Because I'm a social media consultant, when I think about the "customer experience" theme of this year's Net Promoter conference, I can't help but consider what role social media has played in brands' ability (or inability) to create customer experiences that rock.
One side of the equation is that it's hard to be able to consistently deliver when people can essentially "help themselves" via your blogs, knowledge bases and communities.
The other side of that same formula is social media provides the ideal connection point to begin, deliver on or enhance your customer experience program.
A few weeks ago, I read BAM: Bust A Myth: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World, by Barry Moltz and Mary Jane Grinstead and was gobsmacked at the role social media was playing in being able to deliver on truly world-class service.
I'm glad that companies are finally embracing social media, but it's just not enough to be "on the grid". Two things have to happen to make social media have a positive impact on your customer experience program:
1. Someone has to be paying attention. It's great that your brand is represented on Twitter or Facebook, but it's not enough to talk about your company and offer updates. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to really listen to your audience and take their feedback into consideration? Hire someone to manage your reputation or at a minimum inform you on what's being said about your brand so that someone from your team can respond timely and accordingly.
2. Do something with the information your social media team receives. If you're listening, you'll get some great, actionable information from your social media channels and the best thing you can do is act on the information you receive and when you do, let your audience know that you've taken their advice. It will make them more inclined to offer insights in the future.
Social media isn't another advertising channel, it's a way for you to support your customer experience efforts in a way that's open, authentic and modern.