Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence

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  • 1. August 14, 2009 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence by Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. for Business Process & Application Professionals Making Leaders Successful Every Day
  • 2. For Business Process & Application Professionals August 14, 2009 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence use Social technologies to improve Customer Experiences And Lower Costs by Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. with William Band, Jeremiah owyang, and Andrew Magarie ExECut i v E S u M MA ry As consumers rapidly adopt social media — and use it to voice their displeasure about brands and complain about products and services — customer service professionals struggle with how best to harness the power of the cloud to transform customer experiences. Forrester’s interviews with savvy executives found that smart companies use five emerging best practices: Begin by taking ownership of the social media initiative; determine your customer social media goal; keep a laser focus on the customer experience; understand the fast-changing social technology landscape; and build a strong business case for change. By following these best practices, companies can use social media to enrich customer experiences, reduce customer service costs, and transform their businesses. tABL E o F Co NtE NtS N ot E S & rE S o u rCE S 2 Consumers Adopt Social Media, But Customer Forrester interviewed more than 25 user Service Professionals Struggle companies and vendors including ACt!, the 3 Successful Adopters Use Five Strategies To Carphone Warehouse Group, Cisco Consumer Capitalize On Social Technologies Business Group, Comcast, DirECtv, feedbackjar. com, Get Satisfaction, Helpstream, infusionsoft, 4 Best Practice No. 1: Take Ownership intel, intuit, irobot, JetBlue, Jive Software, 6 Best Practice No. 2: Determine Your Goals Lenovo, Lithium technologies, myFico. 9 Best Practice No. 3: Focus On The Customer com, NetApp, nGenera, Parature, rightNow Experience technologies, salesforce.com, SAP, telligent, 11 Best Practice No. 4: Understand The Social uservoice, verizon, and Zappos.com. Technology Landscape 14 Best Practice No. 5: Build The Business Case Related Research Documents “the roi of online Customer Service 16 Forrester’s Customer Service Social Media Communities” Next Practices June 30, 2009 16 Identifying Your Challenges “CrM 2.0: Fantasy or reality?” 19 Case Studies November 13, 2008 21 Supplemental Material “the Growth of Social technology Adoption” october 20, 2008 “online Community Best Practices” February 13, 2008 © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To purchase reprints of this document, please email clientsupport@forrester.com. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com.
  • 3. 2 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals CONSUMERS ADOPT SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT CUSTOMER SERvICE PROFESSIONALS STRUGGLE Twenty years ago when corporations first adopted customer service technologies, without meaning to, they set customer service up to fail. The primary goal then was to make the corporation more efficient. Cost-cutting strategies defined customers’ questions and concerns as a nuisance to be dealt with in the most minimal way possible. In response, technology vendors focused on automating customer complaints. Businesses then weren’t attuned to concepts like “customer experience” or “customer lifetime value.” Even when emerging data showed that it was five to 20 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain a current one, companies continued to re-engineer for efficiency without strategic regard to how this might affect the customer experience.1 The resulting customer disdain, combined with a rapid rise in the adoption and use of social media by consumers have today formed a perfect storm that is driving change in the world of customer service. When companies blatantly ignore product or service issues, customers now can use the Internet as a medium to broadcast, very publicly, their frustration to millions. This has switched the balance of power from corporations to customers.2 Even the press has taken up the cause, routinely reporting on companies that provide good or poor customer service experiences.3 The risk of corporate reputations being ruined by poor customer service interactions has greatly increased as consumers have gained the ability to share their opinions directly with each other. This perfect storm has forced companies to switch gears and reconsider not only the customer experience, but also social media as a serious enterprise business solution that can transform customer service to reach the new goals of enhancing the customer experience. However, as social media increasingly gains exposure, customer service professionals have new concerns: · Worries about cultural readiness and adoption. Corporate and legal departments seem to be risk averse to social media initiatives because they appear to put the organization at risk. Few companies have working enterprise feedback management processes, and social media requires that an organization respond to quickly customer feedback. And companies are concerned that if employees participate in social media channels, they will waste work time interacting online and if and when they do respond, it will do more harm than good. · Concerns about who should own the social media initiative. The fact that, in most organizations, no one department “owns” the customer experience causes issues. Similar problems arise when considering who should “own” social media deployments. A complicating factor is that communication must be transparent, authentic, and genuine, and it requires the collaboration of many departments who have historically operated in silos. Who should respond, when, and how are only some of the ownership concerns. This leaves most companies unprepared for the organizational changes that deploying social media demands. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 4. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 3 For Business Process & Application Professionals · Confusion around choosing the “right” social media software technology solution. Whether a company has recently deployed a new multichannel contact center solution or is still using old technology to serve customers, customer service professionals don’t need yet another interaction channel that isn’t integrated with their customer service applications. There is also confusion around the differences between deploying a customer service social media initiative on a social networking site like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter compared with using a community platform like those provided by Get Satisfaction, Jive Software, Lithium Technologies, Telligent, or UserVoice. The technology landscape gets even more confusing as many of the customer service suites and point vendors are also adding social media capabilities. These include vendors like Helpstream, nGenera, Parature, RightNow Technologies, salesforce. com, and SAP. · Fears about proving the business value of social media. A longstanding conversation in companies has always been, “How do we cut costs and deliver better experiences?” It can be difficult to gain organizational approval for customer service initiatives aimed at these goals in general. But asking to deploy something that seems unproven, like social media, can feel even riskier. While most customer service professionals are still learning about what social media can mean to a business, they are left with little documentation on its ROI.4 And without a business- value-based strategy, the ability to reach bottom-line goals and objectives seems hopeless, as does executive approval for such initiatives. SUCCESSFUL ADOPTERS USE FIvE STRATEGIES TO CAPITALIzE ON SOCIAL TEChNOLOGIES To understand how some of the most successful customer service professionals are using social media to improve the customer experience and gain additional efficiencies, we spoke with more than 25 customer service professionals, community managers, community moderators, super users, and vendors. Our interviews included companies such as ACT!, Cisco Consumer Business Group (CBG) (formerly Linksys), Comcast, Intel, Intuit, iRobot, and JetBlue, as well as vendors such as Get Satisfaction, Helpstream, Jive Software, Lithium Technologies, nGenera, Parature, RightNow Technologies, salesforce.com, and SAP. We also spoke with social media thought leaders to provide an industrywide perspective on the topic. Savvy customer service professionals are adopting five strategies to capitalize on the rise of social media as way to enhance customers’ experiences and serve them more cost effectively (see Figure 1). © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 5. 