It’s no surprise that effective customer care is essential in keeping customers happy. But sometimes, it’s easier said than done. By reading " Demands For Effortless Service Must Influence Your Customer Strategy" by Forrester along with our next webcast August 27, 10 am PST featuring Kate Leggett and Katy Keim you can be an expert in no time.
While, 43% of US online consumers say that they’ve had unsatisfactory service interactions in the past 12 months and 55% will abandon an online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question- getting them the right service may be easier than we thought.
The major point of frustration for customers is that they feel like their time is not valued by the companies. And the majority of customers agree: Valuing their time is the most important factor in good customer service.
So what does this mean for the brands? It’s simple. Start implementing these suggestions:
▪ Guide customers to the paths of lowest effort
▪ Architect their infrastructure to support cross-channel communication
▪ Standardize the service experience across communication channels
▪ Empower agents to support customers fully
▪ Invest in knowledge management for agents and customers
The most important thing to understand is in order to improve in customer service, it is essential that companies look to minimize the effort that it takes for customers to reach a solution and value their time. No one want to be on hold for 7 hours or be redirected only to explain the same situation to each representative. Streamline the process and make ii timely and effective for everyone involved. By doing that, customer satisfaction will be through the roof.
For more on Demands For Effortless Service Must Influence Your Customer Strategy, join our webcast with Kate Leggett and Katy Keim on Wednesday, August 27 10am San Francisco | 1pm New York
... View more
The Lithy’s are our Social Customer Excellence Awards so naturally, we expect our customers to show new and innovative ways to stand out from the crowd. Having an exceptional social presence is not an easy endeavor and while each Lithy category is impressive in and of itself, imagine the type of business that could be created if we took all of the best practices from these submissions and built a strategy around them to make one super-company!
In the past few blogs we have talked about how to achieve excellence in customer satisfaction through engagement and intimacy, creative launches by empowering great minds, fantastic community design through functional mediums and how to innovate within your platform. Each one of the companies featured showed an impeccable demonstration of excellence within these categories and we know that there was a strategy behind how to achieve their goals.
Having a clear strategy is step one in achieving excellence. The two companies we will feature as Digital Strategy Leaders outlined what it would take for them to create a better customer experience.
Rogers is the only Canadian telecommunications company to host a co-creation/ idea exchange named Idea Box. When their customers provide feedback they go to the Idea Box where Margaret Tsuji, community manager says, “Their ideas will be heard and not just a virtual suggestion box.” Rogers has taken it one step further than just giving customers a medium but rather an opportunity to help improve the brand.
Telstra who was the winner of this submission strategized on how to surpass other telecommunications companies in customer satisfaction. They used their CrowdSupport Community to allow customers to have conversations with each other. Karen Le, Head of Social Media says, “By having customers answer each other’s questions we are able to assist more customers by being able to scale the customer service offered.” CrowdSupport has helped them build brand advocacy and their customers want to help other in solving problems. This betters Telstra’s community service simply by empowering their customers to show that their knowledge is valuable and by giving them the means necessary to help.
CrowdSupport has manifested into the sole space where Telstra has conversations with their customers and is a key component in their digital strategy. CrowdSupport allows for continual exchange of information so everyone can receive updates and information from Telstra at the same time. It also lets Telstra be completely transparent, which is now an expectation of brands. They use CrowdSupport to announce product exits but then open it up to the community for a vibrant discussion around alternative options.
For Telstra, CrowdSupport became more than just a digital strategy but rather morphed into an overall business focus and an integral part of their online support and engagement strategy.
Having an effective digital strategy can be the difference between mediocre customer satisfaction and a home run. An excellent digital strategy can lead a company to be a game changer in their organization with all the wheels moving in sync.
Do you have an exceptional digital presence too?
Submit a 2015 Lithy and get recognized for your achievements.
The nomination deadline has been extended to April 27th. Submit your entry now!
... View more
We all know beauty is only skin deep. In the last post we talked about the importance of having an eye-catching community design. But without personality or in this case functionality, there is nothing driving your fans to come back, a second date if you will.
Platform innovation is a key aspect in getting that second date. The Lithy submission for the Lithium Platform Innovation category focused on ways to streamline functionality to make the user experience one of a kind.
Aruba wanted to be there whenever their customers needed something. They were aware that people are not always at the office or around a monitor to ask a question on the community. Sean Rynearson, Chief Airheads for Aruba Networks says, “Users need the same functionality on the go as they do on their laptop. Mobile browser interface is ok but we needed something with more usability. Something that is more intimate with the user.” This lead to their new concept #GenMobile- the Airheads Mobile App.
Aruba knew that excellence in customer satisfaction comes with engagement and intimacy and what better way to accomplish that when your always in tow...literally.
In creating the mobile app Aruba encouraged customers to visit the community whenever and wherever and that led to amazing results. Within the first month of their launch they saw 1300 unique app logins and 2000 downloads.
By taking the community one step further and listening to their customers and giving them an effective way to share and consume content, Aruba set the stage for a truly effective community.
Another great example of platform innovation and the winner of this Lithy category is Barclaycard. They setup a community called Barclaycard Travel that allows their customers to share travel stories and be rewarded for their contribution in miles.
Each user’s profile page is setup like their own personal blog. The profile shows badges, miles earned, key profile information and the travel stories members have shared. Each customer can log into their profile and write how they would a normal travel blog but with the additional incentive of earning miles. By incentivizing users to share, they are likely to keep coming back to reap the rewards and keep doing so.
