Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Final Part)

Community-Based Support Compliments the Contact Center

Community-based, social support doesn’t have to exist in a

bubble—it’s a great way to complement and complete agent-based

support strategies. Let’s say, for example, that your software

product is acting a little buggy when it’s used with a certain

operating system.

 

A customer can’t figure out what to do, so he

calls in and gets an answer. A couple weeks later, someone else has

the same issue, but they post in the community instead. This might

be a younger or more tech-savvy customer who prefers to reach

support online, or maybe they just did a quick Google search and

were brought to the community that way. The customer who called

support originally sees the post and reports what the phone agent

told them as a response to the community topic.

 

Now the answer exists in the community as a resource for

everyone in the future who has this problem. They can discover it

through search or by going there directly. Each person who sees

the answer is equal to one fewer call to an agent.

saving time 1

Community as the Canary in the Coal Mine

Until recently, support was strictly reactionary. With the adoption

of community as a key support tool, we’re seeing entire support

organizations evolve from reactionary “fixers,” to agents working

collaboratively with community members to identify bugs and

issues before they come become widespread problems.

 

When your agents are on the front lines, getting real-time feedback

about the things that aren’t working, they can be prepared to

address them fully and effectively with others who are likely to be

experiencing the same issue. This saves the agents time and stress,

as they have deeper, more immediate insight into where things

are breaking down before they get on the phone with an angry

customer.

 

And the fact that the agent is already aware of issues and

possible solutions before they take that call means the customer is

more likely to get off the phone feeling like they’re in good, capable

hands.

saving time 2

Close the Loop

As any good support agent knows, it’s not just important to provide

customers with immediate assistance, but also to close the loop

and keep them updated about new developments as well. This may

be when a bug has been fixed, a new feature has been released or

rolled back, or a work-around has been uncovered.

 

A customer community makes it fast and easy to provide your

customers with the most up-to-date information. What previously

would have required individual emails, Tweets, or status updates,

now can be accomplished with one simple community update.

 

You can post a company update for big notifications, or just post an

“official reply” to a topic, so everyone who has expressed interest

in that topic will get an email notification of the update. That also

means that when the next person who experiences that issue

comes to your community, they will find the answer waiting for

them there. How’s that for efficiency?

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

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Customer Conversations are Key to Your Business

This post is part of the Deep Thoughts at Dreamforce Series of candid interviews with customer experience thought leaders. You can view the other videos in the series here.

 

“Strategy that involves common sense is nearly impossible for large companies to do,” said consultant Dr. Natalie Petouhoff  of companies that claim to be customer-centric yet fail to truly utilize customer feedback to grow the business.

“Leadership is the key,” said Petouhoff speaking to C-level executives. “If you’re not customer-focused, you need to be fired.”

Customers are everything. “If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business,” said Petouhoff.

One of the issues that came up during the Dreamforce conference was the need to increase customer engagement. One theory states that if you can double your overall customer engagement you could double your business.

The problem Petouhoff identified is that there are still many executives who believe that customer service should only be treated as a cost center. Instead, you should relish every single customer touch point, even the negative ones.

Don’t stick your head in the sand to negative criticism, warned Petouhoff. Talk to your customers wherever they are. Hire people who are customer-centric who want to engage with your customers.

“Integrate that back into your company and you would have an amazing company,” claimed Petouhoff.

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

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Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 2)

Reduce One-Off Requests

Your support agents are knowledgeable about every aspect of your

business. They have extensive knowledge about your product, your

processes, and policies. So it’s an ironic twist of fate that (especially

as your business scales) they spend most of their time answering

simple, one-off questions.

 

Don’t get us wrong—it’s important that your customers are

supported as they purchase, set up, and begin using your products.

You want them to be as successful as possible, so they have a

positive experience and brand association. But does this mean your

support agents have to hold the hand of each and every customer

as they look for the “on” button? Absolutely not…at least not

anymore.

 

As you scale your business, you need to make sure that you’re

doing everything you can to reduce the number of simple,

repetitive questions your support staff is answering. A branded

customer community is ideal for this. It acts as a living, breathing

conversation library, hosting all the questions, answers, praise, and

ideas that have come before, while constantly being updated with

the most current topics of conversation.

 

Because community is designed to facilitate engagement around

the topics your customers care about (as opposed to Facebook or

Twitter, which are optimized for engagement around recent content

only), all conversations, whether they began two years ago or this

morning, are easy for search engines and hence people, to find.

Get Satisfaction customer communities take this archive capability

a step further. They search the entire community to see if an

answer may already be tucked away somewhere in the ghosts

of conversations past, before allowing a new topic to be posted.

This means that customers are automatically exposed to existing

questions and answers before they can open new issues.

 

This is beneficial for all concerned parties—your customers are able

to self-serve their own answers quickly and easily, which is what

most consumers prefer these days. And your support agents don’t

have to answer the same questions over and over again, because

there is a huge repository of content that exists already.

Empower Your Support Champions

Increasing agent efficiency is really a fancy way of saying reduce

agent tickets, calls, emails, and instances, freeing them up to

put their support super powers to work on more complex issues.

A great way to do this is by identifying the customers who are

naturally knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and vocal about your

product, also known as brand advocates or Champions.

It may seem unlikely that there are actually people out there who

are excited to speak up on your behalf, answer questions, and act

as impromptu support agents, but anyone who works in social

media will tell you that there absolutely are! Your job is to identify

them, incentivize them (even with a simple web badge—these folks

love a little recognition!), and connect them with prospects and

other customers. A customer community, with its wealth of people,

content, and analytic capabilities, is a natural place to do just that.

Get Satisfaction offers a Champs program, which allows you to

publically designate champions so the community knows who they

are. You can even give them special abilities so they can moderate

and curate as you see fit.

