Customer Service And Social Media

I was reminded recently how much I value good customer service after visiting an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica.  We decided to book this vacation – more specifically book at a particular resort after reading reviews about the quality of food, cleanliness and “excellent customer service”.  Well, what we actually encountered was two extremes of service – either great customer service or incredibly horrible service.  Amazing how you remember the bad over the good.

It makes me think how understanding your use of social media or how you communicate through the channels is fundamentally following the ideals of good customer service.

We start with the proper etiquette.   Let’s use a LinkedIn sample for this.  Look at your profile settings.  First, think about your audience or your connections.  Under your privacy controls, do you let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies?  This feature has a purpose when used but some people may not be interested in seeing what you are doing.

Good eye contact – recognition.  A key step in good customer service is recognizing someone in the proper time.  If you were a waiter and you were experiencing being slammed with multiple tables seated at the same time; thinking OMG! – I don’t know how to handle this.  The approach will always save you and its part of recognizing your guests.  It’s easy to go to a table and simply let your guests know that you are happy to be of service and will be right back after servicing the two tables that were sat before them.

When someone follows you in Twitter, use recognition and engage with that follower.  “Look them in the eyes” and thank them for following you.  They recognized you – they chose to follow you for what you had to say or what you share.  It’s easy to send them a tweet thanking the gesture.

Appropriate behavior is also part of good customer service.  Make sure that you are appropriate in what you communicate to your audience.  Think twice before sharing a joke on Facebook.  While at the initial onset, it may make you chuckle, you may find that not everyone feels the same way about the punch line.  The last thing you want to do is to offend someone who is a friend connected to you.

Listening is very important.  One way of making a customer happy is listening to how you can fulfill their need.  Okay – you have a presence on Google+, are you listening to what your connections are saying?  If you truly are listening, then you’ll find that you also answering.  Listening is totally a form of engaging in social media and fulfilling your follower’s needs.

Taking an extra step can differentiate you giving good vs. fantastic customer service.  When sharing a piece of relevant information, make sure you take that extra step and research it properly and provide all the references that you used along with it.  I love using Zite on my iPAD and sharing articles on certain topics with my followers.  I always pay close attention before sharing something that is factual, whether or not the references associated to the article are valid.  That’s my extra step in sharing.

Now you’re ready…take one extra step towards recognizing, listening, engaging and providing exceptional social media interaction.


Do you REALLY know what attorneys are doing on social media?

How do we really know what goes on internally at a law firm and how do we really know what our attorneys are doing in social media?  As an administrator or a director of marketing the responsibility of helping someone become successful in their business development practice is really not that far out of your reach.

The goal is to make the attorney successful by providing them with the necessary tools.  Some are in the form of education while some are technology based.  Some are designed to protect our attorneys against malpractice or help our attorneys’ families with health insurance needs.  We ask that our attorneys embark on marketing practices – some of which they are uncomfortable performing.

We ask them to join groups and become members of prominent organizations to make them known in their communities.  Sometimes our attorneys are great public speakers and enjoy articulating to the masses and some are wordsmiths in the true sense, manipulating words and publishing an article in a trade publication to stimulate their client’s interests.  Our attorneys attend conferences to educate themselves on their practice area and network with their peers to share experiences that make them successful.

Our attorneys entertain in the hopes that when a client or prospect requires a legal service, there is no question who that client should turn to.  All of these activites – continuous actions are ones that are considered to be the traditional way of building one’s business, establishing the community or generating leads that may turn into business.

OK.  How are your attorneys creating their communities on LinkedIn?  What audience are they trying to attract through Twitter?  How often are your attorneys providing blog content and spreading the news to stimulate the folks interested in being educated?  How are your attorneys actually using social media?  Do they know how to use it for business development?

Your job is to know, to understand and to guide.  Where can you start?  How can you evaluate?  There’s a simple way to find out.

