Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Meebo: Instant Messaging Customer Service

I have been following meebo pretty much since its inception. At times its been like watching a group of grad students complete their thesis project. They allowed us all to "share the pain" when they found it hard to get the servers working properly, showed us what other customers wanted in the product (i.e. emotocons, sounds etc.) The result is that meebo punches well above its weight in terms of customer advocacy. There are other "IM Aggregators" out there but do you ever hear of them (i.e. do they get your attention?). Here is one example of advocacy. The person in question works in real estate and has put a meebo widget on their website so that if someone has a question about the property being displayed, they can "click through" to chat with Mike Simonsen. Interestingly Mike reports that he doesn't always work from the office so a Skype download doesn't suit him. But with only so much virtual real estate available, I've taken down the meebo widget and put up a renewed version of "MyBlogLog". This enables you to see who was here recently, and "implies" that you might be interested in the things that they are interested in. It also operates as a tacit "reputation system" because the "quality of these visitors" implies that there is something worth while reading here!. If meebo could leverage their 1m plus subs so that they could display similar reputation and social networking effects, I believe that they could extend their growth even further. Given what I've seen of this area would be slam dunk for them. For customer service people in general, how to encourage, and handle online chat, and online interactions, in the most appropriate manner, is something that will be engaging your attention very much in the coming 18 months.

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