 

Champions are not the only ones who can help alleviate

the load on your support agents. The people interacting in your

community naturally bring with them varying experiences,

perspectives, and skills. From highly technical developer

communities, to those of companies that sell basic consumer

goods, bringing your customers and employees together to share

experiences and solutions is a solid base to build on for innovation,

development, and collaboration.

Stay tuned for part 3!

You are here: Home / Blog

Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 1)

January 11, 2014 By Leave a Comment

increase agent 1

We love our customer support agents. Friendly, helpful, and patient by nature, these folks spend more time talking to your customers than
anyone else in your company. They truly understand the pain points of your business, and they’re the ones putting in long hours to resolve
them for your customers. It’s important, then, to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to be truly effective.
This isn’t just a good idea from a warm and fuzzy perspective. Agent salaries are the most expensive part of a support center. By ensuring
that they’re using their time efficiently—helping people solve complex, technical or individual problems, not responding to the same basic
questions over and over again—you can do a lot to maximize the value of your support agents, the satisfaction of your customers, and
minimize stress and pain points for both.
This eBook is the second in a series of three explaining how customer communities can help companies realize significant savings and
revenue sources, along with the metrics and calculations to measure the results. The first eBook focused on customer community as a
valuable resource for customer self-service support. This book focuses on the way companies can leverage community to improve agent
efficiency. Stay tuned for the final, which will discuss community as a means to improve customer retention and acquisition.

Customer Community: The Basics
Since this eBook is all about how you can leverage a customer community to improve agent efficiency (and reduce costs as a
result), we figured it makes sense to give a quick refresher course on what exactly a customer community is, just to make sure we’re
all on the same page.
So what is a community platform? It all started with some of the first technology that emerged on the web—the forums and
message boards of the 80’s and 90’s. These technologies were built to create online spaces where users could have threaded
conversations about the topics, products, and services that interested them. To have an identity across conversation, users
typically created a profile with a nickname, so that they could build their reputation. This primordial community technology worked
well for engineers, developers, and early adopters, but it was not designed to be easy-to-use by a mass audience.
A lot has changed in today’s community platforms, but the core conversational functions have remained the same. At Get
Satisfaction, we have a strong point of view that, for a community to be most effective and beneficial for customers as well as companies, it should have the following:

❑User-friendly interface with a simple way for even tech-wary users to browse and search for relevant conversations
❑Technical flexibility that allows business to embed community content and functionality across customer channels … on websites,
social networks, in digital campaigns, and on mobile and tablet devices
❑Business features and tools (topic moderation, content curation, etc.) that allow for successful community management
❑Ability for the community to be branded by the company that owns or sponsors it
❑Content that is highly indexed by search engines (through SEO) and naturally appears in top search results
❑Analytics tools that allow business users to assess community health and performance, determine the most relevant content, and
identify the community members who are mostly likely to become brand advocates
❑Formal Champions program that allows you to identify, recognize, and allocate simple moderation capabilities to the customers who
act as informal leaders in your community

When equipped with these features and moderated and curated effectively, communities are great assets for customers to research
products, find answers to their questions, and act as resources for others. These conversations drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, while helping companies deliver great support, gather feedback to build better products, and acquire more customers.
Effectively, community allows you to deliver a better customer experience, while reducing costs and bringing benefits to multiple
departments across companies.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Related articles
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Video Interview: Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy and Michael Procopio

January 6, 2014 By Leave a Comment

Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy http://MitchellLevy.com and Michael Procopio http://MProcopio.com covers all things around thought leadership, how to become one, how to use it as a form of communication, how to help others become one. I got to sit down with them for a Google Hangout and discuss customer service, social media, real-time marketing and more!

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Dr. Natalie’s ebook: voted as one of the Top Ten Most downloaded Social Media ebooks- On smROI

Click here to watch my videos on Social Media ROI:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company


Dr. Natalie’s Executive Success Acceleration Firm™
Executive Business Strategy Advisor & Social Customer Experience Industry Authority & Consultant

The Doctor Knows Social Media ROI & Our Business Strategies Rx Get Results!
Our Motto? Be Awesome by: Learning, Sharing & Growing!

What we do: We work with companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs:

  • Executive Leadership Guidance on Strategy and Business Use of Social Media
  • Social Media / Business Benchmark Assessments – Tell you what you got/ what you might consider
  • Social Media ROI – set-up measurement capabilities and dashboards
  • Workshops on Business Strategy: Customer Experience, PR, Marketing, Customer Service & Internal Employee Advocacy
  • Instructor MEMES Summer Institutes at UCLA Anderson & UCLA Extension
  • Customer Experience / Social Customer Service Excellence Benchmarking Assessments & Advisory
  • Software Company Visualized-ROI, Persona-based Solution Selling w/ Targeted USP & Messaging / ebooks, White Papers, Webinars…
  • Social Media Training, Organizational Change, Motivation and Goal Setting

My book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Follow Me Here:
Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn:
DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ :
Google Plus posts
Facebook:
DrNatalie Petouhof

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Share

Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 1)

increase agent 1

We love our customer support agents. Friendly, helpful, and patient by nature, these folks spend more time talking to your customers than
anyone else in your company. They truly understand the pain points of your business, and they’re the ones putting in long hours to resolve
them for your customers. It’s important, then, to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to be truly effective.
This isn’t just a good idea from a warm and fuzzy perspective. Agent salaries are the most expensive part of a support center. By ensuring
that they’re using their time efficiently—helping people solve complex, technical or individual problems, not responding to the same basic
questions over and over again—you can do a lot to maximize the value of your support agents, the satisfaction of your customers, and
minimize stress and pain points for both.
This eBook is the second in a series of three explaining how customer communities can help companies realize significant savings and
revenue sources, along with the metrics and calculations to measure the results. The first eBook focused on customer community as a
valuable resource for customer self-service support. This book focuses on the way companies can leverage community to improve agent
efficiency. Stay tuned for the final, which will discuss community as a means to improve customer retention and acquisition.

