Review Big Brands for Your Social CRM - dummies

Review Big Brands for Your Social CRM

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

The major brands don’t get everything about social media right. However, there are some brands that really excel when it comes to your Social CRM and social customer service, and their customers let them know it.

By looking at what they’re doing, you might get some good ideas about what you can do. According to the readers of MSN Money’s 2011 Customer Service Hall of Fame, some of the winners include these companies:

  • Amazon: This site does something that’s the envy of most other online retailers. They make buying simple. The user is one click away from purchasing any product. Instead of offering myriad support options after you purchase something, they make buying (or returning) so easy that customers are constantly delighted.

    Another really effective service is Amazon Prime. It allows you to get reduced pricing on shipping, among its many other features. Of course, one of the reasons that customers like Amazon is that you can buy so many different products from one place.

  • Apple: No one is surprised when Apple makes the list of best in customer service. If you look at their support portal, you see that they have a substantial self-serve area that includes video tutorials, manuals, tech specs, downloads, and online communities.

    Their stores have a Genius Bar, and they offer support through AppleCare and other sources. The thing that makes Apple support stand out is that they prize their service to customers. Stories about how Apple store personnel have gone the extra mile to support customers can be found on many review sites.


    Apple Stores (Apple’s bricks-and-mortar retail outlets) take advantage of something that researchers have uncovered about shopping: If you hold a product in your hand, you are more likely to buy it than if you just look at it. There’s a method to their madness at Apple.

  • Nordstrom: This retailer set out to provide the best possible customer service available, and they succeeded. Their service is legendary. They knew that if they wanted to compete with other upscale retailers, they would have to distinguish themselves. Employees are trained that nothing trumps customer service.

    Also, they’re always trying to upgrade their service. They recently gave handheld units to their sales associates so that they could check company-wide inventory while assisting customers. This ensures that if they have the merchandise in any store, they can sell it to customers without delay.

  • Publix Super Markets: Publix takes a different approach when it comes to providing customer service: They say they focus on treating their employees so generously that those employees are then motivated to provide excellent customer service. They also pride themselves on good prices. Apparently, customers agree.

  • Trader Joe’s: This company does two specific things that stand out. The first is that it has an engaging theme, calling shopping at Trader Joe’s an “adventure.” In order to differentiate themselves from the competition, they stock unusual items and provide enthusiastic service. Like Publix, they claim that their employee benefits are superior. These include medical, dental, and vision coverage for all employees, retirement plans, and an employee discount.