PSU CEPE Digital Marketing Breakfast: Social Customer Service

Aug 21 2013

Portland State University hosted their quarterly Digital Marketing Breakfast this past Tuesday, August 13th. The topic of this month’s event was ‘Social Customer Service’, and was hosted by our very own Siouxsie Jennett, CEO of Mambo Media. The panel consisted of:

  • Tiffany Salzman, senior digital strategist at Mambo Media
  • Scott Trepanier, senior manager of PR, promotions, and social media for Columbia Sportswear
  • Donna Prigmore, customer relations manager at Port of Portland

Each presenter shared case studies, anecdotes, and advice about how to offer transparent customer service through the use of social media channels (i.e. Twitter and Facebook.) Here are key points made by each presenter:

Speed is a key factor in turning brand detractors into brand advocates. Tiffany launched the panel by discussing social customer service using her work with Burgerville as an example. In her experiences, the key to great customer service is to listen, analyze, respond, and engage. Tiffany stressed that “speed is king” in social media considering most Twitter users expect a response to their questions in less than two hours.

“Try stuff.” Big rewards take big risks. Columbia Sportswear’s motto of “trying stuff”was the basis of Scott’s presentation. Emphasizing that one of the big risks that Columbia has taken towards improving their social media customer service is collaborating with a group of Columbia brand ambassadors and influencers, referred to as “Omniten”. Columbia’s Twitter followers can hashtag “askomniten” to have their questions and concerns answered by other fellow customers, not just the company’s customer service representatives. So far, this has proven to be a very successful and unique tool to scale customer service for this global company.

As the final presenter, Donna discussed the social media strategies of Port of Portland and how they manage to provide quick and helpful information to their customers. @FlyPDX recognizes that travelers are on a strict time schedule, so it is imperative that their questions are answered as fast as possible. Donna stated that communication and training are key factors in establishing a successful social media program. It is important to be deliberate: host training sessions, assessments, and complaint templates. Donna advised to “go behind the velvet rope” with social media and offer customers information that they might not otherwise be exposed to.

August’s Digital Marketing Breakfast was both education and inspiring, and we are already looking forward to the next one! A big thank you to all our panelists and Portland State University Center for Executive and Professional Education for hosting.

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