Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy is the act of integrating social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) into your marketing and service plans to better identify, target and serve your customers.

You need skills-based routing for social media interaction management too

So you use skills-based routing for your call center, but your organization doesn’t think it’s necessary to apply the same principles to social CRM to be successful?  Sure, the marketing department may be responsible for promoting products and service offers online, but it’s a big stretch for them to handle complex customer service issues on your social service channels.

We’ve talked about the importance of not ‘chasing the smoke’ that clutters social customer service channels so it is worthwhile to also focus on which internal departments are responding to the customer comments.  You want to maximize sales opportunities by directing those comments or inquiries to those with sales training.  If there are posts with a question about a return, it is likely that the call center is best to effectively handle the issue for a speedy exchange.  When social media customer interactions are managed correctly and promptly, it’s an experience that enhances the relationship for the customer and is, therefore, a big win for the company. […]

Don’t run scared due to social media

The CRM business has matured beyond simply gathering contact data to a more sophisticated approach to understanding customer needs, business issues, opportunities and competitive threats, said FirstRain CEO […]

Entergy and TELUS serve up social media customer service

don't shy away from the importance of social media interactionsIf your company is in denial of the importance of social media, beware the consequences. “If you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu,” says Alex Schott, the manager of social media and multimedia communications at Entergy, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans, LA.

He’s not wrong. If you aren’t participating in online dialogue about your company, you’re only encouraging more negative comments and more misperceptions.

Serving up customer service on Twitter may sound daunting, but it’s an important and growing customer venue. The demand for customer service via social media channels will only continue to grow. Now is the time to start making a plan for how and what you can do to provide service to customers via social media. If you choose not to delay you can create a BIG competitive advantage.


Social media monitoring is like chasing smoke

There’s something so interesting (and addictive) about social media.  It makes even luddites feel tech-savvy; it’s hip and new, and, according to some customer experience experts, anyone who matters is doing it.  And consumers’ social media activities extend well beyond updating their Facebook page or tweeting about their most recent customer service disaster.  Customer service is going social – big time!!  According to Zendesk, 62% of consumers have looked to social media channels for customer service issues.

But before you begin logging onto your company’s Facebook page a dozen times a day to see how many “likes” you have, and endlessly searching tweets containing your company’s name, step away from your keyboard.  Social Media Monitoring is not the place to start your Social Customer Service efforts.  Responding to the noise on social media platforms is like chasing smoke – frustrating, time-consuming and ultimately futile if your aim is to effectively improve the customer experience.  If you take this approach you are incapable of controlling what people put out there in the social sphere about your organization. […]

How is Social CRM impacting your traditional customer service channels?

With Facebook pages and Twitter handles and this, that and the other, is anyone even picking up the phone anymore to be served by one of your agents?  You bet they are and what callers experience has been affected by your Social CRM.

Recently, I had to deal with a return and some customer service issues of my own so I called into the call center.  After nearly 10 minutes on hold I was finally connected with a call center agent that immediately made it clear that he didn’t know what he was talking about and didn’t know how to assist me.  I was given a scripted, mediocre response and directed to the web site, but not before he made an insulting comment that I should have started there in the first place.   Seriously!

Social CRM has its place and certainly is a fast-growing service channel, but that doesn’t mean that we diminish the focus on customer service.  If you have ill-equipped, sassy agents answering calls to quickly direct people to serve themselves online, it’s likely that you are pushing disgruntled customers to voice themselves publicly on your Facebook and Twitter pages.  The result makes them a customer service nightmare for your agents monitoring your Social CRM. […]

Social Media Business Intelligence is now available

As you may have noticed, we’ve been talking a lot this month about social media, and how it fits in with business intelligence and customer service. And that’s for good reason — more and more companies are trying to figure out how to navigate and take advantage of these (still relatively new) channels.

In response to that demand, we’ve just announced a new service offering, Social Media BI™, which is now available to our customers. Social Media BI is intended to help organizations move beyond just responding to individual complaints via social networks, and instead use these channels to identify and analyze issues that are creating the most problems for their customers. From there, we can help companies create proactive strategies for managing their social media efforts — and avoid the dreaded reactive approach.

Check out the announcement that we made this week for more information on Social Media BI, and let us know if you have any questions!


