September 29, 2022

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Radio Roundtable: The customer service edition–social customers, Insidr, and Klout scores

Radio Roundtable: The customer service edition–social customers, Insidr, and Klout scores

This week, Bryan Person joined me for an early edition of the Roundtable–we discussed the state of social marketing, the new start-up Insidr, and Jason Fall’s post asking people to stop announcing they were dropping out of Klout.


Today’s show is 28 minutes long.


  • First, we discussed Brian Solis’s comprehensive post on the State of Social Marketing 2011-2012. There’s a great deal to think about/chew on there, so please read the piece. Our discussion focused on the role of social consumers: who they are, how much brands *think* they know about them, and what characterizes their marketing interactions on social. I thought the main driver would be product recommendations and research, but that is a close second–the number one reason is for customer service. There’s a split among brand managers in the research about whether social marketing is mainstream, some don’t think it will break through until 2013. Bryan makes some great points about why this might be the case–listen and find out what!
  • Next, we talk about Insidr, a new start-up designed to help people get “advanced” customer service from company insiders. There are a few interesting things to note about this–first, that money is involved. You can provide a reward for the information and/or help you receive, and Insidr splits the reward with the company “insider.” I point out that this method of tackling tough customer service issues is basically the role that corporate Twitter accounts, and to some extent blogs, have played over recent years. Unsatisfied with the customer service you received? Tweet about it. But with more tweets going unanswered, maybe this is the next iteration? Bryan wonders how the heck something like this can scale, particularly if the companies involved don’t realize some of their employees are acting as “insiders.” (Note: that point seems to need clarification–no one seems to know if the insiders are company-blessed specialists, or if they are just well-placed employees who can solve problems).
  • Finally, we discuss the recent spate of Klout defections loudly proclaimed in blog posts, much to the annoyance of Jason Falls who pens a self-described rant that primarily focuses on those who drop out of Klout because their scores had dropped. My feelings on Klout are rather well-documented, and I welcome anything that will cause companies to rethink how they use the service, including rants about dropping out of Klout. I just think many of the ways in which it is being used are ill-advised. Bryan notes that some companies use Klout to triage customer service complaints as a way of managing the flow. I’ll agree that helps if you’re overwhelmed with scale, but it does have potential to backfire.
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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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  2. Antony Brydon

    Jen, Bryan – fun show, thanks for including Insidr. WRT your question about the insiders, it’s early, but we’re seeing many different types of people signing up. Many are former employees, and many work outside of customer support (in engineering or accounting, for example) where customers can’t typically reach them. And we’re seeing a wide set of motivations. Some seem to be in it for the rewards, concentrating on questions with rewards. Some seem to like the recognition, picking off both paid and unpaid questions. And a lot of insiders are talking about enjoying the freedom to pick and choose the customers they think they can help ( — Antony, Insidr

    1. Jen Zingsheim

      Thanks for dropping by and listening Antony–and thanks for providing some clarification on the structure and giving some insight on the motivations. I stand by my assessment that if a company has to do this, they have a bigger problem with customer service than they realize–either the front lines aren’t empowered enough to fix things the first time, or their bureaucracy is tying the hands of customer service (and, of course there’s the “fix the problem at the root” issue too). Interesting note on the ability to choose the customers they think they can help.

      Again, thanks for listening!


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