As you may have read in yesterday's post, we hosted our final Progress Software Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday. We again heard from the venerable, John Rymer of Forrester Research. In his speech, “Design Solutions for Faster Change and Greater Business Impact” he touched more strongly this time on the concept of customer service as it relates to real-time business event processing.
We have previously cited his example of Maytag responding to mommy blogger Dooce’s issues with the company’s product and subsequent public ribbing of the company via social media channels. This was a great example of reacting to a customer, one empowered by their own online reputation and influence, to the best outcome for all parties involved. Yesterday, however, John gave some examples of companies who are not only reactive but also proactive in how they approach customer service issues via social media, the ultimate in real-time dialogue with consumers.
In keeping with our summit series’ central topic, how businesses can become more operationally responsive, John discussed how empowering employees to solve problems sans red tape is important. He brought up the example of Best Buy’s Twitter team that is able to answer product queries, solve problems, and rectify direct criticisms / customer aggression in real-time mitigating the risk of a decline in brand sentiment and loyalty with every happy or at least satiated customer with whom they interact.
With more and more channels through which customers can complain and a decreasing reliance on traditional customer service lines and email aliases that long go unresponded to, the masses are taking to channels like Twitter forcing organizations to respond in new ways as well as make decisions about issues faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Overall, attendees left thinking about how they see and respond to business issues in new ways from every speaker. From John though they also left with new places to take long hard looks at in planning their customer service efforts.
Talking about Twitter... take a minute to follow me, John R. Rymer, and Progress Software.
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