Frank Eliason at Comcast is probably one of the most well-known customer service managers in the entire Twittersphere. Today he shares with us some thoughts around his talk at the Dachis Group Social Business Summit 2010.
Before your well known listening efforts with Twitter, was the voice of the customer not as much of a priority or just harder to hear?
During my career I have worked on variety of techniques to gather voice of the Customer data. Typically this information has been presented as metrics for companies; I have always found there are better, more effective means to use this date to generate change. Many of us are so concentrated on numbers that we fail to see what is making up this data. Prior to joining Comcast in September, 2007, I worked for a bank as manager of quality assurance and Customer satisfaction. While at the bank, we created voice of the Customer through analysis of the words spoken by Customers during calls. This created a direct connection from the data to the actual Customer story. Change really happens when people connect to the Customer’s own story. At Comcast we have done the same thing, using data in social media. It is the voice of the Customer in their own words, nothing is more powerful. The best part of this new data source is the information is readily available to all levels within your company. The CEO can, and ours does, perform the same search that I do each day on places like Twitter, blogs, forums, YouTube, Facebook and so many other spaces.
Twitter is a pretty transparent customer service mechanism. Do you think this will be a trend in other areas of customer service?
There are many ways social media will change the Customer Service industry. Here are a few of the ways Customer Service will change:
- The biggest change will be internal communication – Today in many call centers, agents rely on knowledge bases and one way tools, but as social media tools take hold internally agent will communicate each other and leaders will learn so much from the agents
- Listening – Listening to Customers is now so much easier via Twitter, Facebook, Google Blogsearch, etc. This will show the importance of service to all leaders, and this will earn Customer Service a seat at the table
- Solutions – Forums and other social spaces have great solutions from Customers, which can be operationalized to assist all Customers, and also use the learning for most areas of the organization.
- Engagement – When someone needs help, it is natural for service person to want to help, this is just another means to communicate with our Customers.
How has the culture change that you will talk about impacted business results at Comcast?
I have heard for years how marketing is king, but social media is proving the Customer is king. These conversations are easily shared with all levels, and the Customer is no longer a data point, but instead they are the human aspect of the business. The same is true for the employee, especially the frontline. Through the search techniques we do, these conversation can and do reside on the desktop of senior leaders. They are learning so much about the brand that they really did not have access to in the past. Social media is not just making the world a smaller place; it is doing the same within the largest of businesses.