Where Was Customer Service?


Share on LinkedIn

Two weeks removed from Radian6 first ever user’s conference in Boston – Social 2011 – and I’m still digesting, pondering, analyzing, processing, reflecting (and grinning). And the one question that keeps rising to the surface is this. Where were all the customer service people?

Don’t get me wrong. I was ecstatic when I saw Marjorie Bynum from SOCAP. As a respected industry leader, her presence made a statement. And there were some other familiar faces, including you amazing folks with whom I had the pleasure to participate with on our panel discussion. So, while I don’t have any official data on attendees’ job titles. I did ask the question during our panel. And about five percent of the audience raised their hands self-identifying as being in customer service functions.

So, what’s my point? SOCAP and other customer service oriented associations have been pushing social CRM content and focusing a larger portion of conference time over the past two years on social media’s impact to customer service. To a person, everyone I’ve met at these events in this time frame has been trying to get on top of service delivery models, operational impacts, engagement guidelines and customer services’ role in the corporate social business strategy. So, it just struck me as a bit curious that, at Social 2011, which I viewed as more than a social media monitoring vendor’s user conference, I wouldn’t have seen a bigger representation.

Of course, as a percentage of Radian6 client base, customer service is still relatively small. And, clearly not every company on the planet is a Radian6 customer. But, based on the content, the lineup of speakers, the attendance from many of the brightest minds in the social CRM space, and the announcement of the Salesforce.com acquisition the week before, I would have seen this as an opportunity to suck that all up in order to launch my customer service organization forward. A pilgrimage destination, if you’ll allow me a bit of hyperbole.

I’m not going to try to evaluate what this means. But, I’ve been preaching for a while that customer service needs to grab the brass ring of social CRM in their organizations and stake a claim to the value of the function within the social enterprise. Showings of force at events like these, while costly and time consuming, in part, demonstrates that this is in fact happening.

There are, of course, other customer service and social CRM events this year, including SOCAP’s starting in two weeks in Las Vegas. So, as to not be accused of making hasty statements and drawing false conclusions based on this one data point, I guess I’ll just have to make my way to as many remaining events this year as possible.

I know. I know. Its a huge sacrifice. But, for the cause, I’ll suffer through it. Just for you.

As a post script, I just want to thank again the folks at Radian6 for allowing me the opportunity to present at the conference. I feel very honored to have had such an opportunity. And, it allowed me the opportunity to meet in person more of the amazing social CRM thought leaders I’ve come to respect over the past several years.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Barry Dalton
Telerx Marketing
Consumed by the pursuit of delightful service. Into all things customer loyalty and technology. My current mission is developing new service channels and the vision of the contact center of the future.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here