Monthly Mash: Customer Experience Tools and The HootSuite Owl
Adam Toporek Keynote Speaker of Customers That Stick®

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.

  • CX Insights from Marriott and JetBlue – Really interesting insights into two challenging customer experience environments. The data from JetBlue is fascinating.
  • Silent Gratitude Isn’t Very Much Use to Anyone — To me, gratitude is at the heart of customer service. Some great quotes and thoughts here for business and life.
  • Spotting Erroneous Customer Research – Insightful views on Martin Lindstrom’s controversial You “Love” Your iPhone NYT op-ed.
  • How Customer Experience Pros Can Cut Through The Controversy And Capitalize On Net Promoter – Solid tips to make sure that NPS is not just measured but capitalized on within your organization.
  • 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…

  • How to Get Better Service This Holiday Season – Has thoughts from a number of CustServ professionals on how to ensure you get better service during “peak” season.
  • How to Receive Customer Service – Sometimes you need to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes. Be the dream customer for someone else.

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.

About the Author Adam Toporek

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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