Twitter for "Micro Customer Management"...

I've experienced three new "Twitter firsts" for me in the last 24 hours. Two of these "Twitter firsts" illustrate very nice examples of what I am calling "Micro Customer Management" and the third I'd say was a bit of a flop.

The first "Twitter firsts" arrived on my phone yesterday. An organization which I've been following on twitter (@BICommunity) sent me a direct message via twitter to inform me of a discount on a conference which I might consider attending. No long winded email with lots of silly images, just a simple tweet telling me "here is something you should consider". We are all super busy these days and getting this sent directly to me via a tweet just "felt" better than receiving yet another email about yet another conference. Since I voluntarily follow this organization Twitter lets them direct message me, a new way to "opt-in" for getting messages if you will.

The second "Twitter firsts" is after taking a look at the @JetBlue Twitter feed. @JetBlue is actively performing customer service via Twitter much better than any other organization I've seen so far. Folks are sending "Micro Customer Requests" via twitter like "hey @JetBlue, do you have discounts for military personnel?" and shortly thereafter @JetBlue replies back "hey @Customer - take a look at these links for info on discounts for military personnel". Again, no long winded emails, no dialing 1-800 numbers to wait on hold to find out the info, just a customer asking a simple question and getting a simple answer in a timely fashion. Just plain brilliant.

What is "Micro Customer Management"?
"Micro Customer Management" (as defined by Rich Murnane) is using tools like Twitter and Facebook to "actively engage" your customers and meet their needs.

When it "doesn't work"
The third "Twitter firsts" for me was watching President Barack Obama answering questions asked of him via Twitter in a "Town Hall" type of webcast. This one was a little strange as I kind of felt that although he was answering tweets, you couldn't help but feel like he was answering the tweets which his staff "filtered". Kind of like having Roger Clemens pitching to little league batters, it just didn't feel right. There were thousands of tweets yesterday that included the #askObama hashtag and of course he's not going to be able to answer all of them, it's just impossible. Obama's got too many customers and using this "Micro Customer Management" channel just didn't seem appropriate.

These technologies certainly lend themselves to "quick" question and answers such as your customer's questions like "hey @Distributer, do you have part #ABC123 in stock?". No doubt it is where the world is moving to and I'm looking forward to seeing some additional great examples of people exploiting these channels for better "Micro Customer Management".

Until next time...Rich

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