At SXSW, “I’ll join my peers in the community support space to discuss what customer support looks like in a “140 character world.” Supporting customers through social media isn’t about amassing followers. It’s about creating dialogue, and if you communicate successfully with customers instead of simply talking at them, you’ll actually provide greater value in the end. It’s risky when businesses begin staffing up large social media support teams with assumption that this investment will automatically address all support questions in only 140 characters. While this might work in some instances, by and large, Twitter and other character-limited resources should simply be conduits that channel customers to richer support experiences. For instance, I’m really excited about our “@microsofthelps” Twitter handle that provides support to Windows 7 users. In many cases, it’s merely a starting point to open door to solutions on Answers forums that introduce customers to Microsoft support engineers and other customers with similar interests and connections. As social media continues to evolve, companies will continue to grapple with how best to offer support in this 140 character world,” noted Toby Richards.