Customer Community: The Basics
Since this eBook is all about how you can leverage a customer community to improve agent efficiency (and reduce costs as a
result), we figured it makes sense to give a quick refresher course on what exactly a customer community is, just to make sure we’re
all on the same page.
So what is a community platform? It all started with some of the first technology that emerged on the web—the forums and
message boards of the 80’s and 90’s. These technologies were built to create online spaces where users could have threaded
conversations about the topics, products, and services that interested them. To have an identity across conversation, users
typically created a profile with a nickname, so that they could build their reputation. This primordial community technology worked
well for engineers, developers, and early adopters, but it was not designed to be easy-to-use by a mass audience.
A lot has changed in today’s community platforms, but the core conversational functions have remained the same. At Get
Satisfaction, we have a strong point of view that, for a community to be most effective and beneficial for customers as well as companies, it should have the following:

❑User-friendly interface with a simple way for even tech-wary users to browse and search for relevant conversations
❑Technical flexibility that allows business to embed community content and functionality across customer channels … on websites,
social networks, in digital campaigns, and on mobile and tablet devices
❑Business features and tools (topic moderation, content curation, etc.) that allow for successful community management
❑Ability for the community to be branded by the company that owns or sponsors it
❑Content that is highly indexed by search engines (through SEO) and naturally appears in top search results
❑Analytics tools that allow business users to assess community health and performance, determine the most relevant content, and
identify the community members who are mostly likely to become brand advocates
❑Formal Champions program that allows you to identify, recognize, and allocate simple moderation capabilities to the customers who
act as informal leaders in your community

When equipped with these features and moderated and curated effectively, communities are great assets for customers to research
products, find answers to their questions, and act as resources for others. These conversations drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, while helping companies deliver great support, gather feedback to build better products, and acquire more customers.
Effectively, community allows you to deliver a better customer experience, while reducing costs and bringing benefits to multiple
departments across companies.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Exceprt from “Like My Stuff”: Socially Responsible F-commerce

Socially Responsible F-commerce

As the awareness around sustainability and social responsibility increases, brands are doing more and more to donate to charities and do more for their communities as part of their day-to-day strategies and operations. What is social good? There are many definitions, but the context I am referring to in this e-book is the ability to do good using social media. In particular, Digital Millennials that use social media tend to like to work for companies that emphasize charitable giving as well patronize brands that care.

Brands need to become aware about specific attitudes, perceptions, and sentiments of Millennials as well as how they align their spending with their own interests, passions, and community. Many Millennials say that the charities they support are one of the ways they express themselves. They feel that regularly donating your time to help others in need is a sign of success and accomplishment. They want to know how their donations or efforts will impact others or make a difference. Brands need to enter this type of endeavor with care. Millennials are also very skeptical of brands that take up social causes and may question the true intent of the sponsoring brands. If a brand wants to go down this path, they must make a commitment that demonstrates the ongoing attitudes, behaviors, and actions of the brand.

 Old Navy

Old Navy was founded in 1994 and named after a bar in Paris. The Old Navy Facebook page is intended to be an online hangout for the Old Navy community. There customers and fans can learn about upcoming sales, new styles, contests, promotions, and more. And customers can leave a comment or ask a question on the wall.

Most importantly to their fans, Facebook is a place for their audience to become part of cause marketing programs and social good campaigns. That’s because one of Old Navy’s target audiences is people who truly care about social responsibility. Their Feel Good program appeals to people who are about making the world “Bright, colorful, and playful.” Old Navy connects their sense of style with how they view the world and invites customers and fans to join them in making a difference.

They invite fans to join them at an in-store event celebrating the Boys & Girls Club. A portion of sales during the event go to supporting that charity. They also have “Operation Troop Donation.” This is a program that supports the troops and their families by creating care packages. The Flip-Flop Relay invites customers to bring their pre-loved flip-flops into Old Navy Stores to be recycled into playgrounds. The “It Gets Better” program helps educate people about all types of love. Old Navy donated 10 percent of their Gay Pride t-shirt sales to the “It Gets Better” Project.

While these are not direct e-commerce plays, they are part of a very smart marketing campaign to appeal to a very loyal demographic. A company that shows that they care, that they give back, and that they are “human.” This is a far cry from brands of yesteryear. This kind of humanizing of a brand can create loyal customers and advocates and influencers who spread the “good word” of their company via social media, reaching millions of Old Navy’s target market. And that is essentially the hallmark of understanding and utilizing social media for PR, marketing, and advertising.

Within Facebook, Old Navy has a section called Hot Ticket. Here a fan can enter their name and when they click on submit, they are given a personalized ticket for 30 percent off. That can be shared with their social network, Tweeted, and/or printed out.

Ettitude

Ettitude is an Australia-based company that sells environmentally friendly products made from bamboo and organic cotton. Ettitude was founded on the simple idea that everyday products, such as clothing, bed linen, towels, and stationery, could be made much more responsibly and contribute to making the world a better place, as well as look good and be affordable. Their goal is to give people who care about their family and the earth the ability to easily adopt a greener, more socially responsible lifestyle. Ettitude does this by providing a range of premium and unique eco-friendly products in a quick, convenient, online shopping environment. Because they have such a compelling store, it is a natural for people to want to share this among their social graph.

When I was on their website to do some research for this book, I was impressed with their use of their traditional website as a “Facebook sharing moment.” Here’s how this works: I was on the About Us page, and I went to highlight some words on the site and a widget popped up and enabled me to share what I highlighted with my Facebook connections. This is a brilliant word-of-mouth strategy to create awareness for the brand, and because their marketing message is something people can get behind, i.e., being more socially responsible, the ability to share that website information may even translate into shopping cart dollars.

