.0 LinkedIn group with the latest updates in social media and online communities. Remember, to join our Commnunity 2.0 LinkedIn group and update your email addresses on LinkedIn in order to receive it on an ongoing basis. Enjoy!

http://www.iirusa.com/upload/wysiwyg/Community2.0_January_Newsletter.html