Picture of Snow Owl | HootSuite Owl Representation

Monthly Mash: Customer Experience Tools and The HootSuite Owl

Volume 2: November 2011 Mashup

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.


Customer Experience Resource: “Hootie” The HootSuite Owl

This month’s spotlight is on HootSuite, a social media management dashboard, who has affectionately been renamed Hootie in my household.

How does HootSuite relate to the customer experience? As social media increasingly becomes part of the customer experience for businesses across industries and sizes, properly scaling social media monitoring and response is essential to enhancing the customer experience and responding to customer service complaints made in the social sphere.

Multiple social platforms can be challenging to maintain. HootSuite enables organizations to consolidate most of their social media management, monitoring multiple streams in one location.

HootSuite Screenshot

For instance, with Twitter, you can have a column for lists, a column for keywords, a column for @mentions, and more. HootSuite allows me to keep track of Facebook and Twitter for multiple retail businesses, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for my personal/blog — all with one login.

HootSuite’s mobile app (at least for iPhone) is an excellent way to keep on top of social accounts; however, if you suffer from any type of smart phone addiction, it is likely to only increase the condition. “Please put Hootie down and take out the trash” has been heard quite a few times around my house.

One of the best selling points for HootSuite is it scales economically for small organizations but is robust enough to be used by large media companies like Fox and The Huffington Post.

HootSuite provides an excellent way to delegate responsibility without giving up control. If you are concerned at all about Facebook fan page security (and you should be), then HootSuite allows you to have others manage the page without giving up dangerous admin privileges.

While HootSuite has too many features to list in this short spotlight, I hope this brief introduction has helped expose you to some of the possibilities for monitoring and managing social customer service. While HootSuite is not the only platform for managing multiple social accounts, it is one of the most popular and, to my mind, the best in class.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience I read this past month.

  • Language Engineering: Finding the Right Words to Use with Customers – Careful word choices are an integral part of not only reactive customer service but also of the customer experience as a whole.
  • Do You Believe Customers Are an Asset… Or a Cost Center? – Many firms need to evaluate whether they have systems in place that inconvenience the 99% just to protect them from the 1%. Context is everything in this discussion, but most businesses fail to have the discussion at all.
  • Customer Equity — Should you treat all customers equally? An interesting post that ties in well with the discussion of Customer Lifetime Value from earlier this week.
  • Infographic: The Word and The World of Customers — An interesting look at word of mouth marketing both online and off.


And in the spirit of the holiday season, a couple of posts on how to get, not give, better service…


Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I am most proud of.

  • Understanding Customer Lifetime Value: A Non-Geek’s Guide. Calculating Customer Lifetime Value can be a complicated undertaking, but extremely worthwhile. This post takes an exhaustive look at CLV using a back of the napkin approach. This is the longest post on this site, and it has received the most initial traffic of any post yet.


Thoughts on the Customer

“Even loyal customers like to try new things.”
Jack Mackey

As you might know, I recently heard Mackey speak at The Secret Service Summit. This quote really stood out, because I believe it strikes at the heart of how customers view loyalty versus how many businesses do.

Much writing on customer loyalty tends to view the customer relationship as a marriage, as if customers are only truly loyal if they don’t stray. Companies have even attempted to reinforce the idea through marketing (particularly cigarette companies back in the day): “Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch.” “I’d walk a mile for a camel.”

However, in most cases, customers do not view loyalty the way we wish they did. Our customers will always be tempted to try the competition, and it is human nature to want to experience new things. Accept that loyal customers will stray on occasion, and remember that your service experience and value proposition should be ready to withstand the enticements of newness.

Customer loyalty should not be viewed as a chain that binds but as a home where the door is always open.


I hope you enjoyed the Monthly Mash. Please join others in sharing it using the social share buttons below.



By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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17 replies
  1. Chris Richards
    Chris Richards says:

    I love Hootsuite, I would probably give up on Twitter if it didn’t exist or at least something similar.

    I’m tremendously disloyal but will always go back to the best. I see my disloyalty as a good thing it means that companies must strive to get better all the time or lose their customers for good.

    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Hi Chris,

      I completely agree. If I didn’t have HootSuite, I would be much less engaged (if not completely inactive) on Twitter. I only hope that Twitter doesn’t eventually try to box HootSuite out now that it has purchased TweetDeck.

      You make a good point about loyalty. My approach is a bit different. My loyalty is generally relative to the relationships built and the quality. If there is a strong relationship on some level, I will tolerate some hiccups in quality. But eventually, loyalty earned has to be re-earned through excellence. Hiccups are one thing; a general degradation of service or product quality is another.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing you thoughts Chris! Look forward to seeing you again.

  2. Bill Dorman
    Bill Dorman says:

    Hootsuite was my savior after I got going full guns; I was spending an incredible amount of time chasing until I found out about lists and putting the different platforms on Hootie.

    I never thought of it from the commercial side but could see where it would be very beneficial if you were ‘managing’ accounts.

    I could still get a little deeper with it, so this might spur me on.

    Hope all is well and you are having a great weekend.

    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      If it weren’t for the ability to filter the “noise” on Twitter using lists and keywords, I would probably not use Tw very much. And HootSuite makes all of that workable.

      If you ever get social going in a bigger way at LU, I would definitely take a look at it. It works well from an organizational standpoint.

      Nice to see you Bill! Have a great weekend as well.

  3. Shakirah Dawud
    Shakirah Dawud says:

    I like how you put the customer relationship in perspective with the quote about loyalty and your last line, that it’s not a binding chain. I have a client who “cheats on me” but I don’t mind, because I know I’m still needed for certain specific jobs no one else can do like I do.

    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Hey Shakirah, you actually broach a good point that I didn’t address — specialization and “shared” clients. I think as many businesses move to more specialized, niche plays, what you describe will become more the norm than the exception.

      Good to see you!

  4. Andy from HootSuite
    Andy from HootSuite says:

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for sharing this article and the kind words! At HootSuite HQ, we strive to build a tool that can help a wide variety of users – from individual users to SMBs to enterprise clients. Glad to see you’re enjoying it!

    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Hey Andy,

      It is my pleasure to share HootSuite. I have actually recommended HS to a number of colleagues in the retail space (i.e. not in tech/blogging), and they love it as well.

      Thanks for stopping by! While I wasn’t expecting a comment from HS, the fact that you took the time probably says more about HootSuite than I did in the post.

  5. Michel
    Michel says:

    Hi Adam,

    Great article. Put together very nicely, short and sweet. Similar to Bill Dorman’s comment, Hootsuite did help when I went from a few followers to what I currently am at. Also, I find it much easier to manage my keywords and streams which saves me time.

    Thanks again.


  6. Matt Kinsella
    Matt Kinsella says:

    I’ve used Hootsuite for a while now and I really like it. Only 2 things I would add to it: Make the tweet scheduling for multiple tweets easier and make the iPhone app better by having access to saved drafts. Other than that it’s great and as I only use the free version I can’t really complain.

  7. elpidio
    elpidio says:

    I didn’t know this Hootsuite and i’m not familiar with this application but i get interested with the features you’ve mention, i think this is great for all doing online business like me. thanks

  8. Mark Steward
    Mark Steward says:

    I never thought of it from the commercial side but could see where it would be very beneficial if you were ‘managing’ accounts, thanks for sharing


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