John Bernier (@bernierjohn) Twelpforce lead at Best Buy was a guest of @JeffAshcroft aka @The SocialCMO on #mmchat.
This is a regularly scheduled Twitter chat with a different topic every Monday at 8:00 EST for those with an interest in marketing. All are welcome to join the conversation.
The full Best Buy chat transcript is available here.
By most any standard Best Buy’s Twelpforce program is a success. I was curious to learn about the program from an insider’s perspective.
The chat was delightful and informative; here is what I observed.
Clear Vision drives success.
- The initial program was chaotic, without a vision it could have failed. John says “we are guided by a compass not a map.”
- Twelpsforce is designed to be reactive, responding to customer service issues and requests. John refers to this program as the AAA of Twitter. Other Best Buy programs like @geeksquad are more proactive in nature.
- One of the primary Twelpsforce functions is to help consumers navigate the complexity of Best Buy; their role is one of a social concierge.
Culture is crucial.
- Senior leadership was involved in the program from the beginning.
- Best Buy believes in and trusts their employees to do the right thing. People are considered assets not liabilities.
- Hiring the right people is important. They look for people who are humble and curious.
- Best Buy provides social media guidelines that are consistent with the confidence and trust they have in their employees.
- An entrepreneurial spirit, one that encourages risk taking, was already in place.
- The social media effort is a function of many departments, but no single department owns it.
Collaboration is essential.
- A Cross functional team (marketing, PR, legal, and customer service) was put in place from the beginning.
- Custom tools like connecttweet were created by internal developers. These tools contribute significantly to the execution of Best Buy’s customer service strategy.
Communication is vital.
- Employees are encouraged to share and connect across the organization in order to address and solve customer service issues.
- Trends are closely monitored so issues can be elevated quickly.
- Best Buy is continuing to develop tools that will facilitate sharing and learning.
The Twelpforce program has been successful due to leadership that encourages, inspires and motivates employees to create a customer experience that differentiates Best Buy from their competition.
They continue to innovate and adapt as the program grows and matures. For more on this story check out Empowered by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler.
Have you experienced the Twelpforce program?
The Customer Experience will be the topic of our next [Monday June 6,2011] #usguyschat. The chat occurs each Monday at 3 PM EST. Please join our discussion.
Below are the questions:
1. Can you think of businesses you use that consistently provide a positive customer experience?
2. Is there a difference between customer service and customer experience?
3. Who is.. or should be.. responsible for the customer experience?
4. What factors contribute to a positive customer experience?
5. How can the customer experience be used as a competitive advantage?
6. How does one make a positive customer experience strategy sustainable?
7. How does social media play a role in the customer experience?