“Customer Service is the New Marketing” — What a zany idea.
Well, not so crazy judging by the number of people who showed up for Get Satisfactionâ€™s first Summit yesterday. The San Francisco Weather Gods startled everyone by punching the â€œRainâ€ button that had been stuck and depressed for the last few weeks. With our eyes now opened by sunshine (and ten or twelve cups of coffee), a packed crowd sat down to see if anything innovative is going on in customer service.
Boy, is there.
At the conference, I was chatting with Kathy Badertscher, of the DIY online book publisher Blurb, and she remarked that she had taken more notes at this Summit than sheâ€™d taken at any other conference in recent memory. Sheâ€™s not the only one. Here are a few of the best blog posts and comments Iâ€™ve seen so far about what went on yesterday at the â€œCustomer Service is the New Marketingâ€ Summit:
On the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! blog, Andy Sernovitz put together not one, not two, but three lists of great ideas he heard at the conference. Thatâ€™s 38 great ideas! Bravo, Andy. These are real, actionable ideas.
Brian Solis, host of the â€œHow to Listen to the Market and How to Engage Customers Onlineâ€ workshop, put together a compilation of the tools that were talked about throughout the day. These are the online Web services you can use to open your ears and eyes to the things customers and bloggers are saying about you online. If you still havenâ€™t started using these kinds of tools, drop what youâ€™re doing right now and get yourself set up.
Ross Mayfield gives his impressions of Robert Stephensâ€™ tongue-in-cheek (and very laugh-out-loud) â€œMarketing is a Tax You Pay for Being Unremarkableâ€ presentation, which included the history of the Geek Squad.
On the Web Strategy blog, Jeremiah Owyang puts forward his findings from the Online Community Best Practices workshop he hosted. These are things you can utilize as best practices and benefits/cost analyses as you figure out how youâ€™re going to incorporate and grow a real community.
If you want some wonderfully detailed and business-savvy coverage, Christine Herron’s take on the Summit’s main events are where to look. She writes down nearly every percentage and statistic mentioned — very impressive.
Jon Silversâ€™ Blog Bites Man blog has some well-rounded thoughts on what he considered â€œprobably the most riveting presentationâ€ at the Summit: the speech by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. I can attest that everyone was as impressed by Tonyâ€™s humble and unassuming style as they were by his insight. â€œCreating the right culture is what keeps Tony up at night,â€ writes Silvers. â€œNot sales, not merchandising, not operationsâ€¦ culture. To address culture, everyone in the company â€” whether youâ€™re in sales, service, or merchandising â€” everyone, gets five weeks of training. It includes immersion in the culture, core values, customer service, warehouse, and more.â€
Five weeks! Now, that is impressive.
I was personally impressed that all of the speeches, panels, workshops were bursting with witty and telling observations. These are the exact same kind of interactions companies are trying to foster by marrying customer service and community. No one took themselves too seriously yesterday, but it seemed like everyone got something seriously useful out of the Summit.
Well done, community.
If you were there, thanks for attending! If you missed it, weâ€™ll have video of the presentations posted in the coming weeks, which Iâ€™ll try to roll out as it gets edited. Flickr pics of the event are also available here.