When you click on the Facebook icon to share your highlighted information, it asks the customer to allow permission to connect to Facebook and post on my Facebook page. The ability to allow your customers to find things they like about your company and post to their friends can be a very good PR and marketing awareness tool. Especially for a company like Ettitude, which has a very share-able brand story around social and personal responsibility.

Looking for more of my ebook? No problem, you can get it by clicking here!

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Get Satisfaction and DRI Extend SugarCRM to Enable Social Customer Experience

Get Satisfaction, a community platform for creating engaging customer experiences, announced today at SugarCON 2013 an integrated product capability for SugarCRM. The joint solution developed with DRI, an accomplished value-added reseller (VAR) and longtime Gold Partner for SugarCRM, brings to the popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform engaging social customer capabilities for customer contact and service case management. Congrats to my two friends, Wendy Lea, CEO Of Get Satisfaction and Mitch Lieberman of DRI!

By integrating Get Satisfaction’s best-in-class community solution, SugarCRM’s new social customer experience offering will help companies facilitate genuine customer conversations where customers can ask and answer questions within the community, increase content discoverability and reduce support inquiries — all while enhancing customer experience, customer satisfaction and loyalty.

“Both Get Satisfaction and SugarCRM are focused on helping companies deliver the best possible experiences for their customers,” said Mitch Lieberman, Managing Partner, DRI. “Beyond delivering even more engaging experiences that drive customer satisfaction and retention for their customers, users of the integrated solution from Get Satisfaction and SugarCRM will also be able to scale their support organizations more efficiently while receiving many benefits that contribute to growing revenue.”

The Get Satisfaction Community Platform helps companies capture the authentic voice of their customers at every stage of the lifecycle. And because Get Satisfaction is an open platform, the conversations and content expressed in the community are highly indexed by search engines—ultimately improving the SEO of the hosting companies’ websites. Finally, communities facilitated through Get Satisfaction’s platform reduce support costs, increase product ideas and drive new sales leads for their respective companies.

“DRI, a longtime Gold partner of SugarCRM, understands our customer-first approach to businesses and chose Get Satisfaction accordingly. With the integration of Get Satisfaction, SugarCRM brings an exciting new capability to the platform that our customers are increasingly asking for— the ability to connect their CRM system directly to end consumers,” said Clint Oram, CTO and Co-Founder, SugarCRM. “The entire SugarCRM team is excited to see a valued partner facilitating a new strategic partnership to deliver a product capability that matters.”

“By integrating its CRM solution with Get Satisfaction, SugarCRM is proving that it is serious about putting their customers first and taking a comprehensive approach to customer relationship management,” said Get Satisfaction CEO Wendy Lea. “The partnership will enable SugarCRM to provide its customers with a forum where prospects and customers can engage in authentic conversations about their products and services, and will also give customers a deeper insight into their own users.”

SugarCRM and DRI join a growing portfolio of exciting product and channel partnerships for Get Satisfaction in CRM, enterprise marketing, enabling technologies, and global channels.

Learn more at SugarCON 2013: Visit Get Satisfaction and DRI at booth #314 in the Astor Room.

 

About SugarCRM

SugarCRM democratizes customer engagement, empowering every professional who interacts with the customer to excel at their job. SugarCRM’s market leading open Customer Relationship Management platform delivers the agility, flexibility, and security required to equip each customer facing professional with the information and tools they need to effectively collaborate and engage with their customer, both within and beyond the enterprise. SugarCRM applications have been downloaded more than 11 million times and currently help over 1,000,000 end users across disciplines effectively engage their customers.

More than 6,000 paid subscriber customers have chosen SugarCRM’s On-Site and Cloud Computing services over proprietary alternatives. SugarCRM has been recognized for its customer success and product innovation by CRM MagazineInfoWorld and Customer Interaction Solutions.

About DRI

DRI is a global consultancy company. With offices in five countries and successful project delivery, worldwide, DRI helps organizations to foster engagement and enhance customer experience through digital channels. DRI has four main areas of application focus: Web, Platforms, Mobile and Emerging Media; all connected to CRM, Social CRM and Business Intelligence solutions. DRI innovates with its customers, building solutions using agile methods, leading to the optimal match between the business need, technology and function.

About Get Satisfaction

Headquartered in San Francisco, Get Satisfaction helps companies create engaging customer experiences by fostering online conversations about their products and services at every stage of the lifecycle. Companies of all sizes, such as Intuit, Kellogg’s and Sonos rely, on the Get Satisfaction Community Platform to acquire new customers, provide better service and build better products. Today, Get Satisfaction powers 70,000 active customer communities hosting more than 35 million consumers each month. For a free trial, visit www.getsatisfaction.com.

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Improve Your Top and Bottom Line With Customer Self-Service Via a Customer Community

Calling all support and marketing professionals! Want to learn how you can reduce support costs, while improving customer acquisition and retention? www.GetSatisfaction.com VP of Product Marketing, Scott Hirsch, interviewed yours truly about how you can leverage customer communities to do just that. Here’s the slides:

And if you want to listen to the presentation: Using Social Technology to Reduce Support Costs and Improve Agent Efficiency

In this interactive session, Scott and I cover how social, online communities:

  • Fit into your customer experience strategy
  • Deflect support email and phone calls to agents, while improving customer satisfaction
  • Generate content that will increase the efficiency of your marketing and PR organizations
  • Increases customer acquisition, retention and upsell…

Here’s the ebook based on based on my research on how Customer Communities Reduce Support Costs: Customer Self-Service if you want to dive deeper into how you can reduce support costs by leveraging communities for your business.

 A community is an online platform that facilitates conversations between companies and their customers across digital channels. The content and connections in the community can be leveraged by businesses for marketing, service/support, sales, brand awareness, and R&D.

