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@Mike - thank you for explaining further what you meant.

@Charles - "Often what is visible online is not always the best judge of the overall efforts effectiveness, regardless of the size of an organization." I agree. And I'd welcome the opportunity to work with you and your team to showcase your metrics.

@Vee - however, the process and organization need to experience a fundamental change for it to stick.

@Jody - and they need to be ready to support that function with action.

@Chris - that is why I maintain that Frank at Comcast made a difference. He was not hanging out just to chat, he was helping channel issues to the organization for diagnosis and solving. And in some ways, that has also changed the way the organization does customer service. Had that not been the case, when I called today because my cable was out, I would have gotten trapped in phone hell, like I have in the past.

@Susan - got it, added. Thank you.

@Bob - I agree and in my experience these companies have come through so far.

@Ryan - you got it. Glad the post is helpful to you and the AMC team.

@Justin - and I did argue that a few years back when I wrote that customer service is the new marketing ;) I agree. Customers want a company to fix the problem when it comes up, and prefer communication to learn how it's going in the process of fixing and solving the problem.

@Sean - I actually modified that when it was pointed out to me that that particular account closes only after 4pm CT Sat to 7am Monday. You must have been reading from RSS :) And thank you for correcting me. Great question! I will think about it as I know you're on top of those kinds of measurements remembering our group discussion at SMBC at CISCO a couple of years back.

Valerie
On the ATT what to expect, you cite "closed on weekends". Was that based on personal experience? I have seen they work on Saturdays.
Also, for all of the twitter customer service operations listed, any ideas on how to start truly measuring (quantitative and qualitative) the best of breed? Twitter customer service is becoming a "me too" offering, and execution makes the difference between poor and great service on twitter.

This is a post every company should read, most notably cause it highlights a point we should be stressing to our clients and colleagues as PR/Marketing pros -- Customer Service, PR and Marketing ARE NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, you could very easily argue that customer service is a form of PR and Marketing. Or sales. Or both. And I am in fact arguing that :).

I think we have to give Comcast credit for using Twitter for customer service first. They saw the opportunity and took advantage. That is the first piece of this pie and is a PR and CS win. The next piece of the pie is setting your organization up to succeed in this medium on the back end -- IOW, governance and response protocol.

Customers do not care about departments, silos or turf. They want answers and solutions. Companies that organize themselves behind the scenes to provide these two things wherever their customers are will win, will build reputation, will create brand advocates, etc.

If a customer walked into your store, would you turn your back on him/her, go to the phone and give him/her a call? When orgs don't listen and engage on customer service via Twitter or other online mediums, that's what they do. Only difference is the customer is sitting in front of a computer and can immediately share the experience with their network.

Twelpforce is super responsive on Twitter and so is Radian6. Tweeted to them the other day and heard back from two different people within two hours.

Great post and conversation,
JG

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