Live Blog from The Social Customer #SCRM12

Today we’re joined on the Our Social Times blog by Barry Furby who is Live Blogging at ‘The Social Customer’ at Prospero House. The event has a fantastic line up...

The Social Customer 2012

Today we’re joined on the Our Social Times blog by Barry Furby who is Live Blogging at ‘The Social Customer’ at Prospero House. The event has a fantastic line up of speakers offering invaluable insights into the future of customer service and social media marketing. It will also highlight innovative customer engagement and social CRM strategies and techniques.

Barry be adding notes into the article below throughout the day… and follow the #SCRM12 hashtag for tweets!

The Rise of the Social Customer
Guy Stephens – Technology Consultant, CapGemini

The rise of the Social Business, its a approach and culture that needs to be adopted, The Cluetrain Manifesto is a must read book if you’re going to attempt it. Guy Stephens explains how social media has been adopted by consumers and how this is changing their relationship with companies. Citing examples of how businesses are changing and adapting their internal structures and processes to enhance their services and meet customer expectations. Making your business Customer Centric is not about technology, but about a cultural shift in the business, this culture and approach will lead you to implement Social technology, but it must follow the shift…

Nice point: ‘Before you make these changes for Social Business, ignore the technology, look at objectives for the business first’ #scrm12

We’d make a huge step forward if we apply the Conversation Prism to Customer Service rather than just marketing #scrm12

How Marketing & Customer Service Can Work Together

Martin Hill-Wilson, Director, Brainfood Consulting

Businesses have a huge disconnect between departments, we still operate in silo’s despite working so hard (well at least talking so hard) for so long… We can only get get over this when we finally work as a business, together, with a single agenda. Are we finally over the bad old days of over promising and under servicing customers? When Marketing and Customer Service fail in this way, the value of customer engagement is lost. Why do we manage these two closely aligned activities separately? What does effective collaboration look like? And, can it really happen? Customer Centric might even allow the business to empower its customer to become a voice in the customer service department – Consumer Managed Q&A forums?

Sky take 50-75million calls from it’s customers – Its not hard to see the value of reducing the volume with Social #scrm12

Smart businesses map the customer journey, look at potential ‘Social’ touch points & develop a common single agenda #scrm12

Panel Discussion: Who Should “Own” Social?
Moderator – Neville Hobson (Communications Consultant), Katy Howell (Managing Director, Immediate Future), Nick Sharples (Corporate Communications Consultant), Martin Hill-Wilson (Brainfood Consulting), Aaron Stewart (Product Marketing Manager, KANA Software)

Moderated by Neville, the discussion floats around the topic of who owns Social. No single person in a business, or no single department should own Social, it should be a communication and engagement channel throughout the company. The higher you are in business the more you experience disconnect, a CEO may provide guidance of strategy, but every customer touchpoint can be empowered to use Social. In most organisations, Marketing has led the way in social media adoption and usage. Some would say, though, that “social” is more attuned to the goals of Customer Services – in which a focus on generating trust and delivering value is not polluted by a requirement to generate leads. I think the answer to the discussion results similar to a comment Neville experienced on his blog, We’re asking the wrong question! But there should be a department that take lead to pass things through the companies eco-system – is this the Social Media command centre?

Social media needs someone to ‘Lead’ it not ‘Own’ it within an organisation says @nicksharples1 #scrm12 #custserv

Customers don’t own ur social media they inform it. Do you know ur customer journey via @katyhowell #scrm12

Insight is great, but it’s useless unless it is actionable, the business still needs the attitude & culture to make things happen #scrm12

Control never really there, a construct that orgs lulled their customers/themselves into believing. Customers finally waking up! #scrm12

Everything Everywhere Case Study: Leveraging Social Customer Service to increase Customer Loyalty
Ben Kay – Head of Digital Strategy and Adoption, Everything Everywhere

A practical case study about the work of TMobile/Orange. Customers made 1.33Bn Calls, 5.5Bn Texts and used 326Bn Kilobytes of Data, they use the data services rather than a call even to ask about Customer Service problems. Listen, Listen, Listen and keep Listening. Everything Everywhere wanted to find out about the brand conversation – who, why, where. Then look at how to we manage this? Ben has an interesting and rather conflicting statement to bust the myth of reducing calls – he says when you have 27 million customers the phone will always ring, maybe we can marginally shift this. We enjoyed a rather honest and critical look at how and why Everything Everywhere participate in Social.

How do customers seek service? 77% search, 71% go to company site, 48% read reviews, 13% use social networks (Mintel) @Benjamin_Kay #scrm12

Some Orange/TMobile stats: Customers made 1.33Bn Calls, 5.5Bn Texts and used 326Bn Kilobytes of Data #SCRM12 << All about the data…!

Panel Discussion: Measuring the Value and Effectiveness of Customer Communities
Moderator – Luke Brynley-Jones (Our Social Times), Bian Salins (Head of Social Media Innovation, BT Customer Service), Vincent Boon (Community Manager, GiffGaff/Telefonica), Guy Stephens (Cap Gemini)

Value and Effectiveness is one of those metrics that is hard to quantify. We look at cost reduction, renewals (sales), sentiment, net promoter scores etc. Customers are increasingly being asked to resolve their problems through interaction in communities, but do these really work? How can companies measure the effectiveness of their customer communities and what techniques can be used to ensure that knowledge is effectively shared and stored, that problems are resolved and that customer satisfaction levels are maintained? GiffGaff have achieved 85% of support successfully by use of Social and Web support. Again, clarification that Customer Services starts at Google… Your customer know so much about your products, more than you might yourself as a business. Bian almost wins quote of the day with “I’ve leant more from customers than anyone In the business”.

