Are You Listening? Your Customer is Broadcasting

by Barry Moltz on June 22, 2010

According to an April 2010 study performed by Performics and reported by eMarketer, 1/3rd of all twitter chat is about brands.  As a result, it should come as no surprise that the brands are starting to listen.  Many major corporations are getting involved in social media as a direct way to assist in providing better customer service.

Last week, I interviewed Steve Furman (@stevefurman), Director of Design, Customer Experience and Social Media at Discover Card. (@discover)

Steve discussed how Discover has actually used social media as a listening post for the past three years.  They believe that it really reflects an additional voice of the customer.  People expressing their rants or raves with social media tools make feedback more available for all companies.  On their Twitter page, they make it human by showing pictures of the people you are talking to – Leigh Ann, Suzanne and Nancy!

Steve differentiated between:

1) Messages that are internally transmitted throughout the organization as a result of customer communication, and

2) Social media chatter which is externally broadcast by their customers outside the organization.

While they have always had systems in place for handling customer inquiries directed at the company, social media is a new kind of conversation happening by the customers being broadcast around them.

It is interesting to note that Steve’s social media team is a combination of customer service, PR, audit, and legal.  They use the software from Radian 6 to listen to what their customers are saying across social media platforms.

Your customer is broadcasting about your company.  Are you listening?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeannie Walters June 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

Barry – I like how they are differentiating and discussing listening specifically. This goes to what your book says – customer service in a self-service world. These customers are taking the initiative on their own, but it’s up to companies to react and hear them when they do.

Barry Moltz June 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Agreed- the key is to have many avenues for a customer to communicate so they can take the one they want!

Katie Morse July 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Hey and thanks for mentioning Radian6! Much like Jeannie, I find it interesting that they’re differentiating between internal and external messages. I’d be interested to see if there’s overlap, or which spreads further (for example – do company-posted messages get more RT’s on average?).


Katie Morse
Community Manager | Radian6

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