Community ROI comes from reducing support costs by reducing the number of customer interactions. How?

–Curate user-generated content for one-to-many support (especially good for “long-tail” content)
–Search engine optimization (SEO)
–Identify and activate super-users for peer-to-peer support
Mint.com was able to:
• See a 75% reduction in support tickets in the first 60 days
• Use the Community as primary support channel

Community ROI comes from reducing support costs by improving support efficiency with multi-channel, real-time, and integrated into business workflows. How?

–Offers multi-channel community (web, mobile, social)
–Integrates with business systems
–Improves knowledgebase efficiency

Restaurants on the Run found they were able to:

• Expand nationally without adding reps
• Integrate the Community with website and chat (Velaro).

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

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An Excerpt from “Like My Stuff” Chapter 5: Social Marketing with Facebook Plug-ins

Some brands have chosen an f-commerce strategy where their main focus is on enabling their regular e-commerce site with social graph Facebook plug-ins so that fans can see on the traditional e-commerce site what their Facebook friends and family like. The reason for including this option in the e-book is that it is an example of how peer-to-peer influence and word-of-mouth in social networks has changed business.

Before social media, a brand depended on advertising, marketing, and PR to get the attention of their customers. Back then the tools of the trade were creating a logo, key message points, and then repeating them in front of customers as many times as a brand could afford—in print, on radio, on billboards, and on TV . . . But as the old saying by Wannamaker goes, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” F-commerce is helping companies learn where their dollars are paying off.

 

Word-of-Mouth Power

And it’s not that people didn’t influence each other before social media. In fact, studies by The Goodman Group, noted experts on customer relations, showed that people on average told 10–20 of their peers well before the Internet became popular. Even back then the calculations for word-of-mouth had huge affects on sales, revenue, and profits. The numbers are impressive:

 

  • 71 percent of customers recall a positive experience—more than double the recall of a negative experience
  • 42 percent will buy for the first time based on positive word of mouth
  • 21 percent will buy more based on positive word of mouth.

 

With the advent of social media word of mouth has increased expontentially. In fact brands have lost some of the power to deliver their key messages to consumers. Before social media, the brand “controlled” the “media” about the brand. But with the new web 2.0-type technologies, customers now contribute to that “media” via social media. In social media, customers can say openly and to millions what they think of a brand and its products and services. This ability has removed some of the control of a brand’s equity from the company and put it into the hands of the consumer.

So today brands must still get in front of their customers and assure that some of the messaging sticks, but they must also engage the help of their social media brand ambassadors to deliver positive messages. They need to engage their fans and the social graph of those fans. Studies show that brands must deliver better products and service via their customer experience, especially now that social media has the incredible reach it does.

 

The Power of Trust

Edelman’s 2011 Trust Barometer®, the firm’s 11th annual survey, gauges attitudes about the state of trust in business, government, NGOs, and media across twenty-three countries. Edelman was one of the first to try to measure how much consumers trust brands. In years past, the Trust Barometer study showed that consumers trusted each other more than brands.

In 2010 the report showed that consumer’s trust in companies did go up, but that generally consumers thought that businesses will probably revert back to their old ways after the recession and not be able to be trusted. The United States was the only country in which trust of companies declined in all types of institutions.

In 2011, the study showed that “consumer trust” protects a brand’s reputation. When a company is not trusted, 51 percent of people will believe negative information after hearing it one to two times.

 

The Value of Social Currency

An article on brands’ social currency, Fast Company author Kevin Randall wrote about How to Measure Brand Value: Likes, Followers, Influencers, Views? No, Social Currency. This article not only pointed to how powerful word-of-mouth marketing is, but also provided a number of methods to determine a brand’s equity and to correlate a brand’s “equity” score with its bottom line, as follows:

  1. For a brand’s financial value use Interbrand, Millward Brown BrandZ, Credit Suisse Great Brands
  2. For a brand’s equity use Equitrend
  3. For brand word-of-mouth buzz/promoting use McKinsey’s method and Net Promoter Score

The Fast Company article added another method to this list, the work done by Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder and CEO of Vivaldi Partners, in their report on Brand Social Currency. Brand Social Currency, as defined in this study, is the extent to which people share the brand and/or information about the brand as part of their everyday social lives at work and/or at home. To measure a brand’s social currency, they use six key attributes:

 

  • Utility
  • Affiliation
  • Identity
  • Conversation Advocacy
  • Information

 

Erich was quoted in the Fast Company article saying, “Building Social Currency is probably the most important investment companies can make to create value for themselves.” As the author Randall states, perhaps Social Currency is the new, strategic dashboard to help corporate leaders diagnose, build, and monitor the long-term health and value of their “brand assets.”

The study showed a direct correlation between financial performance and the brand’s Social Currency scores. For example, Apple had a high social currency, which is reflected in the company’s financial results. Starbucks, for the fast-food category, also had a high social currency score and traces its 2009-2010 sales growth to a number of recent operational, brand, and social media initiatives.

You can order my complete e-book by clicking here.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

 

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“Like My Stuff” Chapter 2: How Does F-commerce Work?

Facebook offers a variety of methods to do business using its f-commerce tools. They range from the setting up entire virtual storefronts, creating access to existing brand websites, social interaction with customers and clients and brand marketing.

 

Facebook Storefronts

It doesn’t cost a brand anything to set up a storefront on their Facebook pages. Thousands of brands have done this. In this example, a customer starts the shopping trip within the brand’s Facebook shop. At some point in the purchase process, the customer is taken to the company’s e-commerce page or a licensed merchandise marketing and fulfillment service. Examples in this book that have this type of Facebook shopping capability are: Avon, Old Spice, BabyAndMeGifts.com, Ettitude, Livescribe, Best Buy, LadyGaGa, Jennifer Lopez, iTunes, Disney Toy Story, Victoria Secrets Gift Cards, Chile Monster’s Merchandising site, Coca-Cola, Amazon Gift Cards, and the WWE.

