Essential Manager Tasks: Online Community Customer Service and Liaison Roles - dummies

Essential Manager Tasks: Online Community Customer Service and Liaison Roles

By Deborah Ng

Even with the ever-changing roles, most online community managers can expect to fulfill some core tasks. These tasks include serving as a customer service representative and liaison between the brand and the community.

Online community customer service

Dealing with customers is one of your more pleasant tasks. You’ll find that most of them are good-natured and get upset only if they feel like they’re getting the runaround. At times, however, customers are angry and treat you as though everything is your fault. Don’t get angry back and don’t fly off the handle. It’s when you react in anger that the real trouble starts.

Always treat your community members in the same manner that you want to be treated. When there’s mutual respect, everyone is at ease, even in a difficult situation.

Nowadays, many customers use the social networks to talk about their issues with a particular brand. Don’t be surprised when people contact you directly by reaching out to you on Twitter, posting a message on your Facebook page, or sending you an e-mail. Because you’re the public face of the community, you have name recognition, and people will reach out to you when there’s an issue.

You’ll find that members of your community feel more confident about dealing with a familiar and trustworthy person than about calling a department where they don’t know anyone.

Online community liaison

You’re not only the voice of the community, but also the voice of the brand. You report community news and updates on behalf of the brand while reporting customer service issues and feedback on behalf of the community. In other words, you’re a two-way messenger.

You’re advocating on behalf of two separate parties. You have to make sure that the members of your community are heard and receive a fair shake. You also have to show transparency on behalf of the brand.