By Mike Stiles on Mar 15, 2013
The following is based on a presentation given by Oracle VP Product Strategy JP Saunders at Oracle CloudWorld. Check the dates to see when CloudWorld is in a city near you.
Katie’s got a problem, and depending on how you handle it, she may have two problems. If you’re set up to have social insights differentiate your brand by improving her customer experience, everything will be fine. If you’re not, Katie won’t be impressed and will be more than happy to tell friends about it.
Katie’s been a loyal customer for years and has made several purchases. She’s also “regularly active” on social. Her daughter’s birthday is in 2 days and she’s trying to get the present she wants.
Most customers still turn first to a brand’s web site help. Whether she Googles the issue or goes right to your support page, she winds up in your self-service portal. She can’t find her answer quickly or easily. So she initiates a service request. Her reward…an automated email saying she’ll get a response. 24-hrs later, still no answer and her daughter isn’t getting any younger.
Now she goes public, posting the question to your Facebook Page with a likely frustrated tone. Typically, Facebook’s managed by Marketing or PR, so that’s who sees her cry for help. The fan base now watching, they tell Katie support will be alerted. Marketing emails support and, you guessed it, another service request is generated. Katie’s having a poor experience and the organization looks confused.
There’s a better way. Katie couldn’t self-serve because she couldn’t find what she was looking for, or it wasn’t there. Social offers the chance to go beyond FAQs and leverage the collective knowledge of your customers. What if she were encouraged to pose her question to other customers so they could solve her problem? Is that better than a “we’ll get back to you someday” email?
When Katie provided an email to get help, you could have asked her to authenticate with one of her existing social accounts. Studies suggest this lowers friction and abandonment rates, but what it does for you is build a social profile of your customers. You don’t have to wait until she’s on Facebook to start collecting social profile data.
When Katie generated a service request, existing social data on her could have helped. You’d know how influential she is on social, you’d be able to prioritize and customize your response to her, she could be asked for her communication preferences, and no matter what touch point she used, you would recognize her as “Katie, your customer.”
If Katie initiated a service request on your site with email, then she went to your Facebook Page where she was authenticated differently, you wouldn’t know this was the same person. The Community Manager wouldn’t know a service request had already been opened. Now Katie’s had a bad experience and there are redundant service requests.
Integration is the key to the entire organization knowing who Katie is. A structure should be in place that manages customer interactions as they cross departments. Social data is tied into CRM data. The conversation suite tracking Katie’s Facebook conversation is tied to the service department. Interdepartmental emails give way to automated holistic toolsets.
Marketing forwards her issue to service with a click, context and content preserved. The handoff to service is tracked. When service resolves the issue, the system updates so everybody knows where things stand with Katie. You’ve improved Katie’s experience so that she remains a loyal, happy customer. And you have better efficiencies and fewer headaches in your organization.
Now Katie can go brag to everyone she’s connected with on social about how great you are. No problem.