Sometimes when a customer leaves the Facebook page and is taken to the brand’s e-commerce site, a new window opens. Sometimes the look and feel changes as a customer goes from Twitter, to Facebook, to the website. You’ll want your web designers to maintain the look and feel of your Facebook Storefront in your e-commerce design for brand consistency.

Some brands, even though the customer ends up on a site external to Facebook, keep the social shoppers inside the Facebook environment longer than others. They do this by using the social interaction features offered by Facebook.

Let’s say a customer is browsing through your product selection. When they find something they like, you can empower them to share it with their friends with options like “Ask Friends” or “Share This.” How does that work? When a customer uses “Ask Friends,” that customer’s comment is sent to their Wall where their friends and family can see it and comment on it.

 

How to Display an F-commerce Store on Facebook

To display an f-commerce page in Facebook, there are two options. A brand can use iFrames or a Facebook app.

 

iFrames

With iFrames, a brand can create, host, and display its own content in a Facebook page in the middle column. The advantage to iFrames? The creation and maintenance of the content and site can be done in-house by the business itself. And it tends to offer the most seamless customer experience for consumers. As many of us have experience as customers ourselves, the ease of use and simplicity in the shopping experience is critical to engaging and retaining customers to follow through and not abandon their shopping cart.

 

Facebook Apps

 

The adoption of smartphones, 3G/4G networks as well as the increase unlimited data plans has accelerated mobile media use. Brands are realizing that another venue to reach customers is through mobile browsers, apps and SMS. As technology advances, advertising will most likely play a major role in the development of the mobile ecosystem that Facebook users count on. In fact, according to comScore’s U.S. study on mobile advertising, they found that the number of advertisers using mobile display ad campaigns has more than doubled in the past two years.

The next trend will be brands that allow full f-commerce via smart phones. One often overlooked aspect is how often a product is forwarded to a friend or posted to Facebook, These actions are quite common within mobile applications, with 4-9 percent of users doing it regularly. Brands need to start thinking about how to reach their mobile audiences while they are shopping. Through Facebook Mobile texts consumers are able to receive notifications, and send and receive SMS. One of the biggest advantage of using an app is the increased amount of space a brand has to show their content and merchandise. For instance, an app gives you 760 pixels but iFrames only allows 520 pixels.

 

Geo Location, Deals and Facebook

 

Facebook has hoped to compete in this aspect of mobile social commerce with their feature

Facebook Places and Deals. Places would alert customers what brick-and-motor stores sold

Products in real time. Deals would offer discounts and limited time offers similar to Groupon

LivingSocial. However, after months of testing, Facebook determined that the market was a bit crowded even for them, and have phased them out – for the present.

 

 

 

Facebook Apps are evolving into one of the most possible segmente of f-commerce. However they are complicated and do require a professional development team to implement. Here a few examples of professionals in the field:.

 

8thBridge. 8thBridge allows a brand to provide social shopping experiences that are portable, personalized, and participatory. The experience across a merchant’s social shopping channel is consistent with the merchant’s existing website because 8thBridge leverages the merchant’s existing shopping cart, payment processing, and order fulfillment systems. This means there is little IT support required from a brand’s tech team. 8thBridge monetizes social media for some of the largest merchants in the world including 1-800-Flowers.com, Lands’ End, Delta Air Lines, Hallmark, HauteLook, and a division of Avon called mark.

 

SortPrice. With SortPrice’s free Merchant Store application for Facebook, merchants both big and small are running Facebook storefronts. The stores are powered by SortPrice technology combined with the product datafeeds. This allows the product information to be easily updated, so new products and price changes are synchronized. Each Facebook store application has an integrated Wishlist which allows Facebook users to save products and share them with friends. Over 1,500 small, medium, and large brands have stores. Among them are OfficeDepot, PetSmart, Loews, and Adobe.

 

Ecwid. Ecwid’s focus since 2001 has been commercial open source PHP shopping cart software. One good thing for small to midsized brands is that it’s also free. The software can be easily integrated to any existing site in minutes and the store can be mirrored on many sites at the same time and managed from one place. Because the store integrates with social networks, brands can run their own store on Facebook. No PHP knowledge is required, and there are no code changes or hosting expenses. Brands include Embe, K&K Photography Gallery, Hello Magpie, RedZero Printing, US21, Cafe Grumpy, and Mammamiu!

 

Usablenet. With Usablenet’s integrated Facebook application, brands can offer any product, service, feature, and functionality currently available on your website within Facebook. Customers can purchase a product, book a reservation, pay a bill, review products and share them with their friends, or provide feedback—without leaving Facebook. Customers include ASOS and JCPenny.

 

BigCommerce. BigCommerce provides e-commerce software to online retailers and merchants. Brand that want to do business on Facebook can use the BigCommerce free application, SocialShop 2. The retail platform shows up as the “Shop Now” tab on the Facebook page. It allows customers to share products with their Facebook friends and buy products within Facebook. Examples are Southern Jewlz, BabyAndMeGifts.com, and Etitude’s.

 

Payvment and PayPal’s Adaptive Payments API. Payvment may be a great choice for small to midsized businesses because it’s also free. Payvment originally was a web service that allowed a site owner to integrate a shopping cart into their e-commerce by adding one line of code to the site. The software allows retailers to create Facebook storefronts. Customers can use credit cards and PayPal. The new paid versions of the software include advanced analytics on Likes, comments, and Tweets on a product-by-product basis. Example Facebook shops are CHiASSO, Amoeba Music, Molly Sims, Hooked on Phonics, AdultSwim UK, Gibson, and Lakers Nation.

