This page has links to a number of social customer care resources I have created over the last few years.

Five Years of Social Customer Care: The Pig Puts on Some Lipstick and the Fish Come Out to Play: A retrospective looking back at the first five years of social customer care with contributions from some of the key participants and commentators over that period (August 2014).

where social media meets customer service: A LinkedIn group I started as somewhere people could go to find useful articles, posts and views from the growing number of members.

UK Twitter Social Customer Care Leaders: Leaderboard of UK companies using Twitter for customer service. Using Leaderboarded.com.

Middle East Twitter Social Customer Care Leaders: Leaderboard of Middle East companies using Twitter for customer service. Using Leaderboarded.com.

North America Twitter Social Customer Care Leaders: Leaderboard of Middle East companies using Twitter for customer service. Using Leaderboarded.com.

Twitter customer service: Twitter list of companies using Twitter to provide customer service. I’ve broken this down further into UK companies, US companies and global accounts.

Social media command centres: Pinterest board with lots of links to videos, blogs, images about command centres.

Simplicity of Service: Weekly collection of posts based on the #socialcustcare hashtag using paper.li. Published every Thursday.

If you want to know who to follow in the social customer care space, here’s a good starting point created by Vala AfsharThe Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros On Twitter.

Brief thoughts on #socialcustcare [Tumblr]

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Overview of Social Customer Care

Social customer care began in the US in early 2008 when Frank Eliason (@ComcastCares) reached out to help a customer via Twitter. Within a few months, UK companies like BT, Virgin Trains, EasyJet and The Carphone Warehouse were following Eliason’s lead and experimenting with the use of Twitter as a customer service channel, albeit a somewhat novel one.

For customers, social channels like Twitter and latterly Facebook, gave them a sense of empowerment that they had never felt before. Up until that time, companies largely controlled the customer service experience. The drive for cost efficiencies resulting in a somewhat transactional interaction that was impersonal at best, and frustrating at worst. Dave Carroll’s ‘United Breaks Guitar’ video, published in 2009, simply underlined in stark terms to everyone the fact that customer service had changed, and would continue to change; albeit with social as the catalyst. The increasing decentralisation of the service experience, was met with a growing expectation for a more empathetic, humane and intimate type of customer interaction.

Whilst 2008 – 2010 were undoubtedly the pioneering days within the evolution of social customer care when literally ‘anything goes’, 2011 – 2012 can be characterised by a slowing down and consolidation of that initial excitement as companies not only began to realise that social media was not a fad, but were in turn forced to begin their own social journey. We are now entering a further period of growth, with Gartner predicting that in 2013, at least 35% of customer service centres will have integrated some form of community/social capabilities. Gartner goes on to predict that the social customer care space will reach a peak of interest by the second half 2014 [Gartner, 2013].