Social CRM is a popular topic and social customer service is a subset that I’m commonly asked about.

Social customer service is new and adoption is relatively small compared to other channels:  7% of US online consumers have used a company sponsored online forum for customer service support and 6% have used a third party forum. (Source: North American Technographics Customer Experience Online Survey, Q4 2009)

But nascent interest shouldn’t automatically relegate social customer service to your backburner. Customer satisfaction with social customer service is high. At 66%, satisfaction with third party customer service forums is the second most appealing channel behind the telephone. (Source: North American Technographics Customer Experience Online Survey, Q4 2009)

And in addition to customer satisfaction, there are several compelling business benefits to social customer service such as reputation management, building your knowledge base, deflecting calls to your call center, and shortening resolution times.

Social customer service comes in many forms, including:

  • Offering customer Ask and Answer or forums;
  • Participating in third party forums;
  • Using social channels such as Twitter or Facebook for customer service;
  • Developing a wiki.


Questions about if you should be using social customer service and what it should look like are complex. To help answer that question, my report called “How To Create A Social Customer Service Strategy” has just been published. In this report, I recommend using Forrester’s systematic approach to social strategy that we summarize by the acronym POST –people, objectives, strategy, and technology.

I’d love to hear from you about what results you’ve achieved from any social customer service initiatives you’ve launched.