Don’t lose brand control in social media

Don't lose brand control in social mediaCompanies are afraid of losing ‘control’ of their brand message. There are two parts to their fear. One, customers have the freedom to say whatever they want; and, two, that is only that message in the marketplace.  You can see that in part two you as a person responsible for the brand message or customer communications (yes you!) can jump in and be a part of shaping what’s presented in social media.

We already know that #1 is happening. Putting your head in the sand won’t stop it. Don’t let your fear of what customers are saying stifle your willingness to work on part #2. This is where you can become the hero of your customers and business value – offering helpful messages and bringing balance to what is being presented. Plus, you can gain ideas that can help shape your business direction and focus.

The best way to overcome this fear is to engage with customers in a dialogue via social media. Leaving negative comments alone doesn’t make them better, but engaging and solving problems and responding really can. […]

What is Social Media Customer Service?

Social Media Customer Service (or Social Media Customer Care) is not customer service that supports how to use Social Media or answers what is Social Media.  Social Media Customer Service is about customers being served and supported on social media platforms. To help clear up some of the confusion many will just shorten it to Social Customer Service (or Social Customer Care) when they are addressing this specific area of Social Media.

The recent Social Media Customer Service Report conducted by TNS, surveyed more than 1,000 UK consumers and found that 57% of consumers preferred to search online to solve their customer issues, and then interact with customer service on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogs and forums over any other method. […]

Big Data done right can benefit brands and customers

Everyone is abuzz over the ‘new’ Big Data trend and while most companies are floundering to analyze the data they already have, not to mention the data they have yet to capture, some big brands are setting the bar of customer analytics excellence pretty high.

So what are these brands doing right?  Have they identified the proper analytics people to exploit their data in a useful way instead of falling prey to the skills-gap issues that plague other companies?  Is it the data itself – what they are analyzing, when and how much?  Or are they just internally and departmentally sound and settled thus allowing them to look at the big picture of Big Data?

When companies can look at their data and deduce the relationships between the data sets, it’s the customers that are reaping the immense benefits.  To take a big data for marketing example, I’ve been a card holder at a particular clothing store since 2004.  Because I’m spending money with their credit card they are easily able to track my purchase frequency, what departments I shop in, and can predict what I am likely to buy in the future.  What this means for me is tailor-made marketing including rewards and discounts I’ll actually use.  It’s not just the credit card data; they are looking at my social media habits too.  I ‘like’ their page on Facebook and by pairing my profile information with my city, and crossing that with my credit card billing information and spending, they sent me an email that my local mall was having a sale on sweaters  and gave me a discount if I want to take advantage of the sale.  Result – they are getting more of my business than before. […]

By |February 15th, 2012|Big Data, customer analytics, Social Media Strategy|0 Comments

Customers take their service needs online – how is your social customer service?

Using social media as a self-service channel.Customers don’t really want to pick up the phone to call you.  They would rather not deal with you at all.  And if they have to deal with you, the first instinct is to go online to do so.  In response to this social customer service trend, some companies dedicate specific handles or pages for social customer service, as well as the resources to quickly and efficiently respond to customers.  The companies that understand their customers’ service channel preferences and effectively serve through those channels will create the customer experience to enhance the brand.

Many customers want social customer service and if you’re a company that values its customers, you are working on an effective social customer service strategy now.  The strategy requires more than just reacting and solving the customer’s problem promptly.  What are you doing to proactively push out social customer service solutions?  How are you preventing product and service problems before they start? […]

Do you have a social media strategy to nowhere?

In business we frequently see a very reactive approach when it comes to customer complaints or comments.  If someone tweets something about a product problem you may tweet them back to try and resolve it on a singular level.  But shouldn’t you proactively tweet out a solution to your followers that may be experiencing the same issue but haven’t yet come to you with their comments?

Have you seen the proactive push versus the reaction to customer comments?  Think about the mega super store that had a typo in the discount of their weekly coupon.  They of course realized the mistake as soon as the coupon was printed in the paper because angry customers were calling the company’s call center to say that they were turned away.

Do damage control with those calling, of course, but it doesn’t end with instructing your agents about how to handle the affected callers.  Take the negative customer sentiment and be proactive with a strategy to generate positive sentiment.  Alert the frequent shoppers of the company with an email about the error, tweet about the issue and push the explanation and resolution out through social media channels. […]