The conversation manager, working 9 to 5?

Home The conversation manager, working 9 to 5?

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with some friends of mine. They were a bit complaining about some colleagues of them who were working after office hours, during night and thus arriving late at the office every day.

It reminded me of Dirk Dewulf, Conversation Manager at Rabobank, telling how he solved a crisis online at New Years’ eve: ( and how he spent New Years Day monitoring the forum and answering consumers’ questions.

It’s obvious that social media and new technologies changed working cultures. But how do companies react on this? Can they just shut down their Facebook or Twitter account on Friday at 5 o’clock just because it’s weekend?

I think the answer is clear: conversation managers do not shut down their Facebook or Twitter account because it’s weekend. Why? Because consumers don’t stop being consumers during weekends or after 5 o’clock. Maybe they live on the other side of the world and they just got out of bed when you just closed your Facebook account, or maybe they woke up at night thinking about that horrible experience they had overday with your company, taking their mobile phone and start blogging and twittering about it.

But how can your company guarantee a 24/7 presence online and satisfy your consumers in the midde of the night on Twitter and other channels?

Identify and activate your brand ambassadors

Consumers don’t expect that you answer their griefs within 5 minutes but keep your reaction time as short as possible, your worldwide brand ambassadors can help you monitoring conversations online when you are asleep, answer some questions for you. Let them help to promote your brand or service for you. They will be delighted to help you.

  • Mobile

Provide your conversation managers and employees with the necessary mobile equipment like smartphones, tablets… so they can react right from their kitchen table or garden whenever it’s necessary.

  • Flexible working hours

If consumers aren’t online during working hours, why would your conversation manager be? Measuring online conversations can help you detecting when most of your consumers are online. That’s exactly when you need to be there also.

  • Be realistic

Small companies cannot guarantee that they are online 24/7. It’s okay as long as you are honest to your followers: tell them when they can expect an answer if you only check your accounts once a day.

In times like these, when empowerment is growing faster then we could ever imagine and your competitors are lurking to help your customers online just because you decided to close your Twitter account at 5 o’clock, companies really should start thinking how they can change their working culture and how they can keep the conversation going on. Even in the middle of the night.