So far this week I have addressed, interacted with, or spoken with in person, about 250 people, all of whom have been managers in Customer Service organizations of various sizes. Some say customer support, some customer care, some customer advocacy. Whatever. But of all of them I posed one question consistently, and that was: Do you have a Twitter strategy for Customer Support? I was in for a surprise.
I expected that at least 30-40 percent of managers would have said they had at least the beginnings of a Twitter strategy. Everything from CIO magazines to the Wall Street Journal and USA Today have written copiously about the wonders of the Tweet. It seems that they just need to produce content to feed the media beast, because in the end only 15% of Customer Service executives said that they have a strategy. Over 50% said that they don’t have so much as a Twitter account. Another 35% said they either were aware of pilots in the Marketing department, or that they themselves had a pilot going to ‘mess around’ with Twitter.
Maybe 15% with a basic strategy in place is a good percentage for April 2010. Those folks tended to be in the business-to-business area, but there were also a couple of Retailers. What are the biggest inhibitors? I’m researching that now, and I’ll be publishing in the near future, but here is what might be happening: Twitter is open to public scrutiny. Twitter has already been grabbed by Marketing. The Customer Service folks are anxious about jumping in until the risk of creating redundant initiatives dampens down a bit. Over 50% of the folks were worried about compliance and regulation. Others were worried about consistency – capturing a Tweet and associating it with a customer record so that the next time the client calls or comes into the store or to the website, there was a chance to address their issue.
There are a ton of useful ideas on how to use a “Twitter-like” tool for Customer Service and Technical Support, and I am sure we will see that 15% grow as ‘lessons learned’ begin to disseminate. If you have great stories: tell them!