Why Social Media is Inseparable From Customer Service

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Frank Eliason regarding the connection between customer service and social media. Frank is now Senior Vice President of Social Media at Citigroup and is also known for his previous role at Comcast.

Frank is a pioneer in using social media for customer service and in this video he talks about what has changed over the last few years. He also shares tips for companies to improve customer support.

You’ll find more takeaways below. Be sure to leave your comments after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn from Frank:

  • What needs to change in customer service
  • Why your company needs to get back to the basics of customer service
  • How to use stories to  improve your customer service experience
  • How to use the different social media platforms to connect with your customers
  • What it means to do service right
  • A great tip to implement customer service 101 on Twitter
  • Why Frank is excited about implementing click to call and click to chat features

And here’s some advice Frank has for his peers:

  • If you company is controlling marketing and PR: be human about it. Let your team service your customers. Let them do what they do well and allow them to be who they are.
  • If your service is not what it should be: it’s up to you to fix it. Don’t wait for someone else to fix it.

You can connect with Frank on his blog and follow him on Twitter.

How is your company using social media for customer service? Please share your experiences below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.mysocialmediava.com Kathy Colaiacovo

    I think the message of getting back to the basics of customer service is absolutely the most important part of providing good customer service and the main thing many companies need to do and using social media can help them achieve this. Getting a system and plan in place to implement it effectively is the hardest part.

    Great video and tips for businesses to think about!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Kathy, I fully agree :)

  • Gchoice

    Lots of words but in reality, Comcast customer service is the worst in the Miami area.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Franks works for Citi Group

  • http://twitter.com/JessieMeehan Jessie Meehan

    Completely agree with the premise of getting back to the basics of customer service, and improving the customer service experience. All companies and organizations, regardless of what industry, have customers. Too often they focus more on their own message and product or service, and not enough on the people that make them successful.

    And social media is a great tool to utilize better customer service.

  • Karen

    Michael:
    Great interview and insight. Loved it. 3 years ago, I tweeted something like this; “Does Comcast really care?” after losing some functionality in my Internet service. I guess it was early in the day, and Frank called me at home at 10pm on a Sunday night after several back/forth DMs on twitter. Now THAT’s customer service! It’s also a lesson in how hard work pays off when you start listening to the customer’s voice, and in the beginning, I bet Frank and his crew were working 24/7 on listening and responding appropriately.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Karen – What an awesome story!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    I’m a raving Frank fan!!! Awesome interview – wow, wow, wow, LOVE what he’s talking about these multi-channels to talk to customers at the click of a button and still speak to the same person. GENIUS. No wonder he’s so excited!!

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  • http://www.mazakaro.com Rahul

    Thank You for sharing this :)
    Interesting video !

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    I am also a fan of Frank Eliason. He has really lead way for how customer service can be provided through Social Media.

    Social Media will bring customer service to new dimension, and will be such a crucial element to building brand equity.

    I will be really exciting to follow his path and see what he comes up with next. Some very interesting thoughts here for us that work with the costumer service area.

    Cheers.. Are

  • Mari

    Great video! Companies here in South Africa also starting to implement, like one of our low-cost airlines Kulula. @kulua instantly responds to customer queries then DM and then call you if necessary. They must have learned from Frank.

  • Dana Bernard

    Enjoyed the video. Am working on a proposal for taking our customer service off bold chat and onto Facebook. Wish me luck my CEO does not have a Facebook page!

  • http://frankeliason.com Frank Eliason

    They are working to improve. The number one challenge was multiple silos. Social helped bring them down, so now they are working to do just that

  • Frank Eliason

    Thank you!

  • Frank Eliason

    Thank you! Mari, you are terrific

  • Frank Eliason

    Thank you

  • Frank Eliason

    Good luck! Just share comments that are being said about your brand. CEO’s never want to see a bad experience for their Customers

  • Fpeservices

    This is an awesome video and I can totally relate. At times I feel as if customer service has totally disappeared period and it’s frustrating. I also feel that companies should be using social media tools to help in this department.

    It’s funny you talk about having a chief customer service officer. My husband always said if he ever starts a business I’m going to be the chief customer service officer (CCO).

  • Jan Wong

    That’s a great video! Social media should indeed be an integral part in customer service.

    However, I also think that it is important for it to be managed by someone qualified and trained – simply because customers appreciate a knowledgeable, truthful and educated answer to a problem. Inaccurate information will simply turn the tables of social media customer service :)

  • Billie G

    Great tips, Frank is one personable guy! Especially liked when he said “if our customers are there, we are there”. Also he said regarding Facebook, when people are commenting, it is like entering their living rooms and we need to enter softly! Proper etiquette is apprecitated in face to face conversations as well as all social media comments, this was so refreshing coming from someone in such a large business.

  • http://www.hounddogsocialmedia.com Hound Dog Social Media

    A great video – a must “view” for many companies. I recently blogged how Clinique botched up customer service during a recent perfume sample giveaway. Companies of all sizes have plenty to learn – and Comcast has been a trailblazer.

  • Henny

    Thanks for this great interview. Does anybody know what the technology is that is being used at Citibank for click to call and click to chat?

  • Lorie Mayberry

    Karen- enjoyed this post. Great new idea of implementing click to call/chat within Twitter.

  • http://www.buildings-residences.com BR Blogger

    This information can really be transferred to any type of business and is especially important in this economy!

  • http://twitter.com/codemyconcept codemyconcept

    Awesome interview I must say.
    Our company shares the same thoughts and we have incredible communication with our customers through social media everyday.
    We do think that it raises the bar when it comes to the CS people really deserve.

  • mdieterle

    Amen. Customer Service is not the new Marketing, both just need to work together!

    Good luck to Frank in his new role at Citigroup. I’ll follow closely to watch the progress at an even bigger company :)

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WMDZEXPZXAVU5W7UBC6XQATN6Y yahoo-WMDZEXPZXAVU5W7UBC6XQATN6Y

    Awesome Video post  Thanks for sharing this great post

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