Ever since I can remember customer service has been one of those things that I never really understood. It seems like every company’s motto is “the customer is always right”, but am I the only one that feels like I’m pulling teeth to get a company to ever admit they are in the wrong or to simply be helpful. Don’t get me wrong there are some companies out there that will go the extra mile and will admit when they messed up, but they are few and far between.
Why am I talking about customer service? Because, this year the city of Indianapolis, who is hosting the Super Bowl, is taking customer service to the next level. Let’s call it customer service 2.0. They are calling it the Super Bowl social media command center.
What exactly is a social media command center; well it’s proactive customer service using social media to lead the way. It consists of a team of strategists, analysts, and techies that are set to monitor digital fan conversations via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. All of this is going to be done from a 2,800 square-foot space. They will be running the command center from Monday through February 5th. The plan is for them to tweet directions to fans in search of parking, direct visitors to the cities best attractions, and be available in case of an emergency or a disaster.
With 150,000 people expected to hit the downtown area of Indianapolis, the idea is to use advanced search tools and analytics to identify fans in need of help. They are going to do this by indexing certain keywords and phrases. So if a fan is tweeting “parking is horrible” or “parking sucks” they will be able to offer assistance. The fan won’t actually have to ask someone “where can I find parking”.
This social Media hub will be quite an operation with more than a mile of Ethernet cable and more than 20 people running the center for 15 hours per day.
All of this points to how important social media is in all of our lives and how important it is for companies and organizations to utilize these tools to improve their relationships with their customers or audiences.
Taulbee Jackson, CEO of Raidous, the company managing the communication hub said “We’re kind of breaking new ground here so we don’t know the exact numbers yet of what we’ll be dealing with, but we should be able to provide that after the game to other cities that have to deal with these types of issues”. He went on to say, “I think a lot of brands will start to see a need for something like this.”
Will this lead to other major events setting up similar Social Media command centers? Only time will tell.