GOOD & IBM present
Welcome to Figures of Progress

Big Data is empowering and driving 21st Century leaders, whether in business, city government, or even sports. This year, we’re expanding Figures of Progress and inviting you to take part in learning and doing. Join us as we continue the dialogue and explore how big data is being harnessed to change our world.

GOOD & IBM present

DO: Use Social Media

For Better Customer Service

GOOD and IBM have teamed up to bring you Figures of Progress to explore how data is empowering and driving 21st Century leaders, whether in business or city government. This year, we’re expanding Figures of Progress and inviting you to take part in learning and doing. Join us as we continue the dialogue and explore how big data is being harnessed to change our world.

Add to your GOOD "to-do" list
It’s usually an unappealing chore when you have to return or exchange a purchase you’ve made, or call a business to get information. It can feel like endless waits and looping hold music are awaiting you. But what if customer service allowed you to get immediate help, getting you connected to the right person with the right answers? While there are certainly businesses out there who get customer service right, a lot of corporations are taking note of the power of social media—and this is how you can make customer service work for you.

Instead of emailing every info@ email you can find, try reaching out in alternative, public ways such as Twitter, Facebook, even Yelp. The high visibility can often yield quick results because many brands are constantly monitoring their presence on social sites. Just ask Peter Shankman, who unexpectedly found a steak waiting for him at the airport after tweeting about his hunger to Morton’s Steakhouse. Or Laura Click, who wanted a product prior to traveling but the company didn’t offer a shipping option that was fast enough. A couple tweets later and she had the requested product on its way.

Consumers don’t have to do all the heavy lifting though; some brands are making it easier for consumers to get in touch through alternative channels. Take a look at Zappos. Cited again and again for its convenience—free shipping both ways—Zappos has web-based chat features, a 24/7 customer service line (including holidays), and is active and responsive on social media.

Starbucks is another example. Aside from its simple phone-based payment option, the coffee chain has My Starbucks Idea, a site dedicated to giving customers what they want. Customers can share their ideas for drinks, food items, or store improvements while Starbucks employees review, approve and provide updates on the changes they’re making.

Through sites like these and social media, consumers have power to tell brands what they really think and make sure it’s not getting buried in an inbox.

What channel has provided you the best customer service?

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