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Comments (2)

1 Tiffany Winman commented Trackback

These are interesting questions, Larry. Another question often coming up is how might digital social networking impact the relationship between "authorized" or "non-authorized" support? I believe current IBM philosophy is that authorized support is done via PMR processes and forums, blogs, wikis, and such are unofficial support, but correct me if I'm wrong. :)

Since people seek for support help in the social media environments, how do companies define the type of help they provide here and why?

2 Larry Bietz commented Trackback

Tiffany, These are valid points. Our customer support process today is highly measured to ensure that customers are getting timely and responsive service at each step in the process.

Social networking support is less formal in many ways, and the tools for measuring these things do not exist. We also confirm entitlement for confirmation of product license, to establish verification of the time, labor and testing that is done to isolate and validate results. In this way we confirm that the solution provided is known to be a complete answer that works.
Product assistance from forums, blogs, wikis are not to be considered formal support, but can be very efficient in providing a more casual exchange that of course is inclusive to a larger audience of clients and their interaction. It is the collaboration in discussion that offers the unique benefit and value.
We need to collect input from customers about the types of product situations they are able to share in a public exchange, and examples that will define how a support focused social networking area should be grouped. As an example, we have Developerworks forums today that are used extensively, very much driven by the end users. We have Developerworks wiki's that are not updated by the customer, but provide an important extension to product knowledge learned after GA and can be included in future product publication versions. Is there another option for exchange that adds value and further extends the business benefit as defined by our users?

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