This Gartner article, with CEB now Gartner research makes a good point that there is a difference between customer experience and customer support.

Customer experience can be a long process which covers the buying process, the sale, using the product and the unfortunate failure and resolution of that.  Customer Service being in the retail context the sale, where as in the B2B World that is seen as the after sales and after care.  In the world I grew up in, which is the tech sector a whole industry of help desks, patches, new version, compatibility was born.

While trying to pay a credit card by phone the other day, they asked me if I had thought about using the app or using the web.  Most companies want the customer to use self-service and this is where social comes in.

Social is now used throughout the business, in marketing, sales, procurement, human resource, customer service and it is critical for a business to take a strategic approach to social.  Not a strategy on posting on Facebook, that is only one aspect, but a strategy for taking all of the silos of social across the business and joining them up under one strategy.

Customers now interact with brands in so many places on social.  From asking questions, to praising, to researching to complaining.  Wouldn't it be useful to know that somebody that was complaining, had also been downloading your white papers in a different area.  The compliant, might impact on the sale.  This is where a social active CEO might come in handy.

If this resonates with you, maybe a social transformation company would be useful?

One word of warning.  Before hiring "social" people, check them out on-line first.  I spotted a "Social Guru" just yesterday who only had 400 followers and hadn't tweeted for 6 months.