 

Storefront Social. This software enables retailers to connect their e-commerce store to Facebook. The brand can upload the storefront banner, choose from a wide variety of templates, feature/highlight products for special promotions, etc. After building the storefront, the connection wizard allows the brand to easily install the storefront to Facebook. Example brands that use this software are Livescribe and Zumba Fitness.

 

TheFind. Who has surpassed Yahoo as the second most popular shopping site? TheFind, according to comScore. TheFind’s mission is to help every shopper find exactly what they want to buy, and to help every merchant, large and small, to reach those shoppers. TheFind is a vertical search engine for shopping that puts every product, every store, every sale, coupon, and discount right at the customer’s fingertips. It provides an in-depth Facebook integration called “Shop Like Friends.” It allows customers to sign into the site with Facebook Connect. It then taps into the preferences of their Facebook Friends and pages that their friends have “liked” on Facebook. It then maps this to stores and brands. In the next chapter we’ll take a look at how f-commerce is different from e-commerce.

 

Enhancing Your Website with Facebook

Another option is to bring the Facebook experience to your company’s website. This allows a brand to tap their customers’ Facebook social network’s connections and interests within the purchasing process. The Facebook-provided buttons have short code snippets that ping Facebook’s social network for information about the customer and their social network while they are visiting the brand’s site. An example of a brand using this Facebook technique in this book is Levi’s.

 

Facebook Buttons & Plug-ins

A brand, to be successful with f-commerce, must use the Facebook social buttons and plug-ins on either their own website and/or their f-commerce stores. Facebook buttons and plug-ins are what make the f-commerce a social commerce experience vs. just another e-commerce transaction. The reason they are such a critical part of f-commerce is because of the difference between a website and a social network. Facebook is not a website. Facebook is a social network. Sometimes people come to Facebook and think it’s a giant website with over 750 million people. And because there are so many potential eyeballs, it’s a great place to put a store. It can be a great place to have a store, but not understanding the difference between a social network and a website will make all your efforts for your Facebook store a waste of time, energy, and money.

A website or an e-commerce site is a site where you display your information or products. The expectation of customers is that they will find what they need from you on those pages. A social network is a social interaction center on the Internet. Within a social network, people expect the ability for two-way interactions. They aren’t interested in your store if all you do is display your products. Customers are looking for interactions between the brand and the customers as well as the ability to interact—customer to customer, friend to friend, friend to family.

The Like Button is one of the first interactions in f-commerce. The standard buttons, while they are not new, are a critical part of getting people to come to your store and buy. Most all companies using f-commerce have you “Like” the brand’s store. In other words, if the customer doesn’t hit “Like,” they can’t get into to the store to see the merchandise. In addition, the Like Button enables users to share pages from your brand’s site back to their Facebook profile with one click. When it’s used with a product page it can entice and influencer a shopper who sees the names and pictures of people in their social network who have also “Liked” that product.

The Send Button allows your customers to easily send your brand’s content to their friends.

Some of the other interactions that you can enable to create interactions within your store are the plug-ins. If you haven’t been using plug-ins for Facebook, you’ll want to spend some time learning about these.

The Log-in Button shows profile pictures of your customer’s friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a log-in button. The Registration plug-in allows your customers to sign into your website with their Facebook account.

The Comments plug-in encourages your customers to comment on the content on your site.

The Activity Feed plug-in shows your customers what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.

The Recommendations plug-in gives your customers personalized suggestions for pages they might like on your site. The Like Box enables your customers to like your Facebook Page and view its stream directly from your website.

The Facepile plug-in displays the Facebook profile pictures of your customers who have liked your page or have signed up for your site.

The Live Stream plug-in lets your customers share activity and comments in real-time as they interact during a live event.

 

These amazing tools, simply yet efficient, have put Facebook in the forefront of the social commerce environment.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

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“Like My Stuff” Chapter 1: Why Do Business on Facebook? (Part 2)

Facebook as a Marketing Funnel

Many businesses are investing resources into building a Facebook presence for their brand to engage with fans, advocates, ambassadors, press, influencers, and customers. The question for most businesses is how to move the page from just a PR and marketing awareness page—in the traditional marketing funnel—to a consideration and purchase page, thereby increasing the marketing conversion rates into solid, traceable sales.

A typical Facebook user spends a good part of their day on Facebook. And according to Compete.com, 68 percent of people become fans of retail pages to keep up to date on sales and promotions. So what’s the logic for a business to provide e-commerce on Facebook? Many businesses realize that if their fans are on Facebook to connect with family and friends and to engage with brands and receive coupons and deals, it may make sense to provide the ability for fans to purchase products, too.

In terms of real businesses today on Facebook, there is a wide range of how e-commerce is being handled. They range from Facebook shops selling items such as airline tickets, beauty products, baby products, clothes, and specialty BBQ sauces, to offering the ability to participate in charity donations and buy tickets for shows. Businesses are using the Wall as a shop “window” as well as to actively promote and purchase products on the shop tab itself.

To give you a good understanding of how companies are using f-commerce, the following chapters are packed full of practical examples. I’ve captured screenshots to illustrate how the brand uses Facebook and what the customer sees and can do. Having concrete examples helps to demonstrate the “how-to” part of using Facebook for e-commerce.

It’s highly recommended that you take the time to go online and click through the pages as you are reading the book. This will give you a more experiential feel for how brands use f-commerce. And note, some of the Facebook pages and stores may have changed by the time you are reading this book. That’s how fast things happen in the social networked world.

What’s the financial return for f-commerce? Some businesses are seeing as much as 20 percent of overall online sales coming via their Facebook stores as well as higher cart values as compared to traditional e-commerce venues. That in part may be due to the influence of friends, family, or colleagues and the recommendations that come from people they know, versus an unidentified stranger’s review on e-review or e-opinion sites.

