High-Touch Customer Service Using New Media


Everyone makes mistakes…  what REALLY matters is how you react when it happens.

Remember the FIASCO when Toyota announced that the brakes in their cars didn’t always work?  These types of problems highlight the need for a NEW WAY of doing business communications.  I am an avid fan of using NEW MEDIA TOOLS to offer personalized help, so lets look at the communications challenges that Toyota was facing:

1) customers had general questions (What is the problem?, Why did this happen?, What will be done?)
customer had specific questions (Is my car model one of the ones at risk?, where do I go to get it fixed?)
3) customers and local Toyota dealerships needed to arrange appointments for all of these service visits
4) Toyota service personnel needed to explain repair details of each car model to each individual owner
5) Local dealerships needed to explain the safety risks of waiting for your repair (or lack of risk?)
6) Local dealerships needed to keep customers informed of the status of this repair challenge (where are you “in line” ?)
7) Dealerships needed to show their customers that they are customer advocates when it comes to safety.

In the past, ALL of this communications between Toyota customers and local Toyota dealerships would be done by telephone… ONE customer at a time.  A purpose-built PUBLIC social media solution (like GEOHELP) would have been a much better solution.

EVERY Toyota dealership in America would have their own LOCAL Help Community where local customers and Toyota representatives could discuss the situation in a way that is much more PERSONAL and RELEVANT to their customers.  YES…  1,200 unique GeoHelp customer service communities can be activated in less than an HOUR to immediately create a communications channel between every dealership and their customers ! 

Customers could ask (or read) general discussions about these issues in the evening as well as during normal office hours.  PRIVATE questions could be sent to the dealership such as “This is Sally Smith with the 2006 red Prius, I was going to go on vacation next week and I’m concerned that I might need new tires as well.  Can you look at my brakes and tires on Monday for me?”.   This is what PERSONAL service is all about.  I’ll bet that if Toyota took advantage of these next generation customer support tools that they could have turned this massive recall into a POSITIVE experience for their brand so customers forget the initial problem, and remember your RESPONSE to the problem!   


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This is an excellent example of how new media can help businesses of all sizes maintain better communication with customers and clients, and do so in a fast, efficient and relevant manner.

I’m looking forward to seeing companies take full advantage of new media. Go 2du!!!

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