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(R)evolution: Frank Eliason on the Social Business and Customer Service

Welcome to the (R)evolution, a new series that connects you to the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. In episode 8, I proudly welcome Frank Eliason, senior VP of Social Media at Citibank.

Frank is recognized as one of the fathers of modern customer service. Prior to joining Citibank, Frank was known to many as the voice behind @ComcastCares, one of the earliest examples of how a business could use social networks to proactively listen and respond to customer concerns in real time. As you’ll hear in our discussion, whether we approach social media from Service, Marketing, Advertising, HR, et al, we quickly learn that the 3F’s (Friends, Fans, Followers) are not created equally. Their voices and their experiences require nothing less than the socialization of the complete business. And therein lies the challenge ahead…In order for businesses to mature and genuinely connect in the Last Mile, social media will have to cut through the red tape and break down the walls that divide the corporate culture and prevent true engagement and adaptation.

Before we can collaborate with others, we have to first collaborate within…


Andrew Landini, Producer
Adam Eckenfelder, Audio Tech/Re-Recording Mixing


House of Blues Foundation Room, Las Vegas

Past Episodes:

1: Empowered with Josh Bernoff
2: Silicon Valley vs. The World with Sarah Lacy
3: Rick Bakas on Social Media, Wine and Community
4: Charlene Li on Open Leadership
5: Michael Fertik on Privacy and Social Networks
6: Philip Kaplan on Social Commerce and Influence
7: Scott Monty Steers Ford to Social Relevance

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook
Please consider reading, Engage!: It will help you find answers to your questions…

27 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “(R)evolution: Frank Eliason on the Social Business and Customer Service”

  1. direwolff says:

    Frank rocks! I blogged two posts on him when he was at Comcast back in 2008, the first when I called out to him and the second after we interacted. Check'em out:

  2. Is there a script for the interview?

  3. Kristen,
    Thanks for the comment! My take regarding Twitter was always meeting Customers where they are, not driving them to a channel they did not prefer. That is why we did not advertise our Twitter presence.

  4. Great choice for discussing this topic, Brian! Yes, all aspects of the business need to be part of the company's social ecosystem – and they all need to watch and learn from what is done in customer service. Thanks, Brian – you and Frank rock!

  5. Juan Felix says:

    Brian and Frank, great interview. The take away part for me is definitely the “listening” as one of the most important characteristics of a great leader. I can recommend “The connected leader” by Emmanuel Gobillot. I like to quote one line, written on the back of the book: “The connected leader sounds a passionate wake-up call to leaders everywhere – in politics, business and public services: the formal organization is a myth for success, and leaders must look to the networks of relationships that make up real organizations”.

  6. Juergen Staeudtner says:

    Brian and Frank, thank you. I think service will be as important as marketing, too. But I would consider service an overall function. When you are a service company, everything you do concerning the customer should be seen as service.

    Thanks again.

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