My favorite part of my job is talking with our customers and the brands they represent. I love hearing about challenges they're facing and talking through the social media marketing strategy it will take to deliver real business outcomes. The other day, I was on a call with a major telecom company to talk with their support team. My role was to listen and brainstorm.
Like a lot of brands with call centers, they're trying to figure out how to address social customer feedback. Should call center agents respond to customers on Twitter? How does that change when a brand sees a huge spike in volume? We can offer some tools to address that pain point - Lithium Social Web comes to mind - but when you dig a little deeper, you may realize that support is only one part of the social conversation coming at a brand. This customer is also investigating how to listen to social customer feedback and get it to the right place within their organization. Not an easy task since some of the teams they work with are not in the same building, let alone the same country.
To level-set and understand their current process, we asked two questions:
What are the most relevant social customer conversations?
When do you want to engage in social customer conversations?
Pause. Awkward silence.
Ok, ok, it was not that bad. Kidding aside, the support team was very clear on the things that are relevant and engaging to them. They're intent is to help customers where they can, when they can. But the support team is just one part of their organization. What about marketing? What about product? What about sales?
Clearly what is relevant and worth engaging is not a simple answer because it means different things to different people in an enterprise. If a support team is tasked with absorbing social content, what do they do with the feedback that's really directed at other teams? Support teams have a processes but how to other teams deal with customers directly when they've never interacted that way before?
Luckily, I had a resource to share with this telco customer. Altimeter Group's Susan Etlinger (disclosure: my friend and mentor) wrote the research report A Framework for Social Analytics. As described in the overview,
"It outlines the key challenges of social data, proposes a value-based framework for social analytics, and recommends clear and pragmatic steps that companies engaged in social media must follow to ensure they are gaining insights, measuring effectively, interpreting accurately, and taking appropriate action — both today and in the longer term."
Starting with the Social Measurement Compass (inset), Etlinger's report identifies specific business categories for social feedback and then goes onto describe insights, measurements and actions for each.
If your team is graduating from "listening" and moving on to engaging with relevant feedback, you'll likely be involving other teams in your organization - this report is a great place to start.
Erin Korogodsky is Lithium's social media quarterback. Obsessed with social media, Erin has worked with Lithium clients to monitor their brands and brainstorm social strategy, with a focus on enlisting and engaging passionate fans. She is a frequent blogger on the Lithosphere (as ErinKoro) and you can follow her on twitter at @erinkoro and one of the team on @LithiumTech.
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