John Ragsdale, at The Software Insiders Point Of View blog has a very smart and thoughtful post, How Web 2.0 Is Transforming Customer Service. It is about the growing opportunity to use discussion forums not only to respond to customers’ questions, but to build stronger relationships with them.
If a major segment of your customer base is under age 30, and your product or service is of interest to those with a moderate or high degree of computer literacy, you should read this post.
I like it because he lists three points in favor of using forums for customer service, then lists three mistakes companies need to avoid.
However, I disagree with his first point when he states there is no more fat to cut. Given that life is ruled by the Bell curve, I doubt that most companies have cut out all of the fat. Some, yes.