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Social Media Matters in Customer Experience Management

May 23, 2012

One of the most valuable tools for engaging with customers is likely resting at your fingertips. With the rapid adoption of the smartphone and the proliferation of social media apps on mobile devices, consumers and company representatives alike can engage, interact and instigate action. And, it even works for public entities. 

According to this Search CRM report, the E-470 Highway Authority heavily monitors social media platforms for chatter regarding the cameras in use on the roadway. The cameras in place on this no-cash toll highway monitor and record the movement of cars. When a driver has a complaint about this system, they sometimes select Twitter (News - Alert) or Facebook as their soapbox. 

By closely monitoring social network chatter, the E-470 Authority is able to respond to any complaints posted, making the most of the customer experience management (CEM) system they have in place. As a result, the organization is plugging into the customer base and listening to questions and concerns. 

A trend has emerged among call center managers who initially viewed social media with hesitation. Today, more and more are recognizing this medium’s importance in CEM. And, while social media is still a great place to promote products and services, call centers are also using it to communicate with customers.  Companies that care to know what their customers are thinking are definitely jumping on board. 

Activision (News - Alert) Bizzard, for instance, realized it was missing an important opportunity by not being social. Tim Rondeau, senior director of customer service, noted that without engaging in social media, they would never know what customers are thinking. The company operates 14 game studios and each one has a community manager soliciting customer opinions regarding their games through social media platforms

A separate team of 10 employees within the call center reviews tweets and other social messages to address issues or problems. Even with these proven success stories, others are still leery about interacting on popular sites. According to Gregg McMullen, technical strategies leader for Radian6, businesses have placed walls between traditional customer outreach tools and their Web-based social media sites. 

Those companies not using the platforms at all cite routing deficiencies, firewall issues and desktop limitations as reasons for avoidance. Ignoring these platforms – or fearing them – may cause as many problems as the call center was created to deflect. A company wouldn’t think of leaving a customer call unanswered, yet a tweet may go unanswered all day – or at all. 

Tweets may not always be directed at a company, but when they are – the message is available on the public domain. If it relates to a problem felt by many, the conversation could easily explode into a full conversation domination. Without a direct address from a company representative, social media users will drive the message – which could be damaging for the company and their brand. A successful social media campaign demands a clearly defined strategy to ensure value is derived from the platform. With the right approach, the customer experience is optimized and greater revenue opportunities uncovered.

Edited by Juliana Kenny
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