I’ve been biting my fingers for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve had a memorably bad experience with my ISP.. they have yet to clear things up.

My notes will help with a chapter on the future of customer service that I plan to include in my next book, so I’m holding off writing one of “those posts” .. not quite ready to take on these guys with publicity I’m looking for right now. (you can figure out who I’m talking about by following my Twitter thread if you really must know).

Instead, let’s talk about what customer service should be:

  1. It IS your department. There’s one phrase that always means trouble from any sizes company “I’m sorry, that’s not my department.” My prediction is that this will be ground for dismissal in companies of the future.  If you pick up the phone, catch the tweet, or handle and email from a customer, they expect that you won’t give up on them.
  2. I’d rather talk to a friend. By now, every company of any size has at least one person on Twitter, someone using Facebook or a attending some venue where they want to meet up with customers. We want to be treated like we are friends. Every employee is a customer service agent and the reputation of the company is on the line (see item #1).
  3. If I matter, keep track of me. I smile when the automated voice system reminds me that I can find some answers on the web.. I wouldnt be calling if the web had what I needed. And while I’m waiting, I don’t mind putting in my account number or making a few selections until they get their technology working well enough to recognize my caller ID. I do draw the line at providing my number a 3rd or 4th time to the people answering the call. Don’t ask me for my account number until I have someone on the phone that can help me.

Three easy steps to help people feel like they are dealing with a company that likes customers. (boy it’s hard to write about this without going into complete rant mode).

Here’s some hope for us all. Google Wave intagrated with Salesforce.com show us that a customer service issue can be taken care of in a way a customer might actually enjoy.

Do you have examples of companies using social media and technology to give their customers a better experience. Share on a comment below and my co-authors and I will follow up for more details that we can include in our book.