One Year of #CustServ

Last night capped one year of weekly Tuesday night Twitter chats on hashtag #custserv. In the past 36 weeks, the tweets on this hashtag have blown past 68,850 – of which, I believe we can attribute at least 60% to the continuing dialogue.

The trail started out innocuously enough – an idea I pitched to Marsha Collier in early December of 2009, that went something like this:

Well Marsha, you’re writing a book on Online Customer Service; why don’t we launch and co-host a weekly Twitter chat on customer service? I’m willing to commit to partnering this and seeing where it goes.. We can have weekly topics and just see what kind of sharing and dialogue can be created..

December 22 2009 we started. I think we had about five people join in each week for the first month. Things started slowly growing – mostly due to Marsha’s already existent Twitter followers.

In the beginning months, I tried to reorder chronologically the transcripts – spending about five hours a week on it. After a couple months of this, as the chat grew in participants and dialogue, I fell behind. In April, we registered the hashtag on several sites, most notably, Twapperkeeper.

Twapperkeeper is our transcript saver of choice. While it doesn’t reorder the transcript from start to finish – it does allow you to search by date, person or search word. Pretty handy, I think.

It’s been simply amazing to watch this community grow and grow. Participants seem to come and go – except for a core group numbering a couple hundred, but together we’ve discussed, argued and shared both deep theory/practice and a lot of good-natured fun. Heck, we’ve even got a cyber-bully!

Early in the summer we formed a cadre of people – about a dozen of the regular participants who hold the vision tightly. This group now communicates with a closed Facebook group, talking growth strategy and topics (and mightily teasing each other). I personally consider this group the expanded co-hosts of #custserv.

A significant quantity of appreciation is due to Roy Atkinson. Six months ago, Roy took command of our front door at request for assistance and without any notice to Marsha and I (poorly written: my deep apologies to Roy) with a quantity of gentleman-ness neither Marsha nor I expected, assumed multiple roles of Greeter, Bouncer, Sergeant At Arms and Topic Herder (yes, y’all are just like a bunch of cats – and herding cats is nigh impossible!).

Some of the other things we’ve done is establish a Customer Service Facebook Fanpage and a LinkedIn Group. Please feel free to play with us there too!

What we’ve discussed this past year is broad and deep. I wish I could afford an intern to re-transcript this past year. Oh well – y’all will just have to deal with it 🙂

Things we’d like to see happen in 2011:

  • Increase the depth of dialogue
  • Grow the community world-wide
  • Increase the use of the LinkedIn Group
  • Increase the use of the Facebook Fanpage

I would like to announce that in Fall 2011 – oh, hmmmmm….. maybe I shouldn’t announce this big three day event born out of #custserv…..  Yes, I think I’ll keep quiet about it a bit longer, until the major headliners are completely secured. The venue, however, is set – Allison Inn & Spa in the heart of Oregon’s Pinot Noir Wine Country.

To all who have joined us this past year – I hope to meet you face to face someday soon. Happy Holidays and a very prosperous 2011 to you.

Jeffrey J Kingman

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One Comment to “One Year of #CustServ”

  1. Jeff and Marsha -It has been a privilege to find such a great community of customer-focused people. I’m grateful to have been able to contribute. Thanks for getting this going, and for all you’ve done along the way.

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