Facts about F-commerce from SocialCommerceToday.com

  • Top 3: The top 3 brands on Facebook (by fans) all sell directly on Facebook—Coca-Cola (24m), Starbucks (20m), and Disney (19m)
  • 2–4%: f-store conversion rates—on a par with web-stores (avg. 3.4%, according to Forrester/Shop.org)
  • $650,000,000: The drop in Netflix share value when Warner opened up a Facebook movie rental (streaming) service in 2011
  • 1,000: Number of diapers P&G sold on its f-store in under an hour
  • 50,000: Number of retailers who have opened an f-store with Payment
  • 6 hours: Time it took for the Rachel Roy Facebook jewelry store to sell out
  • 3rd highest: daily sales made by Rachel Roy, the day it opened it’s pop-up f-store
  • 1m+: Starbucks customers using their e-commerce-enabled Facebook CRM loyalty program
  • 1,300: Number of products added every week to the ASOS f-store
  • 20%: Proportion of black Friday sales transactions on Facebook for e-tailer Kembrel
  • 7–10%: Increased Average Order Value for Facebook transactions (vs. web-store) for Kembrel
  • 5000+: customers using Walmart’s group-buy Facebook app on the day of its launch
  • $34: Amount paid for the first transaction ever to take place on Facebook at 11:50 a.m. EST on July 8, 2009 for bouquet of flowers ‘A Slice of Life’ on the f-store of U.S. florist 1-800 flowers
  • 76%: percentage of retailers who plan to use Facebook for ‘social commerce’ initiatives
  • 50%+: proportion of the global top 100 websites that have integrated with Facebook using its social plug-ins
  • 50,000+: Number of websites that integrated Facebook social plug-ins (incl. ‘Like’) in the week they launched
  • 2.5 million+: websites now integrated with Facebook
  • 10,000: number of new websites integrating with Facebook every day (with social plug-ins) since April 2010
  • 2m+: Number of sites that have integrated Facebook social plug-ins
  • 7 out of 10: proportion of digital marketers who have implemented or are planning to implement Facebook Like feature

Relevancy: Know Your Audience

Often understanding what is interesting and relevant is best found by asking customers directly. Too many PR, marketing, and advertising firms think they know better. They don’t take the time to do the account planning or research to really understand their audience, their behaviors, their motivations, and drivers let alone for traditional campaigns. Enter social media. If a brand does not listen and understand their online audience, the results can be devastating. That doesn’t mean a brand should not enter into the social media realm. It means they need to go back to school and understand the differences between online and offline customer interactions and the viral nature of a scorned customer.

Brands need to make sure they have someone on staff who understands how to do primary audience research in both social media and traditional methods. Qualitative and quantitative methods of traditional account planning and audience research include:Focus groups

  • In-depth interviews
  • Polls
  • Surveys, both on- and offline
  • Ethnography/netnography (observations off- and online of the audience behaviors)

Social media monitoring tools like Radian6, Sysomos, Tracckr, etc. lend themselves to account planning and audience research, especially for:

    • Primary Research (research conducted by the brand itself)
    • Sentiment and share of voice online
    • Identification of the top influencers, advocates, customers, brand naysayers, and press
    • Polls, surveys, and netnography
    • Topics influencers and advocates are discussing about the brand
    • Customer issues, questions, suggestions, and praise for the product, service, and the brand
    • Secondary Research (research conducted by other people than the brand)
    • Studies other research groups or institutions have produced on the brand or product category that the brand falls into (consumer products, automotive, etc.) and the customers associated with those groups.

In addition, conversations within online communities, either owned by the brand or third party communities, can reveal very interesting insights for the brand. Of particular interest to this book on f-commerce is the use of community applications within Facebook. An example of a community application used within Facebook is Get Satisfaction’s Facebook Solution.

Because the Wall in Facebook changes so quickly, brands end up answering the same questions over and over. The Get Satisfaction Facebook widget allows brands to not only avoid spending time repeating the same answers on the Wall (because questions and answers can be searched on and retrieved), but instead can focus on creating relevant content and interactions that engage customers to participate and make that brand part of their lifestream. I can’t stress how important creating interactions with your customers are. Facebook is not a website. It’s a social network where people socialize with each other and with brands. It’s not a broadcast medium where a brand can send out marketing messages. It’s a medium where customers go to exclusively to interact with each other and with brands.

Most social media monitoring tools can only provide Facebook data that is on public pages. Because of the partnership between GoodData and Get Satisfaction, the brand can obtain intimate knowledge of the conversations on their Facebook pages between the brand and its customer’s. And, if the brand has included the Get Satisfaction widget on their website or other communities, that data can also be aggregated.

If a brand doesn’t take the steps to understand their audience, there is no guarantee that the social shopping experience will yield good business results. Why guess, when you can know?

Engagement

In the old days, marketers counted on a customer perhaps telling ten to twenty of their friends about a product or service. Today with the social web, one customer’s comment, negative or positive, informs thousands and sometimes millions of people. And reports show that year after year, consumers generally trust the opinions of people they know more than they trust anonymous ratings and reviews posted online. And in comparison, they trust online banner ads and advertisements even less. Social commerce or f-commerce is the opportunity to leverage word of mouth to increase the awareness of brand and drive customers through the consideration and purchase funnel.

Brands must begin to think from the social customer’s point of view. Customers who use social media are constantly being bombarded with invitations to new social networks. They have to decide where to spend the little free time they have. This means that a brand must provide their social customers direct engagement that acknowledges their understanding of their customers in the social web as well as reward them for that participation in the social experience created by the brand. Customers who do encounter great social experiences influence other customers. That influence can multiply across their social graphs and spark comments, conversations and purchases

I hope you’ll keep reading along with me! In the next chapter we’ll take a look at how f-commerce works.

You can order my complete e-book by clicking here.

 


Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
@drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

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