Careers have a lot in common with sponges. When you’re starting out, in order to be successful and happy, you need to be able to soak up everything worthwhile that comes your way. It’s the absorption mode.
Then after a while, when you’ve gained enough experience, screwed up enough times, built stuff, done tons of different shit, been around enough folks, rolled with the punches, swung some pretty good ones yourself, seen and learned from some of the best — well then it’s time to give back and squeeze the sponge out. It’s the squeeze out phase.
If you’re not out there in your daily job giving back, sharing, coaching, comparing notes, huddling close to your markets and customers, moving around, learning still, but giving back a lot more in the process, then you’re missing out. And maybe - just maybe - you’re in the wrong job! :)
So please pass the sponge. And stay social my friends :)
I started thinking how this might apply to social service. You hear talk sometimes about “minimum viable customer experience”. This always sounded like some sort of SEAL Team Ops semantics to me. What the heck is a minimally viable customer experience anyway? Is zero support viable? Why not. Giffgaff does it.
How about only providing email support? Phone? How can we know what customers consider “minimally-viable”? Would they be honest or not? Why not simply ask them?
I think too often companies design social service around what’s convenient for them — their infrastructure, their processes, their legacy, and yes, too often enough, their internal politics.
When in fact it would probably be more efficient - and certainly more genuine - to go out there and tell people up-front: look, we can’t be everything to everyone. And we either can’t or don’t wish to be like Dell, Apple, Amazon, or Virgin. Additionally, we feel it’s more sensible to invest in a single channel and really knock it out of the ballpark. So pick a channel, and we’ll commit to being the best at it.
Did you say phone? Fine. We’ll invest in phones and have the best freaking phone support you ever met. You want email? Deal. We’ll invent the most amazing way to do email support. Chat? Facetime? Skype? Carrier pigeon? You got it. We’ll be the best, most efficient, most innovative company in that single channel. And nothing more. For now (that being the key phrase)…
Deep down I think that’s a deal most frustrated customers would probably sign off on. Matter of fact, it’s been proven. I know I would! How about you? Fair enough?
Under-promise. Over-deliver. Stay social my friends :)
I’m starting a new #socialstrategy series in SlideShare mode. My first one is about picking appropriate social media channels to “occupy” in large enterprise settings. Naturally, I look at it with a customer service angle but it still applies to non service departments I think.
As I’ve had to ask myself (and answer) these questions over the past 12 months while bootstraping my company’s social service department. I figured others probably wonder the same things. And then, people often ask me stuff like this. I figured why not share it more widely. Who knows, someone might find it useful some day.
And if you’re one of those folks, please spread the love and let me know okay?
I’m visual retentive and cant’ resist word clouds. This one comes from this very blog here. It would seem I talk a lot about social, customers, people, needs, product, and media.
Hummm….Imagine that! :)
The first one on page 2 (Exhibit 3) tells me that customer satisfaction is the least impacted benefit since 2009 (3 point delta). No good. However that’s just a hair under “Reducing marketing costs” - these tell me that (1) most still haven’t figured out how to use this social stuff to make customers happier and (2) we’re still underestimating the costs of doing social.
The second one on page 5 (Exhibit 7) is a little more shocking to me. Why? As the report notes:
“…the greatest number say their companies use these tools to scan the external environment for new ideas”
Which tells me that innovation is not coming from internal resources! If companies are scanning outwardly for new ideas, they’re not tapping their own people. Or their own people have no innovative ideas - which I find unlikely. Or maybe companies are also tapping internally, but clearly not using social media technologies to do so. I find that disturbing.