The extent to which social media can potentially add value within various service contexts is not well understood. While at a general level it would seem that direct and immediate interactive communication with customers and stakeholders would be of benefit in terms of general communications, the integration of new media alongside more traditional marketing activities is not without difficulty. Many organisations appear seduced by what new technological communication channels are capable of but evidence suggests that those same organisations may have limited sensitivity to the appropriateness of employing social media to add value to the customers’ service experience. Launching social media initiatives appears low cost and fairly straightforward, technically, but managing the subsequent interactions and engagement appropriately, and indeed profitably, can often be beyond a firm’s resources and competencies. In this book the challenges of effectively managing interactive communications through social media is described in various service contexts, (e.g. healthcare, travel, small businesses) and within prevailing, yet ever more crucial marketing concepts, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and customer complaining behaviour. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Service Industries Journal.
Introduction: Enabling interactive communications through social media: Research from services contexts 1. Social media’s contribution to customer satisfaction with services 2. Extending customer relationship management into a social context 3. The value of social presence in mobile communications 4. Customer e-complaining behaviours using social media 5. Marketing technology for adoption by small business 6. Exploring interactive communication using social media