Want a powerful tech support team? Just add social media!

Image by Seattle Municipal Archives

Tech support is the perfect group to utilize Social Media. Maybe it’s my technical background speaking, but I truly believe that. Consider these points before you run down to the comments section to call me a liar.

  • They know your product inside and out.
  • They’re aware of the most common mistakes made by users.
  • Most technical support agents are smart problem solvers.
  • Most have customer service skills and know how to deal with difficult people.
  • They are already representing your brand with every call they take, so why not brand online customer interactions too?
  • More than likely the techs are going to be web savvy.
  • Chances are they already have profiles and are using social media in one form or another.

Everyday you have a group of people who are representing your company through their actions and your brand gets associated with their skills and the work they do.

That’s not to say they are infallible, even great techs have an off day or drop the ball from time to time and when that happens customers are increasingly moving to the web to complain to thousands of people. We’ve seen how quickly a bad experience can spread with the Motrin debacle, so why not empower your techs to do something about it?

It makes all the sense in the world to empower this group to help customers outside of the normal inbound call. Need some help getting started?

  1. Setup your listening and reputation management tools.
  2. After determining how active brand detractors are and where they are at, create a team.
    • Team size depends on results from #2 plus 1-2 people for more proactive activities.
    • After figuring out group size take your top agents that want to be a part of this and place them on the team.
  3. Put the agents through any pertinent training on use, best practices, reaction strategies, etc.
  4. Monitor their efforts and measure progress.
  5. Use proactive techniques to help build the companies reputation for knowledge and service.
    • Blogs and forums are an example of proactive resources.
  6. Make sure to applaud their efforts and announce the teams existence on the corporate blog. Announcing the team’s existence through an official corporate channel lends credence to their activities.

Those are the 6 steps to getting started, but while planning and creating the team there are three things that should be kept in mind.

  1. Be ready for changes, and plan for them ahead of time.
    • This goes for everything from size of group needed to the methods and tactics utilized
  2. This is a long haul commitment and requires some concept evolution.
  3. If something doesn’t work, fails, or falls apart don’t worry. It can be documented, researched, and revisited later if necessary.

What do you think? Make sense? I’d love to get your opinion in the comments below.

Thank you for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters TwitterFriendfeedLinkedinFacebookMySpaceMyBlogLogTechnoratidel.icio.us

Related Reading
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Business Week Topics Customer Service Customer Service Marketing Customer Experience Social Media Marketing


p.s. If you’re interested but still don’t know where to start contact me (shua at shuaism . com) and we can talk.

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    I agree, Josh. But you’re focusing on tech companies. Removing the tech and the tech support becomes support… customer support…customer service…service…and so forth.

    The key is service, not necessarily tech support. A tech firm probably has a tech support unit and a customer service unit. All are the same here.

  • http://shuaism.com Josh Peters

    Ari, thanks for the comment and you actually summed up tomorrows blog post :) I was going to talk about how the same principles work for all departments from the top down (probably still will).

    When I worked with Qwest’s social media team I created a plan that encompassed the multiple facets of Support (technical, customer, etc), Sales (Small bus, residential, large bus, etc) and Corporate communications.

    You are absolutely right about how “The key is service”. With social media it’s all about creating relationships, and when you combine open relationships with great service it’s a win win scenario.

    Thanks again for your insights.

  • Pingback: Posts about Interpersonal conflict and dealing with people as of January 9, 2009 — Persuasive Skills and Savvy with Dr. K()

  • http://www.UofEating.com Wendy

    Wow! I think you are a genius!! What great ideas. Have any for me?? I am struggling. Had a unique idea, ran with it, and want to get it “out there?” I can't seem to find my audience? Thanks for the insight,,,,

  • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

    Thank you for the comment, If you're looking for your audience start with a few google searches for related items to your unique idea. Without knowing more unfortunatly I can't give you more help, but feel free to email me at the address on the top right.

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