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July 17, 2014

Social Media Customer Care, Analytics Pay Big Dividends

We hear so much these days about enhancing the customer experience as a top priority of C-levels around the world. Indeed, attention has turned with some sense of urgency by organizations of all shapes, sizes and geographies to making sure that all customer “touch points” are covered. While there still remains the issue of some loose jargon in the industry around whether 360-degree customer engagement should be called multi-channel or omni-channel, there is no denying that social media’s role as part of the mix is increasing in importance. 

The reasons are simple; social media when properly used not only allows organizations to be better attuned to what is being said about them, but also is a rich resource for being able to be much more responsive to customer needs. This means being not just reactive but proactive as well.

The realities are that, like it or not, the immense volume of social media interactions continues to grow daily. And, despite best efforts to monitor and service customers, the noise level gets in the way, and often results in missing key opportunities for most if not all lines of business in a company to better engage with customers, especially those on the front lines in contact centers.

The term for missing or not maximizing these opportunities has been termed “getting caught a social blind spot.” As the recent webinar I participated in -- with hosts Lisa Abbott, Director, and Steve O’Donoghue, Senior Director, of Product Management at Genesys (News - Alert) – highlighted, having a social blind spot can have serious consequences. To hear what was said, you can download the discussion, “Using Social Analytics to Check Your Social Customer Care Blind Spot” HERE.

One part of the presentation that was emphasized was that if you are not listening, and more importantly hearing and using analytics to be more responsive, in essence you are being the digital equivalent of tone-deaf. This can result in greater churn and decreased customer loyalty, especially when you are relying on social media as a key element of how your organization is servicing customers.

As Abbott and O’Donoghue explained, this is the context as to why social media cannot be just a checklist item, as in “yes we have Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter,” but makes a strong case for the need for having social analytics as part of your customer experience tool kit.

What is social analytics? A good working definition is used by Genesys: “Social analytics is the process of collecting, measuring, analyzing and interpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas.” This is benefit by association rather than guilt, and is the justification for investing in Big Data.

For those looking to open their eyes to doing something about eliminating social blind spots, there was a lot of best practices and practical insights during the webinar covering the benefits of using social analytics. It included discussions on: 

  • How to cut through the noise to understand customer intention;
  • Identifying trends around issues, problems, questions, value gains and team performance;
  • Building precision around “actionability”, tags, and response recommendations;
  • The advantages machine learning has over rules-based approaches.
The world is changing rapidly, and that speed is reflected in just how fast good customers can go to being lost ones who compound things by spreading the word. Having the right tools, in the right hands, to not just head off but anticipate challenges, and be able to quickly turn a jeopardy situation into an opportunity is key. It is why having not just a social media component as part of customer engagement, but actually turning all of that information into actionable insights is becoming not a matter of convenience but one of necessity.
 
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