Part 1 of this series discussed two of the top reasons for using social media to build stronger customer relationships. Part 2a today discusses another reason to use social media for customer loyalty: customer service. Part 3 will discuss steps to take in order to get started.
Recently at my panel Creating Customer Loyalty with Social Media at BlogWorld, much of our conversation revolved around the topic of customer service. Two of our panelists, Tony Hsieh from Zappos.com and Frank Eliason from Comcast, talked in depth about using Twitter to reach out to existing customers in various ways. Twitter allows for real-time, ongoing two-way conversations, and both of these companies are creating those with their customers. (To learn more about Twitter, check out this quick overview, Twitter in Plain English, from the CommonCraft Show.)
The culture at Zappos.com is very people-focused and empowers employees. Zappos.com has many of their employees Twittering; 448 to be exact! You can track their tweets via this microsite, where you can also track mentions of Zappos.com and some of the brands they carry. Using Twitter is encouraged as a great way to stay transparent and authentic with customers. Tony is their CEO, and he leads the way by tweeting about his travels, tours he gives of the Zappos.com headquarters, requests for feedback from customers, and contests he runs. Customers even make suggestions via Twitter, the most recent of which was to list a short url on each product page that can be easily cut and pasted into blogs, email, Twitter, etc. so they can be shared with others (it is called zapp.me). Tony has over 13,000 people following his Tweets to get this kind of information.
Customers Rock! take on Zappos.com and Twitter: Zappos customers are extremely loyal to the company for several reasons: great customer service, an easy return policy (free shipping on returns!), and employees that care. Social Media at Zappos.com, including Twitter and their blogs, has been a great way to put a face on the company, make them feel approachable, get instant customer feedback, and create a two-way dialog that builds customer relationships. Zappos is truly a Customers Rock! company.
Come back for Part 2b of this series to hear Comcast’s story!