"We are all in this humans race together and it's our job to make sure we all cross the finish line as one."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of Superman and Authentic Customer Service on Twitter

The staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there is the alter ego. Batman in reality is Bruce Wayne, Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, Spider-Man is really Peter Parker. When that character wakes up every morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man.

And it is in that attribute that Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman (Kal-El to the true geeks reading this). When Superman wakes up in the morning, has his coffee and showers he’s still Superman. His alter ego, his costume, is Clark Kent.

If you are one of the many companies that is dipping your toe into the Social Media stream to see if it’s something you want to utilize as a customer service outlet then listen closely true believers; If you do take this heroic path make sure you build a Justice League style support team! Whoever your voice is, especially if you utilize Twitter, make sure they are a Superman at customer service. What do I mean by SUPERMAN? Funny you should ask:

Negative Into a Positive!

By having someone at the helm of your guest relations social media who is authentic and doesn’t don a “costume” to fulfill a role, makes the greatest difference in the world! People can smell a scripted person who is just going through the motions and “sounding” polite while on the other end they are reading the horoscopes and eyeing the clock.

Especially on Twitter! If you are making the effort and investment to use Twitter as a customer service outlet to achieve real-time results,  then you have to make sure that person has a “voice” that is going to be engaging, authentic and personable.  If you are going to go through all this trouble to build a customer response presence in social media then make sure you are dedicating real heroes to upholding your companies truth, justice and philosophies way.

Ted Coine just wrote a great piece on his “21st century Leaders” blog about automated messages and what an impersonal thing they are in a world called “SOCIAL” media. The same, if not more importantly, must be said of, real-time customer service social media engagement.  If you hit them with a “you matter to us” auto response message when they Tweet your business, guess what? They will RT (re-tweet) what a villainous maneuver you just pulled and the Breck Effect takes place. They tell two friends, and so on, and so on… 

As I tell my customer service trainees/trainers for phone and online support at seminars, you MUST smile as you would if you were face to face with the guest. Believe me; they can “hear” it! A smile is not just a facial expression; it’s a tone of voice.

How your representatives “sound” can quell an irate customer just by “snake charming” them with their voice. Calm, friendly and sympathetic to the dilemma at hand saves the company time fixing an issue that could have been handled by the right and or well trained hero.

Now where is my cape? Anyone seen my cape? How about my boots? They’re red…Anyone?
How about my tights?

Check out these great posts on Social Media!
Don’t SPAM Me Bro!” by Ted Coine


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  2. Great writing Ty, love the passion and analogy!

    Though I think the social media phone can be answered by multiple individuals and departments in an organization, the best results will certainly be yielded to those that communicate enthusiastically and with a view to exceptional customer service. It can be functional use and still provide a service, but personality and passion take it to the next level, gleaning the most from the efforts expended.

    So why wouldn't anyone already dabbling in social go that extra mile to really make it worthwhile. "In for a penny, in for a pound", as my wise old nan would advise!

  3. Nice simple usable advice on Heartfelt Personal Engagement.

    I loved the mention of smiling when you communicate. It brought back memories of how we use to put a mirror in front of our face in the call center that said "SMILE". People can hear your heart over the phone!

    Keep the great #CustServ tips coming Ty!


    Jon Ferrara

  4. I like your analogy and good customer service points Ty. With the new Superman movie coming up, you'll be able to reference back to it so congratulations on the timing. Noting your reference to our mutual colleague, Ted Coine, the community that has grown up around the #custserv Twitter chat is really nice.

  5. Right on Ty. Customer service, online or offline, needs real commitment, not just a token presence. You can always tell when you get a Bizarro instead of the real Super. Just for sanity's sake, keep the thights unfound, please.

  6. Solid point Ty. It can't be a costume. It needs to be authentic and genuine. Find that Superman of a person and go the extra mile. Little things can make a big difference in both Smallville and Twitterville.



    'the longest and hardest 9 inches in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer'

  7. Ty, you the man...completely agree! Consider though, the people I like to call, "the problem with our country." You know the ones I'm talking about, that call or e-mail your customer service department and raise a stink over nothing at all just to get free product/replacement coupons/refund do you account for the problem with our country on such a big/public platform? Obviously there will be legitimate complaints, but how do you distinguish those from the problem children...What's more, how do you weed the problem children out of your stream/page without seeming like you're dismissing negative feedback?

  8. Great images. The grayscale Kal-El is a total winner--along with your call for tights and cape.

    IRL LOLs. I've been thinking about American "ubermensch"--really idea from Nietzsche. It is a difficult idea about a "beyond-man" that sounds eerily like the augmented human.

    I think, w/Matt Langdon (@theherocc) taht we love superheroes for their mythological heroism, but the tough stuff of humanity will be made by the blood and guts humanity of the non-uber, intuitive, creative...and even a little

    Just food for thought. Perhaps a redemptino of the heroic everyman is good example of the SoMe Justice League?

    Good work, Ty. I'd love to talk w/you.

  9. Look up in the sky it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman. Superman a strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man. Superman he can change the course of mighty rivers and bend steel in his bare hands. Who disguised as Clark Kent, a mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way. Okay I didn't Google this and I know it's missing "can leap tall buildings in a single bound" but I don't have time to figure out where that gets inserted. You are a creative genius. Keep the fun, thought provoking blogs coming.