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Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World [video+book]

No matter how busy you think you are running your business, you need to keep one ear to the ground looking for problems. Problems tend to be immediate surprises.

Business Book Review: Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World

Customer Service

“Customers are more than five times as likely to post something online when they feel like they’ve been taken advantage of….Right away the odds are stacked against you.  But treating them well is all you need to start changing the odds.”

Peter Shankman – Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World

Using social media, you can deliver amazing customer service–and generate an army of fans who’ll promote you in good times, and rescue you from disaster.

Companies around the world are driving enormous value from online customer service at remarkably low cost. You can, too. Peter Shankman will show you how–step-by-step, right now!

Pierre DeBois, who reviewed this guide, says that it offers actionable insights to Improve Customer Service, in a similar guise that Forrester execs Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler answer in their fine book, ‘Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business’, a book about how to empower employees with social media so they could provide better service within an organization and to customers; (read the review here).

“The key to good customer service through social media starts in the company as a whole….The happier the employees are, the better they’ll be at administering stellar customer service…If the company is happy, good customer service becomes second nature.”

The guide provides specific to-dos (and to-don’ts) scalable to small business, along with reminders of actions; an acronym for treating customers: WARS.

  • Make them feel Welcome
  • Make them feel Accepted
  • Make them want to Return
  • Make them want to Share

Shankman uses interesting descriptions to explain what needs immediate attention, and if so, what kinds of steps are effective at appropriate times.
Take the Never-Complained-Before complainers.  Shankman suggests that you address them immediately, because you may not distinguish them as truly angry, or in the Multi-Complainer category (one who likes their dissatisfaction to be heard repeatedly via many different channels.)

According to Matt Krautstrunk, one of the best ways to shape your social image is understanding how to target and influence lead users within your industry, people who shape and impact a community’s way of thinking.
According to Forrester Research, “a minority of people generate 80% of the impressions. 6.2% of the online adults generate 80% of the influence impressions. 13.4% of the online adults generate 80% of the influence posts.”


Klout offers a score to Twitter users based on their reach and influence. Look for people with high network influence, “engagement is measured based on actions such as retweets, @messages, follows, lists, comments, and likes.

Reach out to them and ask for feedback on your content. Give them a bit of special treatment to deepen your relationship.  A few shares or retweets from brand influencers could be all that’s needed to shape your PR Strategy.

Though beware of boasting about your effective PR strategy. Peter Shankman, believes, “there could be a potential backlash if you say, ‘we’re going after people because they’re influencers.’ Don’t share the methods of how you’re finding your people because there could be bad press.”

As Shankman mentions in the section “Always Be Aware – It’s the Thing You Don’t Think of That Can Kill You”:

Your PR strategy should be a mix of engagement and voice, (through brand influencers) targeted to your end users.

”No matter how busy you think you are running your business, you need to keep one ear to the ground looking for problems. Problems tend to be immediate surprises.”


You’ll learn how to:

• Organize a small, powerful social media team on a tight budget

• Listen to what your customers, advisors, and markets are really saying

• Make prospects feel like rock stars from the moment they find you

• Choose online media that make the most sense for you

• Avoid wasting time with platforms that won’t help you

• Earn your customer’s loyalty, trust, and credibility

• Learn from other companies’ viral “disasters”

• Rebuild your credibility after you’ve taken a public “hit” online

• Make sure everyone hears your customers when they compliment you

• Capture all your customer knowledge–and use it in real time

• Keep people talking–and not just about you


A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media

Mikolaj Jan Piskorski

What makes social media so different from traditional media? Answering that question is the key to making social media work for any business, argues Mikołaj Piskorski, one of the world’s leading experts on the business of social media.In A Social Strategy, he provides the most convincing answer yet, one backed by original research, data, and case studies from companies such as Nike and American Express. Drawing on his analysis of proprietary data from social media sites, Piskorski argues that the secret of successful ones is that they allow people to fulfill social needs that either can’t be met offline or can be met only at much greater cost. This insight provides the key to how companies can leverage social platforms to create a sustainable competitive advantage.Companies need to help people interact with each other before they will promote products to their friends or help companies in other ways. Done right, a company’s social media should benefit customers and the firm. Piskorski calls this “a social strategy,” and he describes how companies such as Yelp and Zynga have done it.
Princeton University Press, 2014 ● Hardback ● ISBN 9780691153391

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