Community Managers – the new frontier

By Stephen Rhodes

Customer service is moving into new digs, with a more interesting name in contemporary corporate lingo. Community managers are now charged with building and managing relationships with customers online and not just listening to their complaints.

The relationship building required by a good community manager plumbs new levels when it comes to customer service.  It involves listening and responding to customer needs. It involves brand evangelism, finely honed communication skills and an active role in product and service development.

So, customer service today is about creating dialogue with your customers before they get upset at some miscues in service. By engaging them you create  ownership or at least better understanding.

Blogger Jeremiah Owyang wants to celebrate community managers. In a recent blog Community Manager Appreciation Day #CMAD (Every 4th Monday of Jan) he says these guardians of brand have passion for customers.

The title matters not, whether it’s online customer advocate, online customer support, company evangelist, disgruntled customer handler. Instead, focus on what they do: A customer advocate willing to help regardless of where they are online.”

Not all companies embrace this open dialogue with customers. Some are afraid of opening Pandora’s box. The job itself seems never-ending and an emotional drain, says Jeremiah, because customers never stop having problems.

He has some advice for companies that adopt this new approach to online customer service . Learn more by reading the Four Tenants of Community Managers.

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