in the news
September 29, 2011
Lithium Helps Companies Rev Up Customer Support by Deputizing "Superfans"
If you need help with a glitchy Logitech mouse or webcam and you happen to stop by the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s online support forum, you might notice a bunch of posts from a guy calling himself KachiWachi. Since 2006, when he started contributed to the forum, KachiWachi has answered more than 45,000 questions from Logitech customers. He spends about six hours a day monitoring the forum, six days a week, and prides himself on being the first to answer any question about a webcam. But KachiWachi isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a Logitech employee, and Logitech has never paid him a cent. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just a friendly geekÃ¢â‚¬â€with a lot of time on his handsÃ¢â‚¬â€who happens to believe that Logitech makes the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best webcams.
If every company could somehow recruit platoons of super-passionate evangelists like KachiWachi to intercept and answer customersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ questions, it would be a compelling way to save money on traditional customer support. Well, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a company in Emeryville, CA, that claims itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s possible to build online communities where these Ã¢â‚¬Å“superfansÃ¢â‚¬Â can be systematically cultivated and encouraged to work their magic. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s called Lithium Technologies, and it has emerged as one of the most talked-about providers of so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“social CRMÃ¢â‚¬Â software (as in customer relationship management).