Posted by: Chris | October 7, 2008

Social Media and Services Marketing

Front-line service employees at some service-oriented companies are quite visible. At restaurants, the hostesses, servers, bartenders, counter-workers, and managers are (usually) highly accessible and are the actual “media” through which transactions take place. The same holds true with walk-in banking, brick-and-mortar retail sales, medical services, etc. But what about those companies that rarely require face-to-face contact with clients? Call centers, customer service lines, and online sales, while providing clearly necessary services, sometimes fall short on offering relationship-building opportunities that keep clients loyal.

The fact that most of the service provision coming from these companies comes from a maze of cubicles hidden away behind brick walls does not negate the fact that many of the employees within these companies are indeed front-line service employees, requiring a clearly defined, brand-oriented service marketing plan.

One way these hidden FLSE’s can take part in branded service provision is through social media. Corporately sponsored blogs, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc., etc., put a face on the otherwise anonymous service provider on the other end of the line. Regular postings about the events of the day, high-volume issues, impending problems, or maintenance can not only warm up an exchange (in a good way), but can actually help to cut down on the number of calls received. Not only that, but social media initiatives also allow other employees and managers to observe some of the interaction between clients and FLSE’s.

Obviously, social media should make up only one aspect of a robust services marketing program, but for those cube-bound providers, it can be key in providing a strong, brand-building identity.

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Responses

  1. […] recently blogged about social media as a valuable implement in a company’s services marketing toolbox, as well as the need for branded service during these challenging economic times, and I thought […]

  2. Excelent article and I am going to share it with my boss. However, when I have proposed this idea in the past, it was received well, but a few questions came up; Who writes the articles? How much time is put into guarding against negative or offensive responses?

    I have read many blog articles that beat around the bush, but never take these issues head-on. What is a tried and true method that you have had good experience with?

    I think it’s a necessary step for our company to take, but I’m interested to see what your solutions are for these issues.

    -Carey Best

  3. […] Are You Listening?- Insightful post about the use of online communities in customer interaction and feedback, posted by Ginger Conlon at The 1to1 Blog. You might also want to take a look at Social Media and Services Marketing. […]


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