Over the last day or so I’ve been reading a number of different posts about @HVSVN and his purchase of a Promoted Tweet to complain about the service he received from British Airways.

Last week I read about @NatWest_Help and their use of Vine videos.

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Both of these things have got me thinking about social customer care, and customer service more broadly. Or perhaps I should qualify it by replacing ‘customer service’ or ‘social customer care’ with ‘customer experience’ or ‘customer interaction’. I’ve noticed that whenever we talk about customer service now, it very quickly becomes interchangeable with customer experience. Maybe it’s all just about ‘communication’?

As I was thinking about these two things, some questions came to mind.

  • What do either of these examples tell us about the approach that customers and organisations will take when engaging with each other in the coming years?
  • How will customers express their satisfaction or displeasure?
  • What do these things tell us about the continuing relevance of today’s metrics?
  • When we look at the use of Vine or the purchase of Promoted Tweets to complain, how will organisations account for these types of interactions in their metrics? What is it that they will actually measure?
  • Will not responding become a measure? And if so, of what?
  • Will organisations recognise the effort someone puts in to the way in which they interact with them? Is a complaint via Vine worth more or less, in terms of the effort expended by a customer, than a complaint via a Promoted Tweet or YouTube or Facebook? Does it matter? Do you only compare like for like ie. Vine with YouTube, Tweet with Facebook comment? How many Tweets equate to a Vine video equate to a Facebook comment equate to…?
  • If a customer RTs, is that more or less meaningful or impactful than Joe Public RTing? Does being more or less meaningful or impactful depend on who is in your network?
  • In the same way that an organisation tries to understand the ‘strength’ or ‘impact’ or ‘reach’ (I’m trying not to use either of the ‘k’ words there) of a customer, what happens when customers themselves start to truly not only understand the power they wield individually and collectively, but also understand how to use it?
  • What happens when customers themselves start to create and share their own leaderboards indexing brands in a way that is meaningful to them?

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In the end, how much of this really matters, as long as the customers lost baggage is found or their broken guitar fixed?

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