Top 8 Tips for Premier Social Customer Service Shared by SMCLA’s Expert November Panel

Yolanda Kline, Angelique Toschi, Charles Miller, Nicole DeRuiter, and Samantha Hosenkamp.
Preeminent customer care starts here (l-r): Yolanda Kline, Angelique Toschi, Charles Miller, Nicole DeRuiter, and Samantha Hosenkamp.

It was the perfect mix for SMCLA’s November event: Experienced panelists, astute moderator, cool sponsors, hip venue (DIRECTV, of course!), plenty of food and wine, and a crowd rarin’ for advice about using social networks to deliver great customer service.

Two speakers – Yolanda Kline from Boingo (@boingo) and Charles Miller (@chasmiller) of DIRECTV – are on point 24/7 with all that implies for keeping wifi users and TV viewers happily plugged in. Angelique Toschi (@angeliquetoschi), of Shakey’s, and Nicole DeRuiter (@DWriteN), formerly with Fresh & Easy, shared the perspective of chain venues, serving and selling food, a product near and dear to customers’ hearts.

Our moderator, Samantha Hosenkamp (@SamHosenkamp), from Ragan Communications and PR Daily, offered helpful insights and asked great questions to get the discussion rolling, revealing actionable tips, like these:

  1. Charles Miller is uncomfortable with the term “trolls,” no matter how much someone is stirring it up online. At the end of the day, he emphasized, they are your customers, and it’s important to find out their needs.
  2. Stake your claim on sites like Yelp and even in channels you’re not using yet to avoid costly legal tangles later on – Angelique Toschi 
  3. This is your brand voice and reputation – hire great writers to represent your brand on social media – Nicole DeRuiter
  4. It’s imperative for marketing and customer care departments to function as one – Yolanda Kline
  5. Find out when your customers are online and be online when they are – Samantha Hosenkamp
  6. Have a system in place for dealing with negative reviews. Customers want to see that you’re taking action to resolve these issues – Angelique Toschi
  7. When a company is going through major changes, customers can get upset, especially if it isn’t being transparent online – Nicole DeRuiter
  8. Use Direct Message to take the conversation with an unhappy customer into a private space, then respond quickly and resolve. Sometimes you can turn an unhappy customer into one who gives you kudos in social networks – Yolanda Kline

Props to Our Sponsors!

Carrie Cook of TriNet with guest Keith Pillow of Caddy Marketing.
Carrie Cook of TriNet with guest Keith Pillow of Caddy Marketing.

Our main sponsor, TriNet (@Trinet), kindly hosted the delish food and drink at this event and made sure everyone had notebooks and pens to jot down all the helpful advice from the panel.

Our friends at Comerica (@ComericaCares) brought us cool mini-flashlight/lanterns and helped make the night a great success.

Big thanks go out to both!

As 2013 has progressed, SMCLA events just keep getting hotter! And, the year’s not over yet – SAVE THE DATE for our Holiday Party/Meet the Food Bloggers shindig, Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Cross Campus LA in Santa Monica! We’re feverishly planning, so expect details soon!!

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