Social Media and the Service Desk

If you have been reading any IT Service Management Blogs lately then you are certain to have seen the current hype around the integration of Social Media tools into the running of the Service Desk. 

So, should you be exploiting social media channels to reach out to your customers from the service desk? 

Every large corporate and most Governments around the world have now appointed full time staff to monitor social media to see what is being said about them and to react to the 'buzz'. What is becoming more and more common is for those same organisations to be actively involved in starting the 'buzz'. Social media is not going anywhere, so it is time for us to harness the huge power that exists and use it to proactively communicate with our customers. 

The first thing you need to get clear is the difference between social media and social networking. Social Media refers to the material that is distributed via the social networking platforms. Social Networks are the platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked in, and you can easily utilize these platforms as part of your communication strategy. With Facebook expected to hit one billion users by August of this year, the chances are the most, if not all of your customers will have Facebook accounts which they will use to varying degrees. Setting up a closed, invitation only, group on facebook for your company will allow you to reach many of these customers via a channel that they are familiar and comfortable with. I personally interact with a number of companies via my facebook account.

Linked-in has a rather more ‘business-like’ feel and reputation, again a closed, invitation only group on linked-In is a good way to communicate with your customer base. Twitter gives you the opportunity to send short, sharp messages to your followers…you will be surprised just what you can say in 140 characters or less!

In the coming days we will discuss just how to harness these platforms for the benefit of your customer service. In the meantime, rather than reinvent the wheel, I suggest you read some of what has been written by Chris Dancy, probably the loudest voice in Social IT right now. Chris’s blog here does a lot to explain exactly what Social IT is.