Customer service is one of the hardest aspects of business to perfect, as it involves the hiring of a team sized just right and trained just right to answer the flurry of questions and problems raised by customers daily. With the rise of online communities and social media networks, it appears that consumers increasingly try to find out those answers themselves, before finally turning to the company for help.
Smart businesses, however, seeing the value of feedback and customer voice in social networking, now have the ability to kiss away the rift between online communities and customer service. Founded in 2001, Lithium Technologies
social customer service management platform aimed at support, innovation, and promotion.
One of the first things you read on Lithium’s Web site sums up the current social climate perfectly, stating, “For every one interaction your company knows about, there are hundreds and thousands more that are already happening between customers, influencers, and prospects.”
Before, if you had a problem with a new product you purchased, you would rightfully be considered crazy to wait for the day that you run into somebody else with the exact same product and exact same problem. Now, it’s ludicrous to think you’ll get an answer over the phone faster than looking up help from users online.
What Lithium sells its clients then is a “Customer Network, [which] allows you to unlock millions of dollars in untapped value by empowering your customers to innovate for you; to support each other for you; to promote and sell for you.”
Or, in the case of Crucial.com
, to handle customer service for you.
In a press release
today, Crucial.com and Lithium Technologies announced that the 1,000 users-strong Crucial.com social network powered by Lithium helped Crucial.com see a strong reduction in its support call center volume and a 50% reduction in chat support volume.
Crucial.com, an online outlet of Lexar Media
, specializes in computer memory upgrades.
Lithium currently provides this same service for over 100 clients, including AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Linksys, with slight variations depending on specific client needs. While the Barnes & Noble community reflects a sort of massive book club where users can swap recommendations, for example, the community on Linksys’ site is purely about support. Linksys estimates that the community reduces call volume by over 100,000 calls a month.
The latest from Lithium merely duplicates these results successfully for another site, Crucial.com, solidifying the power of the social network for business customer support.