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Given the growth in social networking via Facebook; even automakers are now looking to change the way they provide customer service.
Nissan, which currently boasts more than 279,000 followers on its Facebook page and, according to Erich Marx, the company’s Director of Marketing and Communications, experienced faster growth in social media than any other OE automaker during the first half of 2011, is looking at taking a more pro-active approach in dealing with customer complaints, which might very well mean replacing traditional phone based customer service, with social media.
“There will be a day when people will go to Facebook as a preferred method,” he says. “We are already seeing that number doubling every quarter.” He also went on to add, that ”based on what I’ve seen in 90 days, I realize that this is something we are going to have to deal with in the future. As opposed to operators or help desks just waiting for a customer to complain, we need to have a Facebook presence to solve issues before they get bigger, and take a more pro-active role in identifying consumer issues or question.”
When the change will happen, remains to be seen, for now Nissan will continue to use operators at 1-800 numbers to deal with customer complaints, though, given the public nature of Facebook and a need to deal with issues as soon as possible, a year or five years from now the scenario could be very different.
Industry trade publication Advertising Age has named Ford it’s 2010 Marketer Of The Year, a prestigious honor that was previously won by companies like Apple, Nintendo and JetBlue.
Ford was recognized for its innovative marketing campaigns, such as the Fiesta Movement program, which leveraged social networks and word-of-mouth advertising, as well as its new commercials with pitchman Mike Rowe, a Discovery channel television host. While the article credits many members of the Ford team, Jim Farley, Ford’s VP for Global Marketing Sales and Service, was singled out for the spotlight.
Ford joins Hyundai, Volkswagen and Toyota as recent auto industry winners of the Marketer of the Year award.
[Source: Advertising Age]
A favorite past time of computer literate car fans is to log on to automotive-related internet forums and criticize the decisions of auto industry types with decades of experience in the field. Everything from marketing campaigns to product choices are questioned, and while this right may be a cornerstone of our free society, often the blather is idiotic and myopic, and the commenter wouldn’t last a day running a real car company.
Now, Fiat is letting you, the customer, make a very small marketing related decision, by letting Facebook users vote on possible emblems (or “branding” as its nauseatingly called by some types) for the upcoming 500 compact car. There’s no assurance that Fiat will actually choose the one that’s got the most votes, but if you close your eyes and wish really hard, you might just become Sergio Marchionne…