Start with a social media survey.  You want this survey to be comprehensive so your results can yield conclusions on how your firm’s attorneys execute their social business development practices.  The goal is to generate useful data from this survey so the information you are about to request should be relevant to the individual taking it.  Understand your audience.  Use logic in your survey to direct an attorney to only the questions that will be pertinent.  And don’t forget that when you have results and action items, you want to be able to quantify future direction.

Your survey should be one that allows you to sort on demographics for example, you would want to evaluate associate versus partner responses.  You may want to filter by a practice area to compare results from another practice area.  Remember that an attorney has an analytical mind, so the wording of the question is just as important as the idea behind the question.

Lastly, don’t keep the results to yourself.  Share the results — educate your attorneys on what you found.  Compliment where necessary, create the appropriate action items, review on a regular basis and visit your survey a couple more times during the year.  Understanding what makes someone productive is just as important as realizing a person’s misplaced practices.  Remember that the key to success is understanding what makes a person effective and prosperous.


2012 Resolutions and Stats to Consider for You and Your Firm

With the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, I took a step back to really look at my life personally and professionally.  I’ve been reading and reading AND reading and have had a bit of writers block recently. But, I’ve got my motivation back and thought I’d share some resolutions and interesting stats as we enter 2012 regarding business development, new technology and mobility.

HubSpot recently put out some ‘eye-popping’ statistics that I’m summarizing and sharing with you:

  • More than 3/4 of the total population will be online in 2012. 
  • Mobile internet users will reach 113.9 million in 2012, up 17.1% from 97.3 million in 2011. 
  • Smartphone users will reach 106.7 million in 2012, up 18.4% from 2011. 
  • Mobile shoppers will reach 72.8 million in 2012. 
  • Mobile buyers will reach 37.5 million in 2012. 
  • Tablet users will reach 54.8 million in 2012, up 62.8% from 33.7 million in 2011. 
  • In 2012, 76.4% of tablet users will be iPad users.
  • Facebook will reach 143.4 million US users in 2012, up 8.2% from 132.5 million in 2011. 
  • About 2/3 of web users will use social networks in 2012.
  • Mobile video viewers will reach 54.6 million in 2012. 
  • 88.1% of US internet users ages 14+ will browse or research products online in 2012. 
  • 83.9% of internet researchers will make at least one purchase via the web during 2012.

(more…)


Plethora of iPad Apps ‘Legally’ Worth Your Time

I bought an iPad 2 awhile back and besides the fact that half of the apps on it are for my four year old, the other half are for productivity, news and info overload consumption.  After seeing the ILTA session on 60 apps in 60 minutes, I thought I’d share with you some of the ones on that list as well as some of my favorites for learning and legal productivity. I tried to add the prices if I could find them. Please add your favorites in the comments below! I’m always looking for the newest and fun legal apps! (more…)


The Possible Acquisition of Autonomy by HP.

Wow — $11.5 Billion!  I was really impressed to hear that UK based Autonomy is in the evaluation process of being acquired by HP.  I wonder what kind of new incentives this can drum up in the legal community?

Autonomy has been known as the largest of the three most popular document management software companies in the legal marketplace.  But it has grown particularly in its offerings in the past years in the eDiscovery and enterprise content management platforms.  Let’s not forget its introduction to Matter Centricity – which many firms transformed their networks to in recent years.

And then through the grapevine, we hear that HP is actually interested in getting out of the hardware business with this acquisition and becoming a full fledged service oriented model.  This is a big step for HP – especially now because they will have to re-brand themselves for being the experts in customer service and boast qualifications that already exist for its competitors – IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP.

HP also announced that it was going to cease the existence of its webOS mobile operating system.  They spent a great deal of money and time promoting.  This is only after spending $1.2 billion when acquiring Palm announcing very aggressive hardware plans centered on Palm’s webOS.

So will they turn to social media to brand their new offerings if the acquisition goes through?  What will happen to the competition such as Dell, Toshiba, Sony and Apple in their hardware offerings?

It’s an exciting time in a difficult economy.  Administrators – pay attention to what will happen to your most valued software investment.


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