Three Ways to Create Newsworthy Customer ServiceBy Mary Anne Keane

I’m a big reader.

When I’m not engaged in a good book, I love to browse the Internet looking for great industry-related articles.

Today, I was doing a little research for this post and was surprised at the lack of great customer service stories surrounding the use of social media.

When Twitter first picked up steam in 2011, there were countless articles highlighting extraordinary uses of social media as part of a company’s customer service efforts.

A couple of notable examples include the Peter Shankman and Morton’s Steakhouse Twitter-tale, as well as Zappos’ flower delivery – no surprise there, right?

But has the do-good novelty worn off? Did these examples of over-the-top customer service morph out of companies trying to out-do one another in hopes of making front page news?

For many of them, it worked. But as time has gone by, we’ve heard less and less about this type of service.

Create Newsworthy Customer Service

Opportunities for newsworthy customer service still exist. They are out there ready for the taking.

We all know the companies with incredible reputations for service. I bet you can guess at least two of them: Nordstrom and Southwest Airlines.

These companies are known for providing great customer service, and all reap the benefits of it through the stories it generates.

These companies eat and breathe customer service within their organizations. It is engrained in the company’s core values, mission, and culture. Each and every employee is responsible for providing great service from the top, down.

Rally the Troops

If great customer service is communicated and lived by every employee, day in and day out, it becomes second nature.

But everyone must talk the talk and walk the walk – from the CEO to the stock person. Just because it’s neatly written into a plan and communicated during employee training doesn’t mean exceptional customer service is happening within a company. 

Empower Your Team to Make Decisions

Without the autonomy to act on behalf of a company, the perfect opportunity to go over and above for a customer would not be possible.

Empower your team to not only seek out opportunities, but also implement them on the fly if needed. An unbelievable opportunity to do good and make a splash may have passed you by if your employees can cut through the red tape and decision-making process.

Seek Mediaworthy Stories

Great stories can develop beyond the PR department. Encourage employees to be a part of the process by bringing opportunities and ideas to the team.

Create a forum for employees to talk about what’s happening on the front-line and behind the scenes. Oftentimes, great ideas come from out of the ordinary places.

Remember, the opportunity to provide exceptional, newsworthy customer service usually presents itself organically, but it is the company’s dedication to service that will drive the idea, and PR that will give it a voice.

If superior customer service is part of a company’s core values, then opportunities will present themselves, regardless of who is being served.

Mary Anne Keane

Mary Anne is a marketing communications professional with more than 20 years experience serving a diverse client base, from international not-for-profits to some of the country's largest corporations. She specializes in project management where she is skilled at assessing clients' needs, incorporating their direction, and ultimately producing results.

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