Original post by Shannon Otto
Customer service is changing.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, but the way businesses and organizations alike handle customer service is rapidly changing due to the Internet.
If someone is mailed a wrong shipment of a product, they can vent on Twitter.
If someone experiences horrible in-person service, they can complain on the organization's Facebook page.
If someone's conference experience isn't what they expected, they can blog about it.
And they do.
I've seen all of these situations happen firsthand, and I've seen how organizations react - they panic.
If your organization is small and localized, this phenomenon may not be as prevalent.
But the world is only getting more social.
If your current "power members" don't blog or Facebook, know that many of your future "power members" probably will. Once stereotyped as out-of-work writers toiling in mom and dad's basement, bloggers are now a vital part of the communications industry. People take them seriously. Other consumers value their input, reviews and opinions.
Has your association ever had to deal with a member (or former member, for that matter) bad-mouthing the organization online? How did you deal with it? Do you have measures in place to handle it?
One of the most important things to remember regarding customer service in social media is that a public response is often necessary. Even if you resolve the issue privately, it's crucial to be open about the fact that you're seeking a resolution. If there's a complaint on Facebook, respond publicly and tactfully, then take the matter into a private arena. The same goes for Twitter.