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Tesla's New Social Customer Support Position Assists CEO's Twitter Presence

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Brooke Lynch


Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is a force online and practically anything he shares sparks headlines. The tech leader often takes to his own personal Twitter account to give updates and provide feedback with fans and investors alike. Some see his brazenness online as a measure of his authenticity and self-awareness, while others question the appeal of the laid-back tone. Regardless, Musk accumulates thousands of responses to his almost daily posts, leading him to seek assistance with his social media customer interactions. 

To give some perspective on Elon Musk’s influence on Twitter, after tweeting on Tuesday, “I kinda love Etsy,” the online marketplace’s stock rose 3.5% percent. Although he was only showing the love after purchasing a hand-knit wool item for his dog, the message was enough to get the stockmarket stirring. Because of this powerful presence, a new Tesla job listing caught attention online after a Twitter user noticed its unique description. The post noted that the brand is seeking a customer service specialist to resolve complaints through appropriate channels and address social media escalations directed at its CEO, all while using ‘critical thinking’. This was interesting to some after the brand markedly removed its PR department this past October. With this removal, the CEO solidified his own platform as the sole voice of the company. 

What’s interesting about this new position, which was seemingly updated after the listing was called out on Twitter, is that it offers a new take on the traditional agent role. This is obviously a unique case, Musk is notoriously spontaneous in his interactions where more traditional companies may establish a specialized social team to handle their online presence, but it does represent an increased need for nontraditional social channel support. Because the CEO is so active on social media, customers often tweet directly at his handle seeking guidance or assistance. This position, then, would attempt to respond to these endless interactions and provide support for potentially negative replies directed at Musk. 

The role is distinctly a customer service position, with required qualifications of one year of call center experience, however, it represents a more public customer-facing channel. It operates within an intersection of social media, PR, and customer service, which offers an interesting perspective on the future of the customer service agent role. Behind the scenes support is no longer the default, and customers expect and appreciate a response on every platform. Additionally customer service agents, in this case, can actually work to mitigate some of the negative attention or feedback about a brand circulating online. Social channels may even offer a necessary tool to promote transparency and sincerity through candid customer directed posts. This new position also speaks to the importance of customer service as a whole. Musk’s interactions with fans and customers online surely have their benefits, but it certainly can’t be a one-man job. Customer service agents offer an opportunity for customers to amplify their voices and seamlessly interact with a brand through the more public platform. 

Ultimately, Tesla’s new customer service position is a reflection of the evolving agent role. The new customer experience takes place on multiple platforms and users adjust expectations accordingly; brands need to continually offer support measures across all channels to keep up with customers' burgeoning social media presence. Additionally, support goes beyond simple inquiries and can provide a level of reputation management, at least in Musk’s case. Therefore, we will likely continue to see roles like this being implemented from brands prioritizing social responses.