Providing Customer Service by use of Social Media Channels (best practices)

Seminar Paper 2010 19 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance


Table of Contents

Table of Figures

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem Definition
1.2 Objectives
1.3 Structure

2 Social Media
2.1 Definition of Social Media
2.2 Selected forms of Social Media
2.2.1 Wikis
2.2.2 Weblogs
2.2.3 Microblogs
2.2.4 Podcasts
2.2.5 Social Bookmarking
2.2.6 Social Networks

3 Providing Customer Service by use of Social Media
3.1 Corporate Blogs - best practice by Daimler
3.2 Twitter Representatives - best practice by Zappos
3.3 Facebook Profiles - best practice by Starbucks

4 Best practice by Dell
4.1 Dell Hell
4.2 Direct2Dell
4.3 Dell’s activities‘ efficiency
4.4 Dell’s prospects

5 Conclusion

List of literature

Table of Figures

Figure 1: Social Media Spectrum

Figure 2: Share of posts by topic

Figure 3: Net Promoters Index

1 Introduction

1.1 Problem Definition

The relevance of web 2.0 will increase enormously until 2012. This view is shared by 83 % of the 110 companies that were interviewed within the scope of a study carried out by the agency creative360 in cooperation with the International School of Management1.

Considering the economic circumstances companies face with respect to the buyer’s market more and more effort has to be made to maintain competitiveness. Supply exceeds demand, thus forcing companies to extend their marketing activities in order to receive the consumer’s attention for both itself and its products on the one hand. On the other hand, adequate customer service has to be provided, which is inevitable for obtaining customer loyalty2.

Especially in the field of marketing, traditional techniques of advertising seem to have lost importance. According to the survey of the Monitor Economic Communication in 2010 television is solely used by 20 %, whereas print media is also used by only 60 % of the respondents3.

Actually, these are considered as mass advertising, appearing rather annoying to the consumers, likewise referred to as interruption marketing4. In addition, call centers or email support as point of contact in case of problems are regarded as insufficiently available and requiring long hold time5.

Due to the rapid progress of the internet a new communication platform has been spooned - social media, the web 2.0. While there were 45 million of internet users in 1997, the number is predicted to exceed 2 billion until the end of the year 20106. Accordingly, what does social media explicitly mean, how can it be used and which benefit can be generated?

1.2 Objectives

This seminar paper aims at giving an insight into the wide spectrum of social media, proposing to demonstrate its remarkable influence these days. With reference to best practices this seminar paper has the intention to verify the necessity of integrating social media in business communication.

1.3 Structure

Initially, a definition as well as selected forms of social media will be presented in order to give an impression of its wide spectrum.

Afterwards, it will be illustrated, which of these selected forms of social media suit as means for customer service. In this context, best practices by certain companies will be demonstrated.

Subsequently, the company Dell as best practice for primarily failing to use social media properly, and for succeeding to make use of social media later on, will be exemplified.

Eventually, a conclusion including advantages and disadvantages of social media will be drawn.

2 Social Media

2.1 Definition of Social Media

The term social media derived from the word media, which generally refers to the communication of ideas or information through publications, and the term social that implies the interaction of individuals within a group or community. Hence, social media are media for social interaction, exchanging information, experience as well as opinions using specific online mediums. Social media is characterized as turning communication into interactive dialogues. Allowing the creation and exchange of user-generated content, it offers a wide spectrum including text, audio, video, images that are published for a chosen addressed audience of a virtual community or for general public7.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: www.briansolis.com

Figure 1: The Social Media Spectrum

2.2 Selected forms of Social Media

2.2.1 Wikis

Wiki (WikiWikiWeb, WikiWeb, Hawaiian = rapid) generally can be understood as a collection of websites that can be edited by everyone at any time8. Contents can either be added or contents already published can be edited. The sites and articles of the wiki are connected with each other by means of internal links, thus facilitating the research of catchwords. Moreover, wikis enable the upload of images as well as files. While these public wikis can be edited without possessing a user account, there are also wikis requiring being registered or holding writing permission. The best known wiki is Wikipedia, which comprises more than 10 million articles in more than 250 languages9.


1 www.creative360.de, 15.11.2010.

2 Jung, H. (2006), p. 557.

3 N.N. (2010), www.pc-welt.de, 16.11.2010 .

4 Godin, S. (2006), p. 26.

5 Zimmermann, D. (2010), www.ecin.de, 16.11.2010.

6 N.N. (2010), www.pcfreunde.de, 17.11.2010.

7 Zarrella, D. (2010), p. 1.

8 Singel, R. (2006), www.wired.com, 18.11.2010.

9 Komus, A., Wauch, F. (2008), p. 63.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Institution / College
University of applied sciences, Marl
Customer Service Social Media Social Media Channels



Title: Providing Customer Service by use of Social Media Channels (best practices)