Communities and community software are enhancing customer service relationships through crowdsourcing and new forums of interaction. But there are some downsides to using communities to handle customer relationships rather than cultivating one-on-one relationships with constituencies.
Given that granular, detailed, analytics-informed customer service has become such an important barometer of the health of the company-customer relationship, communities can't always satisfy the need for high-touch avenues to resolve customer grievances and so on.
"Communities are a tool," said Denis Pombriant., CEO of Beagle Research Group. "But they are only one of the things that should be in your toolbox. We're discovering that customers need multiple access points."
Pombriant also discusses the future of customer service. His concern is that technology has automated so many processes that people need to be reinserted into the process.
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