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Integrating Social Media Monitoring With Business Functions - Customer Service

Integrating Social Media Monitoring With Business Functions - Customer Service

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Published by Pratheep Raj
The smart consumer brands today are actively listening to social media and converting conversations into customer service opportunities. Why are they doing this? What are the benefits of integrating social media monitoring into customer support operations? How can you save costs and improve revenue by listening to conversations on social media?
The smart consumer brands today are actively listening to social media and converting conversations into customer service opportunities. Why are they doing this? What are the benefits of integrating social media monitoring into customer support operations? How can you save costs and improve revenue by listening to conversations on social media?

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Published by: Pratheep Raj on Feb 03, 2011
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11/28/2012

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Integrating Social Media Monitoring with Business Functions:Customer Service
Effective social media monitoring can redefine how consumers buy products, services and get customerservice from a company. Many brands today are actively trying out social media monitoring tools to
support these objectives. When it comes to customer care, it’s important to remember that consumers
often have strong feelings about various brands, and that they expect companies to respond quicklyand appropriately. More than ever, consumers today are airing their comments and complaints via
social media tools. Thus it’s critical for organizations to establish an appropriate strategy, and
effectively integrate those
strategies and processes into customer service operations. Tracking what’s
being said online about the company becomes an important first step.The challenge today is not finding consumer discussions of a brand, but sifting the relevant andinsightful comments from useless chatter and turning the findings into valuable business insights. In ourlast article, SocialMedia Content Overload
team at Position² addressed the issue of filtering out relevant data from “noise” on
social media channels. In this article, we discuss how brands can integrate social media monitoring intocustomer service operations to enrich customer experiences, reduce customer service costs, andtransform their businesses by using monitoring tools.
Why Should Companies Listen to their Customers?
For the most part, the only way companies knowthat customers have questions, comments, orconcerns is if they contact customer service, makethe news, form a public group, or if buyingpatterns, stock value, and sales trends suddenlyshift. For every inbound customer inquiry, there isa significant percentage of existing and potentialcustomers actively discussing the same topic out inthe open, simply looking for guidance, opinions,acknowledgment and/or information. Thesediscussions usually transpire without companyparticipation, leaving people to resolve issues andquestions on their own. This leaves the door openfor the competition to enter the conversation andsteer customers in their direction.Social Media monitoring helps companies track andrespond to these real-time conversations that impact their brand. To maximize its potential, it is
important to leverage it strategically and treat it as an integral part of a company’s overall customer
service strategy. Some businesses have gone a step further and assist customers with issues via socialnetworks. This practice can save businesses time and money.
Benefits of Integrating Social Media Monitoring into Customer Support Operations
Used correctly and consistently, social media monitoring helps companies offer a low-cost way todeliver services, and to gather important data on market trends, product feedback, brand perceptionand customers. Recently Gartner questioned 250 customer service executives, and found that only 15%had a Twitter strategy for customer services. This indicates that companies still have a long way to gobefore grasping this new technology.
 
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According to the Forrester Case Study
“, using a peer
-to-peer support community, Lenovo saw a 20% reduction in laptop supportcall rates, an increase in agent productivity, a shortened problem resolution cycle and an increase inNet Promoter Scores. This has led to better products and a reduction in support costs.
Companies Expand their Customer Support to Include Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring helps companies identify communities where their brand advocates (anddetractors) interact. It is now possible to cast a wide net and pinpoint relevant conversationshappening all over the social web. The chances are very high that the conversations offering the most
insight are NOT happening on the company’s
own online properties.Many brands such as WalMart
, Dell, Comcast, Toyota, Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s, and Teleflora are
all proactively monitoring and interacting with their customers on Facebook, addressing their concernsand directing them to the appropriate channel for assistance. Dell, Comcast and Zappos are also usingTwitter to listen to their customers.In 2005, Dell had a customer serviceissue that turned into a PR disaster and
is still known today as
“. After
this debacle, Dell started integrating thesocial media monitoring into its DNA.Dell now has multiple Twitter channelsincluding the Dell Outlet on Twitter, with sales approaching $6.5 million in 2009. Dell has also woven social mediainto the corporate website with sharing,comments and reviews throughout thewebsite. Moreover, the firm has createdactive advocate engagement through its Customer Advisory Panel to listen to and engage with power bloggers and influential online personalities. Most recently, Dell launched its SocialMedia Command Center, a department dedicated to listening in on social conversations. The@dellcares Twitter account is only one aspect of the social media command center. Dell hassocial media representatives across the company, who can join any online conversation that isDell-related. Early indicators show that this new center will make Dell more responsive to their

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