CRM Evolution Conference & Customer Service Experience Conferences – How Social Media Has Changed Everything

I’m looking forward to speaking at the CRM Evolution Conference and the Customer Service Experience Conference

You can find me: Tuesday Aug 14th, 2012 At the Customer Service Experience Conference talking at 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST about  How Strategic Social Customer Service Generates and Preserves Revenue and also at:

CRM Evolution, Tuesday, August 14, 2012
8:00 a.m – 8:45 a.m SD2: Breakfast With the Influencers Panel
2:45 p.m – 3:30 p.m A204: CRM Solution Sessions

Its been interesting to watch both the CRM and the Customer Service World change with the advent and adoption of social media. While many companies still are not there yet, many have taken the plunge. In the Social Customer Service talk, I’ll be presenting with Kathy Hermann. We work with clients to help them calculate the ROI of their social media initiatives. In particular we’ll look at a case study on how a larger wireless carrier improved the customer experience as well as saved revenue. Its a new concept to think about how Customer Service can save revenue.

The contact center has historically been thought of as a cost center. It really never was just that, but it did end up getting labeled that way. If you think about- the contact center and the experiences customers have- whether it’s self-service / online / with an agent – a customer’s impression of the company is based on that interaction. Having spent time in PR and Marketing – which I did as a strategic career move to truly understand those functional roles / challenges. What I observed is that customer’s tend not to get upset about a marketing message or a brand promise. Where the rubber meets the road is when Customer Service – generally the department that has to deliver on the PR/ Marketing promise- is where the issues come up.  Brands & companies spending millions of dollars are creating a presence in the marketplace and then if Customer Service is not handled well, that brand equity is destroyed very quickly. Bottomline? Often all that money spent in PR and Marketing is wasted because you can’t sell to people who are mad. If PR and marketing’s purpose is to drive the front part of the marketing funnel- Awareness, Interest, Consideration… and convert leads to sales and purchase, then they need to make sure they are working hand-in-hand with Customer Service. Its not ok to deliver brand promises and not fulfill on them. It fractures the brand equity and it reduces sales.

Social Customer Service: Cost Reductions and Revenue Generation/ Preservation

What we found in working with the wireless company was in part was that strategic social Customer Service can generate and preserve revenue. To do that you need to start with objectives and strategy- i.e., you want to improve the customer’s experience – while reducing costs and generating/ saving revenue. And then you need to set-up a measurement program to baseline/ benchmark your “before” state and then measure after you’ve implemented at various points in time.

The end goal of measurement is not to collect a bunch of metrics but to gain actionable intelligence. ROI or return on investment is a numerical view of your strategy. Positive ROI means you will receive more than you are spending on the initiative. Negative ROI means that you need to go back and look at your strategy and determine if there is something you could do better.

Costs: Costs tend to fall in three buckets: People, Process and Technology. These are hard costs and tend to be easier to calculate! You can group people costs into salaries and training. Process costs tend to be oriented towards what are you changing about your business to make the initiative successful. This might be marketing dollars to market an online community. Technology costs depend on what you are implementing- the range can include: the technology itself- hardware and software, community website design, single sign-on, integration to contact center applications, such as CRM or marketing automation software, order management, etc… a community platform subscription fee, analytics and reporting.

Benefits: The benefits of the initiative can range from reducing costs to increasing revenue. This is generally where people have more trouble. The benefits can range from:

Cost Savings
•Reduce call volume
•Reduce email volume
•Increase agent productivity
•Increase FCR
•Reduce SEO cost
Revenue Improvements
•Increase customer lifetime value, including customer retention
•Increase product ideation
•Increase lead conversion rates
In the case study we’ll be presenting, we looked at agent call deflection and customer retention revenue. We created the The Customer Retention Revenue Impact™ Model where we consider how social media affects the ability to prevent problems, fix problems, customer word-of-mouth power and the company’s financial goals to generate and preserve revenue. Data from John Goodman and other sources show that most customers don’t complain before deciding to leave. It’s in part because of the overall state of customer service.
For years customers have been disregarded and as a result customer service has not been delivered in ways that drive trust in a company. Customers expected that when they reach out to a company, they will be disappointed. This apathy is in part why they don’t even bother saying anything. They just vote with their feet. Depending on the company, the industry and the level of apathy of the customer base a company can expect to loose between 2-15% due to churn. This depends on whether they are “trapped loyalty” – meaning they don’t have any other choice- as is the case with a utility company as well as many other factors.
The Impact of Social Media
Most complaints are fixed in the call center or via self-service. Complainers tend to be highly “visible” to others and a company’s social media team has opportunity to fix the percentage of complainers whose issues were not resolved by Contact Center or who posted their issue in the social sphere and never called. But most customers never complain – and rather“suffer in silence.” Social media can resolve issues, and influence “silent sufferers” who  watch what a company does and says in social media. And the affect can have a huge amplification because of the one to many aspects of social networking.

Come hear us talk about the case study at the conference… in the mean time here’s some thoughts around how to set-up a measurement program in your company:

Steps to Setting Up Social Media Measurement Program

1. Gather thoughts on  business goals: Talk with business stakeholders to find out what business goals they want to reach. For example: decrease customer service calls to the contact center or increase sales inquiries or conversions by 10% from social media sources within 3 months.

2. Set Goals For Social Media: Ask your team- why are we participating in social media? Try to get as specific as you can for the following questions. The more clear you are as to why you are doing social media, the more likely it is that you will drive a business goal:

•What percent of your customer base uses which sites?
•How will social media improve the customer experience?
•How will social media help you build and reinforce your brand?
•How will you support agents in monitoring and responding to social media?
•How will social media help you build your knowledge base?
•What protocols are in place to help agents determine when and how they should respond?
•How will agents use the knowledge base to support conversations?
3. Set Up Social Media Measurement Program: Determine what data / measurement process you have. Often times companies don’t have a measurement process for social media. Sometimes the data required for calculations may be housed in other departments. You may need help with setting up a social media measurement program. What you need is a final determination on what you are going to measure and your key performance indicators.
4. Measure and Calculate your Baseline: The first time you try to measure social media, you’ll probably find some holes in what you are doing. The best thing to do is to start. Figure out what data you have and what data you are missing. Check with best practices to determine what you need. We often find that because companies launched social media without a before baseline or without a measurement process in place, they don’t have all the metrics or information they need. But you won’t know that till you put your toe in the water and begin.
5. Adjust and Repeat. As you lean to measure your social media program, you’ll want to make changes to your measurement process, your social media strategy and go through the process again. Each time you measure, you’ll get more accurate results, be able to make changes to the measurement process as well as your overall social media strategy.
The benefits to a social media measurement program are many, but a few include:
•Articulate the business case
•Calculate value & ROI
•Do more of the right things
•Put structure around what can seem unstructured
•Benchmark “As Is” and create a “Could Be” plan
•Justify the plan to upper management by showing them the business reasons
•Track the progress, gather the right metrics
•Assess the progress & iterate
•Create and sustain a world-class social enterprise brand.
Look forward to seeing you soon!
@drnatalie
For more info on my work:
Ebook: Social Media ROI Myths and Truths

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media,
Video 2: ROI of Social Media,
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

White Papers: Social Media ROI

Book on Monetizing Facebook:
 Like My Stuff – How to Monetize Your Facebook Fans With Social Commerce & A Facebook Store

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
@drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
website/blog: www.drnatalienews.com/blog
G+ : Google Plus posts
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