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Consumers have more ways than ever to complain about a service or product. The bad news for companies seeking to protect and promote their brand is that the gripes are taking place in the full public eye via social media.

Chances are unlikely that someone’s Tweet about receiving a broken widget will go viral like the “United Breaks Guitars” video that musician Dave Carroll wrote and performed after United Airlines baggage handlers broke his prized Taylor guitar. However, anytime people are talking about your company, you want the conversation to be a positive one.

Joining Carroll in this free-wheeling discussion of social media and customer service is Micah Solomon, who recently was termed the "New Guru of Customer Excellence" by the Financial Post. Solomon is the bestselling author of two books on customer service and a top professional keynote speaker.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says Solomon “conveys an up-to-the-minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology.” Solomon’s first book, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization,” became a No. 1 customer service bestseller in the U.S. Download a free chapter here.

In addition to demonstrating the power of one voice in the age of social media, Carroll has become an advocate for great customer service. He joined forces to create the web platform Gripevine to match customers with the companies they are complaining about. Now his new “United Breaks Guitars” book shares his inside story and counsels others with similar problems.

About the Panel:


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Dave Carroll

Dave Carroll is a Canadian award-winning singer-songwriter, professional speaker, author and social media innovator who was introduced to millions when his 2009 YouTube music video “United Breaks Guitars” became a worldwide sensation. The song chronicled his experience in the customer service process with United Airlines. Known as a master storyteller, his United Breaks Guitars video trilogy has awakened companies everywhere to the importance of focusing on the customer and on delivering exceptional customer experience. He has become internationally famous as one of the world’s top media relations innovators and customer experience authorities and is a co-founder of Gripevine.com, a website dedicated to matching companies with consumers to resolve product or service complaints. In May, Carroll published his first book: “United Breaks Guitars:  The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media.”

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Micah Solomon

Micah Solomon is a bestselling customer service author, professional keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and business leader who recently was named by The Financial Post as the “New Guru of Customer Service Excellence.” He specializes in creating five-star customer service with an eye toward bottom-line results. That he built his company, Oasis Disc Manufacturing, from a one-man basement operation into a market leader in the independent entertainment field is a story well-known to readers of Fast Company, Success magazine, Inc. Magazine, Seth Godin’s marketing bestseller Purple Cow, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other outlets where he has been profiled. Solomon’s  new American Management Association book, High-Tech, High-Touch, Customer Service,  follows his hit book of 2010 called Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization.

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Paul Simon, Moderator

Paul Simon is a senior site curator for Social Media whose responsibilities include managing The Social Customer.com and The Customer Collective websites and the Social Media Today group on LinkedIn. He also assists with the Social Media Today site, moderates occasional webinars for Social Media Today and helps develop partnership opportunities. He is a former bureau chief for The Associated Press wire service at the Los Angeles, Dallas and Omaha bureaus, and has served as editor/content manager for a number of online sales training communities including Sales.com, TopSalesWorld.com and Candogo.com. He also writes and edits written content and manages webinars through his consultancy, SharperContent.