Loic Lemeur is providing us in his blog with a great example on how companies could use Twitter for customer service purposes.
"A good case study: Robert Scoble yesterday saw me saying on Twitter that our web host for Seesmic, Servepath, went down for more than 5 minutes and took some of its customers sites down entirely. Robert follows me but probably also follows Rackspace his new employer. Robert took this opportunity to write a blog post and we got into a conversation on Twitter and his blog.
In a matter of minutes, representatives from both Servepath (our host) and Rackspace (Robert's company interested in getting our business) started to get in the conversation with many customers of both commenting at the same time. It was priceless information about their services but also competitive information for the companies themselves. All in public, that is very new.
I have insisted that I was not dissatisfied in general by Servepath but of course annoyed that we went down entirely for a significant time given the budget allocated to our hosting. Now Amazon went down a few times too and I take it Rackspace has its problems too, but this is not my point here.
Brands who are not listening will fail but listening is not enough. Very few of them actually start getting immediately in the conversation. I saw an article and that was explaining the popular shoe brand Crocs was going out of business and in a matter of minutes their community manager answered saying that as any business they were going through tough times but that they were safe."
Twitter is a great tool to listen to your customers. Especially since they havec added up the new search features. Of course, this is still applicable to Robert Scoble, and probably not to the average Joe yet, but customer relationship management (CRM tools) will probably enable the use of such techniques to a larger number of people. What is great is that have been looking for ways to use Twitter as a customer relationship management tool for about a year, and lately I have seen a bunch of new ideas on the topic emerging.