SXSW 2010: Customer Support in a 140 Character World

Monday, March 15, 2010 5:00pm
Caroline McCarthy, CNET News/CBS Interactive
Frank Eliason, Comcast
Lois Townsend, HP
Toby Richards, Microsoft
Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group

Session Description

Gone are the days of traditional customer support. In a world of Twitter, Facebook, and customer complaint sites like GetSatisfaction, customers are now jumping online to vent and publicize their customer support issues. But does it work for everyone and can complex customer service issues really be resolved within a 140 word limit? This panel of experienced customer support experts, analysts and vendors, will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to social media centric customer support. Recent snafus and success stories will be highlighted, along with a unique insider perspective of the internal business and operational requirements that companies must keep in mind when going online. This panel is sponsored by HP.


Social Media is a place the customer owns. And thus, it becomes a place feasible to gather customer feedback. The question becomes is what should businesses do with the feedback? Twitter seems, in most businesses, to be a way to connect with the customer but not converse with the customer.

  • HP has 11 people dedicated, and about 75 actively supporting customers in social media.
  • Comcast reviews over 2000 tweets per day.
  • Microsoft supports about 1200 customers per month online through 6 people.

Basically what you say online hurts their company image, and they’ll respond. But a phone call? Ha! (read the past blog post, and you’ll see why that’s bad).

More Information

#140customersupport OR #140cs
ClaraBridge (Microsoft uses this)
Blue Ocean (Microsoft uses this)

Posted in Geeky, SXSW 2010.

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