Once the stories are published, they are added to an open story telling board where the photos are highlighted. Users can then click on the stories or search for places of interest.
By engaging with their customers and giving them an intimate place to tell their stories as well as a beautiful and functional community. Barclaycard Travel, in just 5 months, added close to 50,000 registered users and had nearly 1M page views.
Once a company has a successful community with engaged and passionate users, they can harness the passion of their customers to aid them in how to make their community a support network for new and existing customers.
... View more
In the last post we talked about the importance of empowering your fans to help curate creative launches and (widely shared) user generated content.
Empowerment is fantastic. But if you don’t give your fans a medium to collaborate with each other on and a space to not only share content but to consume it then you inhibit your community from truly flourishing. To make your community successful and generate effective social community management, you need to have a design and interface that is enticing to your fans. A place that they look forward to exploring.
The submissions for the Best Community Design Lithy had two common themes across the board: a functional, intuitive site with a clean design with bold visuals. Most can agree that when visiting a website we are most likely to spend time on a page if we enjoy what we are looking at. A cluttered website that isn’t cohesive leads to frustration and possible abandonment of the site.
Sony Europe combatted “cluttered website anxiety” by using bold graphics and keeping the community simple and clear. Nico Henderijckx, European Forum & Community Manager for Sony says, “Most elements have been simplified to provide an excellent customer journey without hassle. In addition big graphics, modern large fonts as well as the light layout give a fresh and innovative look and feel.”
Sony’s main customer base is photo enthusiasts so it makes sense for them to focus on bold, intriguing images. However, by using bright, colorful images, site navigation becomes easier and more streamlined which is important across any customer base.
K2 who was the winner for this Lithy submission focused on a highly functionalized site with great user experience and a really clean design. They wanted to make it as easy as possible for their fans to access information on their community. They used predictive search to make everything more intuitive and allowed their customer base to access large amounts of information while also keeping it simple.
K2 built their community with the mindset that, as Todd Lilienthal, Director of Digital, says, “ A large amount of information is only valuable if a user can easily find what they are looking for.” K2 used their intimacy and engagement with their fans to create a medium where fans would be empowered to both create content as well as consume it. They created a beautiful community that was tailored specifically to the fans’ needs giving them everything they needed and nothing they didn’t.
By giving fans a space that they feel is their own, they will be more likely to contribute. And while a beautiful community is a step in the right direction to excellence, the way to get them coming back is to innovate a platform that people are excited to return to because it stands apart from the rest.
... View more
Engagement and intimacy are of utmost importance in achieving excellence in all seven Lithy categories. Without intimacy you will fail to engage with customers and without engagement there is nothing motivating customers to take part in what you offer or participate in brand discussions.
Let’s assume engagement and intimacy are behind all of the entries and find out what happens when you add empowerment to the formula for excellence. By empowering customers and making them feel valued as contributors, not only will they create genuine content they will also become brand advocates and help to share your story.
The most creative launches we saw –and most successful- were those that used the power of the crowd. More specifically, these companies used their super fans to help create emotional, inspiring launches that aligned with their customers’ values and interests. These companies empowered their customers to speak their minds on what they wanted.
No company sells a product and crosses their fingers that the customer will never talk about how much they like it. In an ideal world a customer will purchase a product, join the brand’s community, rave about their purchase, tell all of their friends and become a superfan. Even if there are hiccups along the way if they feel empowered to give their feedback and the brand values what has been said, you can turn anyone into a superfan.
Google Glass is a great example of a company harnessing their fans. They don’t just want people to buy Glass and walk out the door. They want their customers to become “Glass Explorers.” In the explorer program Glass Explorers share feedback to make the entire Glass experience better. Sarah Price, Google Glass Social Media and Community Lead, says, “We invited our Explorers to share content with us that we used to create a community driven launch video.” Not only does this speak to the point that super fans and brand advocacy in social media share wildly valuable content but using them in marketing efforts shows them how important they are in the community and urges them to keep creating.
User generated content (UGC) is an authentic way to share your brand’s messaging and reach out to a targeted customer base. As Daren Choo, AVP of Social CRM for StarHub puts it, “The best way to make your fans happy? Give them what they want.” Fans want to participate in brand conversations not be marketed to. UGC does just that. It allows for peer-to-peer communication and is a way to zero in on the wants and needs of your customer base.
Knowing what your customers want allows you to create a relationship with them but if you want to take it one step further, you need to ignite their passion and excitement.
Fox Sports Australia, the 2014 winner of this category, did just that. Shae Marlow, Community Manager, says, “The vision was to offer the more passionate sports fans a seat at the table, to discuss the hottest topics[...]” Fox Sports Australia created the Crowd, a community where fans could come and talk about their thoughts and opinions. They promised their fans entertainment and excitement surrounding their passion for sports with likeminded enthusiasts. Fox Sports Australia listened to their fans and acted on what it was they wanted most: their own share of voice of sports conversation in Australia.
Once you know what it is your fans want you must give them a medium to act on those wishes. Superfans, especially, will help you reach your targeted audience and create valuable content and help with promotion. Once you can engage with your customers, empower them to share and spread the word.
Read other articles in the Lithy’s Road to Excellent serie:
The Lithy’s Road to Excellence: Customer Satisfaction
... View more