Learn to translate a killer social strategy into hard numbers from Groundswell winner Comcast and Lithy nominees Autodesk and Symantec.
Promises of call-center cost savings have encouraged many an executive into pulling the trigger and investing in a community—and considering the millions of dollars companies around the globe have saved using Lithium, few of them have been disappointed by the decision. But as social enters what Lithium CMO Katy Keim (@KatyK) calls its "awkward teenage years," how can social strategists get the increased resources they need to handle burgeoning case loads, while still making the case that social is a money-saving venture? As LiNC '15's panelists from , Comcast, Autodesk, and Symantec explained, it's all about finding creative ways to translate the benefits of a killer social strategy into hard numbers.
Tim Lopez, Symantec's project manager for global social customer care, suggests working with the marketing team to identify the value of word-of-mouth stemming from a positive interaction on social. "It's free advertising. What would the company have paid for that level of broadcast to however many followers the user has?" Just as important as quantifying the financial benefits of a good social interaction: quantifying the money saved by social's power to quickly bring issues to light when something goes wrong.
"Social is an amazing early warning system," adds Lois Townsend, Autodesk's director of social media and community. "If you can model what the benefit was and find out what fixing that problem early was worth, those can be really good levers when you're trying to show the true value of what you're doing."
But while numbers are a big part of making the case for social to executives, don't be afraid to bring in the emotional element as well. Comcast's executive director of digital media outreach, Jared Schultheis, says that while his company's call centers are still busy, the quality of Comcast's interactions have improved. "Our basic service requests on social are up, and our being approached as a last-ditch chance for resolution is way down," he says. "Because we have such a rapid response time, we shorten the entire discussion. It really speaks to the value of social as a servicing channel." He suggests using examples of positive social interactions, as well as improved response times, to put a human face on technology's power. "Channel shift is going to happen, and being able to talk about how your channel is effective and efficient is important." Lopez agrees: "If customer service is at the heart of what executives want, it’s easy. Otherwise, you have to show examples, and say, 'This is how it could grow, this is what we could have.'"
Dive deeper to learn about these companies' stellar accomplishments:
Symantec Lithy Submission - Excellence in Customer Satisfaction
Comcast Lithy Submission - Excellence in Customer Service
Groundswell: Autodesk Drives Customer Loyalty with Collaborative and Proactive Community
If you are a customer, partner or attended the event, you can download a PDF of this session's presentation here.
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