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Chapter from: "Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies"
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: 2011

Abstract

Customer service call centers cost companies billions of dollars to run. On-line support and outsourcing can help, but often at the cost of alienating customers. Now, the groundswell - the vast and ever-expanding community of social technology users has given customers a whole new source of support: each other. And all you have to do is get out of the way. In this chapter, social media strategy leaders Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff show you three social technology applications that demonstrate people's basic human impulse to help others, even when those others are perfect strangers: support forums, wikis, and questions and answers. This chapter is about saving money and gaining insight by helping your customers support each other. Real-life case studies - specialized blogging system CarePages (for hospital patients and their families and friends), Dell's technical support forums, and BearingPoint's collaborative information-management wiki - will capture your imagination and demonstrate why you should view groundswell support communities as a powerful way not only to engage with your customers, but to collaborate with them and, ultimately, create better products. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 8 of ‘Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies'.

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Abstract

Customer service call centers cost companies billions of dollars to run. On-line support and outsourcing can help, but often at the cost of alienating customers. Now, the groundswell - the vast and ever-expanding community of social technology users has given customers a whole new source of support: each other. And all you have to do is get out of the way. In this chapter, social media strategy leaders Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff show you three social technology applications that demonstrate people's basic human impulse to help others, even when those others are perfect strangers: support forums, wikis, and questions and answers. This chapter is about saving money and gaining insight by helping your customers support each other. Real-life case studies - specialized blogging system CarePages (for hospital patients and their families and friends), Dell's technical support forums, and BearingPoint's collaborative information-management wiki - will capture your imagination and demonstrate why you should view groundswell support communities as a powerful way not only to engage with your customers, but to collaborate with them and, ultimately, create better products. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 8 of ‘Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies'.

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