Sunday, November 8, 2009

After the Conference

If you happen to follow me on Twitter or be connected with me on LinkedIn, you probably know that I attended the First Wednesday Group's excellent Voice of the Customer Conference in Massachusetts this past week. This was my second time, and I'm so glad I attended. The producers put together a great range of speakers, and there is always a lot to learn.

But here's where the value of any conference is either made or broken: What's next? What did I take away from this event that helps my job, my career, my life? What did I hear—what topics were discussed that will make a difference for me over the next year?

Here, as I heard it, were the salient customer service points made at this conference:

  • If your company is not paying attention to social media (Twitter and Facebook especially), it should be
  • People are talking about your company, products and services, and if you are not in the mix, search engines will own the conversation more than you will
  • People consult social media, including reviews and ratings, before buying a product or service
  • The methods currently used to measure customer satisfaction need to be updated
  • Customer-provided voluntary support information can be extremely valuable. Knowledgeable people will post answers to questions, an will solve problems for people for free—but make sure you thank them*
  • Companies struggle with knowing when to step in with their own support
We are all learning how to use these new forms of global, instant communication. How to use them well is something we have to figure out as we go along. In my line of work, some organizations already are using Twitter as a method of getting assistance from the service desk.

It's an exciting time. How we deal with all this change will steer the customer service and support industry through the next decade and beyond.

What have you learned recently from a meeting, webinar, conference or workshop that will stay with you in your world?

Give it some thought.

*The Microsoft MVP community marked a 30% increase in questions answered after a word of thanks.

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