This is an amazing article from NetworkWorld that discusses some of the pitfalls of monitoring the "cloud" to handle customer service issues. It does mention on areas of inconsistencies that I never thought about. There are only 2 point points but they are will taken.
"Customer support organizations were the earliest of adopters for CRM systems. Thanks to call center software and the need to drive cost reductions and faster service turn-around cycles, the customer support organization developed solid business processes, comprehensive measurement and good discipline. But that's all so last-century.
All those customer support disciplines, metrics and best practices were developed when the relevant parts of the web were static HTML and email. Social networking consisted of majordomo list management. All the social power of blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube LinkedIn, social media metrics and reputation management hadn't been invented yet.
And those things really matter to customer support, whether you're talking about consumers or businesses. Social media can magnify and accelerate customer dissatisfaction problems, taking them to global scale in just hours. In the political realm, this effect took down several despots last year. For companies, a web firestorm about customer satisfaction can develop overnight&and if you aren't paying attention, out of your view and control.
Worst Practice #1: Ignore Social Network Effects
There's been tons written about social media for the marketing and sales departments, but until recently there's been less about these issues for the customer support/service teams. There's a terrific posting here if you want a quick read, but watch out: The topic is fractal, and you may end up going way deep into community shepherding, reputation management and other neat time-sinks.
The cloud by its nature encourages social network effects, so your support organization needs to get these basics under control:
-- harness the good side of customer self-support (particularly, having a "guru" program to encourage customer contributions to solutions, best-practices, and workarounds), and
-- contain the negative effects of the forum echo chamber ("we reported this bug 3 hours ago, we can't believe it isn't patched yet&this product just sucks!")
Worst Practices #2: Overdoing it with Social Networks
Moderation, right? Well, that's part of the story. Not all of your customers are all that web savvy, and some of them really want to be communicating over the phone. So make sure that the old channels of communication (including quel horreur postal mail) are still working well for your support business process.
But at a more fundamental level, social networks should not be used for the initial opening of a case or incident. Why?
While social media communication is fine once a case is opened, the starting point for good case management has got to be a well-structured communication. A web form is an obvious answer, but best practices for cloud products/services is to put the case initiation right in the service itself, with a "report a concern" button available that provides user-state and context information automatically&along with the bits of structured info you have to ask the customer to fill out."
Now if businesses are no taking Social Media seriously this is definitely a case to do so. Each of these areas impact
your metrics in some way, shape or form. Be sure you are covering them as part of your strategy.