By Rohit Kapoor
We live in a hyperconnected world. Customers can easily perform comparative shopping online, including from inside a physical store, thanks to wireless connectivity, and the proliferation of social media means a consumer can share the story of a negative experience with your brand across the globe within seconds.
Thus, knowing and predicting what customers want and engaging them on that basis becomes critical to business success.
Social Media and the Customer Lifecycle
Proper engagement of customers in the hyperconnected world involves using social media at each step of the customer lifecycle. This includes:
• Reach – Generating awareness through proactive messaging.
• Acquire – Converting neutral perceptions into positive outcomes.
• Develop – Publishing proactive resolutions.
• Retain – Rewarding social media engagement.
• Listen/Inspire – Leveraging customer brand advocacy across the hyperconnected consumer community.
Real-world Example: Using Social Media to Respond to Financial Services Issues
Providing you with this information in abstract form is all well and good, but a real-world example of how a company leveraged social media to respond to a customer issue in the hyperconnected world should really help illustrate what I’m talking about. A Capgemini client in the financial services sector noticed that customers making complaints in the social media space, but did not know the exact nature of the complaints or in precisely what social media forums they were being made.
Assisted by Capgemini social media services, the company decided to use social media to investigate the problem, discover what specific issues were being raised when and where, and then resolve those issues. At a high level, Capgemini assisted the client in collecting data and conversations regarding its services from major social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Employing the concept of “social listening,” or studying social media commentary to discover what is going on, who the influencers are, and what they are saying, Capgemini developed a process to filter out the “noise” (irrelevant comments and pieces of information) to allow effective analysis of the remaining relevant social conversations that were taking place. This filtering process sifted through and average of 284 daily social media posts mentioning the client in some way and pulled out an average of 24 daily posts that were actually relevant to the brand.
Using the information gleaned from these relevant conversations and comments, Capgemini began constructing unique social media identities for each individual financial services product, which would allow customers to develop a relationship with the product, rather than with the corporate brand. As a critical next step they identified and classified relevant conversations into 57 types, with nine types classified as “Severity One,” requiring immediate resolution.
The team also created a five-level decision tree to serve as a scenario-based response guide that took factors such as the type of conversation, who was initiating it, and whether sentiment was positive negative or neutral into account to become the guiding principle for customer service agents. As a result, the company achieved 100% engagement of all product-related customer service issues, and identified key influencers in new or previously unknown market segments that could generate new revenue streams. Engagement has also resulted in a significant number of customer conversations taking place, growing at an impressive 22% month-over-month rate. Seventy percent of conversations revolve around product queries and transaction issues.
This is just one example of one company in one sector with one problem. But the general experience easily translates to most any company in most any sector with most any problem relating to customer perceptions of your brand and/or product. Social media is such a public domain that without well-informed guidelines for anticipating, identifying and resolving problems, the chance for potentially severe brand damage exists. Imagine the specific benefits you could achieve by using social media to not only respond to customer hyperconnectivity, but to take advantage of it as a tool for learning about and engaging your customers.
Rohit Kapoor is Senior Director and Principal, Capgemini BPO. His Twitter handle is @Rohkapx1.