@JoeC and @DaveEv led three energetic and thought-provoking roundtable discussions in the afternoon of LiNC Local London. Fueled by the inspirational sessions about digital customer experience in the morning, attendees were ready to roll up their sleeves and get tips from Lithium experts and from one another.
The first roundtable was all about social engagement in good and bad times. @DaveEv set the context on why this is critical and shared a few examples on brands that have done well to manage a social crisis (such as Lithium customers TalkTalk and Southwest Airlines), but also those that missed the mark.
With the help of @ClaudiusH and @AndyK, attendees broke into small groups to discuss this topic further. The key takeaways and best practices mentioned include:
Use social as an early warning system to determine the severity of an issue. Whether it’s related to a network outage, product launch or executive messaging, the most important factor is to be as transparent as possible, be quick to respond, and be a trustworthy source of updates.
For brands that have launched a community, many reiterated the value of tapping into your super fans to help with engaging in conversations. In many cases, this goes much farther in demonstrating that your brand is listening and taking action.
A single destination to drive engagement from multiple channels to a single POV and messaging will help avoid conflicting answers and minimize duplicative work by your team.
The next roundtable centered on breaking down siloes between marketing + customer service. @JoeC kicked off the discussion to get everyone grounded in the fact that siloes go beyond just organizational – considerations also need to be made around channel, process, data and metrics. Brands have seen time and time again that even with a support-driven community, your customers are shopping or making purchase decisions based on the engagement and content shared by peers. This teed up the conversation around how to align your marketing and service counterparts to work together to leverage this valuable engagement. A few tips were shared to tackle this challenge:
Get C-suite support to align on a key set of metrics that both marketing and service can be held accountable for.
Compile and share results from pilots or trials for which you’ve attempted to bring the two organizations together.
In some cases, external factors that require your organization to adhere to compliance and new regulations can serve as a good forcing function to drive this collaboration.
Lastly, we ended the afternoon breakout session with a roundtable on the evolution of community and social media management. Remember the early days? It was considered the ‘Wild West’ of industry professions without a formal job description or clearly defined roles. A lot has changed and the group debated on the growth of these professions and some key skill sets including:
Always maintain the “human” element in communication styles and tone.
Technical skills are becoming more critical as it is now extremely valuable to code and/or manage data to drive deeper insights.
Stay cool under pressure and be willing to accept and adapt to change as there will always be surprises!
Thanks to all who participated in these insightful roundtables!
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We had a good number of questions that came through during the webcast which we didn't have time to address, so I will use this blog to circle back on some of those questions. This one goes to Eric at Infoblox. Eric - Does Infoblox also have a knowledge base? If so, how is this integrated with your community?
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“Communities have really given us the opportunity to surprise and delight - not only our customers, but future customers as well,” said Infoblox’s Head of Social Media & Communities Eric Stieg during a Lithium webcast.
The webcast also featured Aberdeen Group’s CX Research Director, Omer Minkara and focused on a new Aberdeen Group research report that found B2B/high-tech firms that build and manage online communities attain superior results in creating happy customers, reducing service costs and driving revenue growth (download the full paper here).
Both Omer and Eric provided four key learnings B2B brands should consider to improve their digital customer experience and how they can maximize their online community performance:
1. An online community is not a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s a ‘must-have’ for high-tech firms looking to build closer bonds with customers.
2. Don’t just deploy a community platform. Give buyers good reasons to join and contribute to your community.
3. Make your digital community about your customers, not your brand. Incentivize customers to become active users.
4. Use your online community platform to drive business growth while also reducing costs.
Plus, here are real data points that showcases why B2B/high-tech brands can improve their overall customer experience with an online community:
· Roughly 50 percent of high-tech firms currently have online community platforms and many more are planning to invest
· 96% of high-tech firms invest in communities to improve customer experience results and consistency
· High-tech firms with an online community platform achieve 54% greater annual growth in revenue
· Savvy high-tech organizations enjoy 3.1 times greater customer satisfaction rate
· 37% of self-service interactions are resolved without live agent contact within high-tech companies with online communities
Still not enough to convince you? Check out the full webcast and slides below:
CMAD Hangout: Inside B2B Communities
Customer Success Spotlight with NetApp's Director of Digital Marketing, Zann Aeck
Customer Success Spotlight: Webroot’s Catherine Kaiser Talks Community Ideation, VIP Program & More
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