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Tactics > customer service
Beyond Facebook
Web 2.0 can provide alternative channels for
engaging with and serving your audience
eb 2.0 is increasingly providing in this way, you can trigger useful customer
W
businesses with the opportunity feedback. Taking the research approach from a
to reach out to both staff and different perspective, you can search Twitter to
customers and to engage with discover posts (“tweets” in Twitter parlance) on
a much wider audience at a far particular topics. From this you can gain insight
deeper level than ever before. and potentially tap into this user group for
There is much research to suggest that in some detailed research.
instances Facebook can be a more effective Whilst it can be easy to get caught up in
marketing tool than email campaigns. Rather adopting the latest trends, it is important to
than focusing solely on the risks associated recognise that one size does not fi t all. So
with social-networking sites, such as the lack of although the use of Twitter will appeal to a
control over user-generated content, businesses certain segment of customers, other methods—
should also look at the real benefi ts that can be say, SMS text updates—will be more appropriate
gained by embracing web 2.0 as part of their to a different segment of your audience. You
customer contact strategy. need to communicate with your customers
Social media are moving beyond offerings using multiple methods whilst at the same time
such as Facebook and into new forms such as keeping your operating costs low.
Twitter. For those unfamiliar with Twitter, it At a time when costs are under scrutiny and
involves short messages of no more than 140 organisations are looking for effi ciencies, it can
characters that are sent out to those who opt often be counterintuitive to add another route
in to receive your updates, thus enabling you to market. Nonetheless you need to think about
to build stronger relationships with a small making the most of the information you have
community of followers. It’s a quick and simple available and disseminating it to the greatest
way of pushing a snapshot of information out to
By Derek Bishop
number of relevant customers and prospects.
customers, and you can use it to improve your You can do this cost-effectively and with
customer service and perhaps minimal effort by using common data feeds for
differentiate yourself from multiple channels.
your competitors if you adopt Be clear about what you want to achieve
it sooner rather than later. from engaging via Twitter and any other web
A number of retailers, 2.0 channels. Don’t
such as TheHut.com, Hotel jump in just for the
Chocolat, and Isabella Oliver, sake of it, without
to name just a few, use a clear strategy and
Twitter to inform customers plan. Adopt a test-
of new promotions or stock and-learn approach
availability. By pushing to establish what does
regular updates out to and doesn’t work, for
followers, especially regarding your customers and
shipping delays and other for your business, and
service issues, you can reduce constantly evolve it.
the number of inbound calls
to your contact centre.
Derek Bishop
You can also use Twitter to
is director
inform people of initiatives
you’re considering or
of Abeo
products you’re thinking Consulting,
of introducing. Asos, for
which
instance, announced the
specialises
beta-test of its Asos Life online community
via Twitter. By engaging your audience
in customer
service.
Isabella Oliver, Hotel Chocolat, and
TheHut.com are among the retailers
using Twitter to talk with customers.
Catalogue e-business is
on Twitter too. Follow us at
14
http://twitter.com/catalogbiz.
Catalogue e-business www.catalog-biz.com
ceb 170.indd 14 26/10/09 19:19:15
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