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The Modern Customer Podcast

The Modern Customer Podcast is a show exploring the intersection of customer experience, social customer service and content. We will also dive into related leadership topics. The show is hosted by Forbes contributor and customer experience strategist Blake Morgan and features guests that include practitioners, authors, influencers and other tastemakers.
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Oct 1, 2015

Since 1987 the share on consumer spending on live experiences and events relative to total U.S. consumer spending has increased 70%. Additionally 3 in 4 millennials would rather buy an experience than a product. All of that is good news for StubHub an online marketplace owned by eBay, which provides services for buyers and sellers of tickets for sports, concerts, theater and other live entertainment events. The events industry is a social industry, meaning customers that attend events are often tweeting or Facebooking. Randy Rubingh runs customer service for StubHub and built the social customer service strategy.

The reality about social media is many companies fall into it the same way. A tweet was sent to the CEO or a PR flare-up happened. For StubHub there were misconceptions about what StubHub was. They were accused of being "scalpers" which StubHub is not. In order to clear these misconceptions StubHub started engaging on social media. StubHub took the opportunity to explain what StubHub’s role was. Today they make it a priority to be there where their customers are.

He says at StubHub customer service has a strong partnership with marketing in order to run social media well. Marketing uses Facebook for promotions and--like many other companies--customer service responds to all mentions of StubHub on the web. Depending on the engagement, customer service will step in and store that interaction in their CRM (Siebel). When I interviewed Rubingh on the podcast he said that StubHub believes social media training is more about calibration than it is hardcore scripting. The calibration process includes a review of all the interactions. He says he took smart seasoned agents—and trained them on their tool that tracks and categorizes the mentions (Lithium). The agents then respond. Rubingh believes that on social media a customer service script is not helpful.

StubHub gets about 50K mentions of StubHub, but the number StubHub responds to is only about 5% of those social media interactions. They manually categorize the sentiment.

Rubingh (@rrubingh) is the Senior Director of Customer Service for StubHub and the author of “Call Center Rocket Science”.  Randy has more than 25 years’ experience building, managing, and leading customer support organizations. He has led service organizations ranging from small start-ups with as few as five agents to leading a five-site, international customer service organization with thousands of agents. During the course of his career he has managed over 20 million incoming phone calls.

Learn more about staffing, contact centers, customer service and how to create a killer contact center culture at StubHub in this podcast.

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