While I won't get into "change management" per se (this is a webinar, not a two year consulting enagement!) i will definitely tak about the need to build cross-discipline teams, the ways in which customers have successfully done this, and the tools and technologies (e.g., Monitor Walls, Shared Dashboards, LSI) that Lithium offers which facilitate this.
Thanks for joining -- I am really looking forward to this session. 🙂
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Your Total Community includes everyone who interacts with your brand: your customers, employees, and business partners. What if you could harness the power of that collective knowledge and expertise to provide a consistently amazing customer experience? In this session I'm going to show you how Lithium’s Total Community approach enables and extends your ability to connect, engage with, and respond to customers to:
Improve margin by reducing the cost to serve
Enhance satisfaction by facilitating customer-led innovation
Drive revenue by enhancing sales and lead conversion
Building for Total Community
Customers engage with both brands and each other in conversation before, during, and after purchase. So businesses have an obligation to respond, to be present, and to participate throughout the journey, from interested prospect to loyal advocate. And that participation goes well beyond marketing and customer care, too. It involves your entire organization. Customer experience is truly “everyone’s job.”
Customer experience is both defined by and reflective of the entire set of stakeholders that influence, enable, and support your brand, product, or service. It’s your customers, to be sure, but it’s also your employees, your supply chain, and the policy makers that impact your industry. That can be a lot to get your head around, so here’s a tip: start with your employees. The employees of an organization –beyond marketing and customer care--play a role in creating customer experience.
Connecting employees to customers makes business sense. The trick is, of course, actually connecting them: too many organizations are still built around skill specialization and defined disciplines rather than collaborative interaction. The result? A front-line (aka, “customer care”) that literally shields the organization from customers, combined with a publishing side—marketing—that shapes and defines the brand, providing the initial attraction that leads to purchase.
Predictably, firms so segmented—intellectual walled gardens, if you will—fail to tap the locked-up knowledge of the complete organization, knowledge that can be used to ensure the steady realization of customers so satisfied that they begin advocating for brand, product or service. Beyond margin enhancement, as customers shift from phone-agent-led resolution to peer-based solution co-creation and validation, adoption of an organization-wide “Total Community” engagement strategy can bridge not only customer care and marketing, but ensure that everyone in the company feels part of each customer’s superior experience
The takeaway is this: social media marketing and customer care are clear first steps, but to consistently deliver great customer experiences, to "create a competitive advantage," you’ve got to get to the hard work of re-engineering your organization for collaborative interaction with customers. By connecting across your firm — by tapping your total community — you can go further faster than you ever thought possible. It’s the power of customers, combined with the power of employees. Tap it.
Join the Discussion
Want to learn more about the value of Total Community for you? I'll go in-depth and give you a chance to ask your questions. Join the webcast-- Thursday, December 10 th at 11am PT / 2pm ET. Register here.
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It seems like a simple idea: use social media to build your business. In reality, it's anything but. This workshop, filled with practical tips, real cases studies and best practices will give you a head start on building an integrated solid social media marketing and customer service strategy. Even more, you'll come away with a basis for calculating a real ROI.
In this workshop, you'll see how to:
1) connect social media marketing with your customer care efforts to build brand advocates;
2) use a variety of social tools and platforms to build your business;
3) measure the results, and how to show a real ROI;
4) extend your program across your organization by building a cross-functional team.
Ahead of the workshop, you may want to check out some of my prior articles on social media and customer service: you'll find them here at ClickZ.
I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco and to sharing with you a proven, sensible approach to building your strategy.
Dave is the VP of Social Strategy at Lithium. Based in Austin, Dave is also the author of best-selling "Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day," as well as "Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement." Dave is a regular columnist for ClickZ, Dave was a co-founder of social technology provider Social Dynamx, acquired by Lithium. Prior, Dave was a product manager with Progressive Insurance and a systems analyst with NASA| Jet Propulsion Labs.
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It's 2013, and we've been talking about social media as it relates to business for almost 10 years. So, you'll understand my slack-jawed response when I heard yet another social media "expert" proclaim, "You can't really measure social, so ROI can't be precisely determined." Never mind where or who said it. It is simply wrong. As a discipline, we can adopt a higher standard. It's time to Get Serious.
First, what is ROI? We all know it means "return on investment," but what constitutes "return?" I see so many definitions that seek to relate intangibles - direction, likelihood, engagement, and more - that it's no wonder people get confused and conclude, wrongly, that this can't be measured in a social context. So let's first establish that ROI is a financial (aka "numbers") measure that relates dollar cost and economic return through a precise formula. Sure, there are lots of other KPIs and raw measures that are important, but none of these are ROI.
ROI relates the dollars invested in a specific effort to the measurable economic outcome of that effort: more precisely, it is the ratio of an expenditure to the associated change in margin, generally as a result of a change in costs or sales. Social technology can certainly impact both, so with care the contribution of social can be expressed quantitatively and hence in terms of ROI. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
What are the sources of the core components of ROI? The dollar expense part is pretty easy, but be sure you're accounting for all of it. There are the obvious costs: if a technology deployment has a software cost of $100,000, that's part of it. But, as we say, "Wait, there's more!" Be sure to consider retraining, changeover costs, and internal deployment-related expenses. In other words, the costs that your organization would not incur if you were not considering this project. On that point, it's acceptable to cite a "direct ROI" that presumes part of your "job" is evaluating options and continuously improving. In that sense, you and your team are "sunk cost" and you can use that reasoning to simplify the calculation by eliminating the need to assess costs other than the direct cost of the technology. Whichever method you choose, just be sure to choose one and apply it consistently.
So what about the benefits - the return?
If your social program is limited to collecting "likes" on Facebook, good luck with this next part. Not that there is anything wrong with collecting "likes" or amassing "followers." The fact is that your customers are engaged with each other on the social web and you need to be there. "Likes" and "followers" are important KPIs and you should be tracking them. But by themselves they are not ROI.
To get to ROI, you need to venture further: why are you collecting "likes"? What is the connection between an incremental "like" and your fundamental business objectives? For example, if gathering "likes" provides a measurable or well-understood way to generate leads, then you're on your way to ROI. Leads have a value, and your organization knows what that value is. Your organization also knows what it costs you to generate each new lead. That means you can relate your Facebook investment to the value of leads through a KPI such as "likes" by tracking incremental "likes" and resulting incremental leads. It's not a moon launch, but you do have to be passionate about wanting to get there.
The "return" part of ROI can come in several forms. One of those is increased sales. Another is reduced expenses, for example, as a result of a project that makes your company more efficient. When you invest in a social engagement platform there are multiple potential sources of core economic value: as noted above, pre-sales engagement relates to leads converted. Post-sales engagement - aka "customer support" - can produce economic benefits through call deflection, early problem detection, and higher rates of purchase. That means peer-to-peer support communities, agent-based social customer care programs, and ideation platforms can all be tied back solidly to economic value.
To get serious about ROI, articulate clearly your fundamental business objectives, the ones that talk about growing market share, boosting sales, or improving margins. If you start by connecting what you are doing with what the C-suite is doing you're on really solid ground. Think back to the point about "likes" and other KPIs. Relate them to sales or to the economic value of a lead and you've got a KPI that you can use to guide your efforts; one that can connect your efforts directly to the fundamental success measures of your organization. Then extend that to every measurable element in your social program. As good career moves go, learning to think and report in true ROI terms is among the best.
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With inflation being what it is, and given that about 3 years have passed since Joe posted this, I'd amend it as follows: "Show me three things you've done." The result will be exactly the same. 😉
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