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Business facing feedback headache due to social media

2nd Aug 2011
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The proliferation of social media sites has forced firms to extend their customer service strategies to address the growing volume of online feedback – but many are struggling with the transition.

That was the conclusion of a panel of experts that gathered at a round table event held last week by hosting firm UKFast to discuss how companies should manage their customer strategies and strike the right balance between online and offline techniques. 
And the panel expressed their concern that businesses were developing weak service strategies as a result of the many different methods of gaining customer feedback.
Sam Gregory, director of B2B operations at Tangerine PR, said: "What I think is very interesting is how businesses are coping with the advent of digital. Traditional customer service teams are seeing their role changing a lot. They are having to become communications experts in a way because they are being bombarded with messages coming through from customers that are positive and negative.
"I’ve worked with some very big brands in the past to develop digital and social media strategies to help channel negative comments through a particular platform such as Twitter. In many cases, the customer service teams are really struggling to know how to handle this.  It’s a complete step change for them, they are used to a much slower environment."
Ross Keeping, UKFast’s head of customer service described social media as a "customer service branch that we can’t ignore" but warned companies not to sacrifice traditional methods of gaining customer feedback. He added: "The principals of good, old-fashioned client communication still hold firm. We just have to apply them to more environments – in person, over the phone, through social networks and other sites."

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