The Online Customer Service Shift: Real talk at SXSW

Online Customer Service SXSW

Kip Wetzel (previously @ComcastCares now at @CapitalOne) approached me with a plan for a SXSW panel. I knew this could be a disruptive topic for the customer service industry. My book on the subject The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide came out in 2011 and this panel was proving my theories. It’s time the philosophy of reaching the customer where they want to be reached become the norm.

Kip craftily assembled a group of folks with the backgrounds to handle the topic:

  • Carla Saavedra Kochalski “Manager of Social Media & Digital Content for Samsung Mobile USA’s Customer Care Team” – but in reality a very talented young woman who truly “gets’ the customer and can apply balance to social media custiomer service. She’s been a driving force in enterprise-level social media strategy since 2010.
  • Bianca Buckridee “Social Media Operations Manager @ChaseSupport” American Banker Magazine said: “She has a thousand-watt smail that never seems to sitch off and a sunny personality that has surely servived her well on the front lines of customer service.” She grasped the value of customer social media comments as early as 2009, and has been on a mission to perfect the outreach ever since.
  • Brooks Thomas “Southwest Air: Emerging Media. A journalist who’s defined “emerging media for his brand. He personalizes the airline’s blog with words like, “I know how your morning went down. Your synchronized yawn-and-stretch routine happened as it always does. You almost tripped on a Tonka truck on your way to the bathroom. You groggily stumbled down…” Customers can related to a brand through his words.

SXSW Real Talk: The Online Customer Service Shift

Digital Roots came up with some of the best quotes:

“Social isn’t a silo. It’s part of your customer experience,” stated Marsha Collier, author and radio host. “The goal is to deliver a consistent customer experience across all touch points, while allowing customers to interact with you according to their own preferences.”

“Social customer service belongs in customer service operations, but should have dotted lines to marketing, corporate communications and legal,” explained Bianca Buckridee, Social Media Operations Manager for JPMorgan Chase. “It’s not just one team that sits in one silo.”

“Effective customer service programs require qualified agents, robust monitoring capabilities and data collecting services,” clarified Carla Saavedra, Social Media Care Manager for Samsung Mobile USA.

“At Southwest, customer relations, communications and customer service have a stake in social media,” said Brooks Thomas of Southwest Airlines.

The 500 social media, brands and customer service enthusiasts responded with a ton of Tweets including comments, quotes and links that carried actionable insights. Here is the archive:

SXSW Panel;Real Talk: The Online Customer Service Shift Tweetstream


An audience member shot a video on their phone – but ran out of space.
This should give you an idea of some valuable idea


Please Tell Me What You Think

If you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!