Giffgaff originally started in social to reduce customer service costs. It has since evolved into a way of living! #scrm12

Frustrated community customers can end up being your brand ambassadors by getting the answers they need and being satisfied #scrm12

#scrm12 “I’ve leant more from customers than anyone In the business”. Great quote from Bian Salins

The Future of Social Customer
Frank Eliason – VP Social Media, Citi

We’re joined by Frank via Webinar (phew, the internet worked!), he’s the voice behind @ComcastCares he successfully demonstrated that social media could enable a large corporation to build genuine relationships with their customers. At Citi he says he is focused on “building a lifetime of trust” between the bank and its customers. In this live video presentation Frank offers his insights into how large organisations should approach social customer engagement. In his whitty manner Frank talks us through the traditional process of customer complaints, it’s tough business. Social Media allows consumers to enthusiastically complain in a public domain, we’re connecting with frustration in a public environment so it has become a priority we need to tackle. Business want Social Service, Consumers want the product to work. For 20 years call centers have slowly become huge cost centers, and therefore sales centres – consumer do not want to be sold to in this environment, but it happens – these are key things to think about in Social Service. Social Media brings out Passion, so driving change in a brand that witnesses bad sentiment online can quickly turn it round and those same people that are passionate will continue to show their now positive passion. Start using a smart social listening program to drive change in your business and what you’ll find that you’ll dramatically reduce the need for Customer Service across the business regardless of if you participate in Social – look at Apple.

Everything about the call centre is about getting you off the phone via @frankeliason #scrm12

‘CE (Customer experience) + P (Passion) = Social Media Success’ > Formula by @askciti #SCRM12

Business want Social Service, Consumers want the product to work #SCRM12

British Gas Case Study: Implementing a Cohesive Strategy for Customer Engagement
Lloyd Salmons, Managing Director, Outside Line and Laura Price – Social Media Manager, British Gas

In this co-presented session British Gas and agency, Outside Line, explain how they employ social media to generate conversation and social currency around their brand. They demonstrate how they brought together different platforms and teams to create one cohesive strategy, how they have tackled internal and external challenges, and how they use social media to try to mitigate negative sentiment, so prominent in the energy industry. The challenge was to create a eco-system of positive sentiment and perception around the brand, so that the customer journey through to support was one that was reinforced with positive messages about the brand. This calls back to the message from earlier talks where we discussed the customer journey starting more than often in Search, the first steps in this journey are just as important as the interactions later in the process whether they’re call center of socially enabled. British Gas have quantified each view of support YouTube videos to an £80 saving (call time, home visits, parts). There is a huge process of learning to interact with customer via different means of technology.

Half of British gas mentions every day are #custserv issues. #scrm12

British Gas have quantified each view of support channel on YouTube videos to an £80 saving (call time, home visits, parts etc) #SCRM12

Integrating Social Media into Traditional Customer Services
Carolyn Blunt – People Development Consultant, Real Results

So how did we get here? Hear Carolyn Blunt explains how customer services has been organised, trained and managed for the past 10 years and how social media is starting to impact on it. She explores what this shift means and what can be done to stay ahead of the curve, to maintain and improve the customer experience and to keep staff working confidently and efficiently. The shift in Social Contact Centers represents a huge cultural change for the providers to the industry, they’re fighting for ownership of a platform and technology with the marketing folks. Its becoming a case of be pro-active or die. Goldern Rules: 1) Consistence across channels (Social and Calls) 2) Never Argue with customers 3) Avoid the Chardonnay Tweeters. Creating a sub-team for the Social task force is a great idea, look at Twitter / Facebook but also we’re seeing the rise of the forums.

Carolyn Blunt is gen X and still wants to phone. Give your customer choice in how they want to converse with you #scrm12

Three responses to social customer, passive, pounce or proactive. Latter is best says @CarolynBlunt #scrm12

Implementing Multi-Channel Social Customer Services
Richard McCrossan (Strategic Business Director , Genesys)

Richard is a huge advocate of Customer Service, ultimately we need to give our customers options. The do not necessarily want to develop a relationship with your brand, they want a good product and they want to quickly resolve any problems in a quick and efficient manner. Customer Service isnt a huge factor in Customer Loyalty, but it’s a major factor in Customer Dis-Loyalty. When we have identified a problem we need to leverage customer service tools, identify the relationship you have with that consumer, deal with the issue there or take it offline, then close the loop.

Being able to empower customer service to move between social and phone can be very powerful #scrm12

Instant messaging or ‘Live Chat’ customer satisfaction ratings much higher than traditional mediums such as the telephone #scrm12

Customers don’t want a relationship with an organisation, they want the benefits of it via @dossan #scrm12

Panel Discussion: Does Social Customer Service Improve the User Experience?
Moderator – Maria McCann (Head of Customer Services, Spotify), Dominic Sparkes (Managing Director, Tempero), Amanda Brown (PR Manager, First Direct), David Hughes (Director of User Experience Expedia Affiliate Network), Charlotte Garfield (ACCA).

Nicely put together wrap up of the day. If we took a step back to no Social, would the world be a better place. Consensus on the panel is that we’re enjoying the changing market, brands enjoy the advocacy gained through social and as volumes grow for major brand divertative measures such as social media are ultimately making things possible. Predictions: Sentiment aware websites, faster product development, Mobile Customer Service.

@domsparkes “Social media can make customer service unfair…watch what u put on trip advisor if you are still in the hotel…” #scrm12


In the wish words of our ACME friends, Thats all folks…

Thanks for reading

Barry Furby (@barryfurby)

Business Development Manager | Synthesio

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