4 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals Figure 1 Customer Service Social Media Best And Next Practices Best practices strategies Best practices tactics Take ownership. • Decide to own the social media initiative. • Determine all stakeholders and invite them to participate. • Create powerful partnerships with marketing, sales, product development, and engineering. Determine your goals. • Determine the Social Technographics® profile of your customer. • Define your business objectives. • Determine your strategy to reach your business objectives. Focus on the customer experience. • Redefine the customer experience. • Provide a method for two-way conversations between customers and executives. • Use voice-of-the-customer (VOC) data. • Attract, motivate, and engage super users to accelerate great customer experiences. Understand the technology landscape. • Use microblogs to discern customer sentiment and reach out to customers. • Establish a presence on social networking sites to interact with customers. • Develop your community on a third-party social media community site. • Deploy an online community on your Web site. • Enhance your Web site self-service and your current customer service software with an online community on your site. • Build your own social media technology software application. Build the business case. • Dig deep to understand total costs. • Weigh the benefits. • Evaluate the risks. Next practices • Begin a continuous learning strategy around social media. • Continually reinvent the customer experience. 48001 Source: Forrester Research, Inc. BEST PRACTICE NO. 1: TAkE OwNERShIP Customer service professionals evaluating a social media deployment should take ownership of the social media initiative. Forward-thinking customer service professionals will lead the creation of business cases as well as the business application of social media across the enterprise. · Decide to own the social media initiative. Customer service is the most natural owner of the customer experience and social media. While marketing’s prime goal is to capture leads and sales’ goal is lead conversion, neither of these departments is structured to handle customer August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 6. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 5 For Business Process & Application Professionals service issues. Deploying a social media initiative for those departments will provide siloed value that pertains only to them. But if a company starts by deploying customer service social media, that initiative not only fixes what’s not working in customer service, but it also provides tremendous value to marketing and sales, as well as to all other departments. The director of customer service at a large DSL/TV/cell phone provider told us, “Often customer service departments are in the best position to be the company’s strategic partner to facilitate the information garnered by social media with other departments.” The director of iRobot’s global technical support told us that the company holds weekly cross-functional department meetings to present customer data and feedback garnered by iRobot’s customer service online community. She is empowered to prioritize and assign actions items to team members. The result? Everyone in the company now has actionable information to improve their part of the business. This information is based on customer feedback, with customer service leading the organization to a new way of interdepartmental collaboration. · Identify all stakeholders and invite them to participate. The No. 1 reason social media initiatives are stalled or halted is because key players, like legal and corporate communications, were excluded at the beginning. Invite IT, eService, eCommerce, sales, marketing, CxO sponsors, legal, and corporate to your meetings. Make social media a shared, cross-functional responsibility from the very beginning. And learn from other companies to quickly nip the feared, but often unfounded, legal issues in the bud. For example, Lenovo’s community executives invited the legal department to participate from the start of the company’s customer service social media initiative. Legal helped to determine the terms of the service for the community and reviewed the rules of engagement, moderation, and management rules of the community, as well as disclaimers for the liability of the information posted to the site. Community executives also worked with the public relations and corporation communications to align communications strategies and also to ensure that those departments were not surprised by what the online communities published.. · Create powerful partnerships with marketing, sales, product dev, and engineering. A tremendous amount of customer insight can be created from customer service social media deployments. It’s where customers air their thoughts/questions openly and honestly after having used a product/service. This ranges from “How do I . . . ” to “What would be better is if . . . ” to information on competitors’ products and services. These insights can be harnessed across the company. An executive at ACT! told us that an additional benefit is that its online customer service community has become one of the company’s top marketing assets. ACT! community members are so pleased with the support some received, that they, without being prompted, passionately recommended ACT! products to peers. With peer-to-peer marketing far more effective than © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 7. 6 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals traditional advertising and marketing methods, sales have increased considerably. Product development, engineering, and QA at ACT! found the insights in the customer service community significant and vital. For example, as new versions of ACT! go through the product development cycle, the community plays an ongoing role. Community feedback is used to shape what features and functions are required in upcoming releases as well as to determine a list of future ACT! products to develop a competitive edge based on customer input. Pitfalls To Avoid If you don’t take the bull by the horns, someone else will. If you take a leadership position within your organization for social media, you can avoid potential issues like: · Confusion about how to respond to customers. Specific individuals tasked with interacting with your customers must understand how social media works and their roles and responsibilities for interacting with customers. Many of the executives we spoke with told us that they were fearful of what employees might say in these interactions. Their solution? Use a collaborative, interdepartmental process to develop a unified message and tone when responding to customers. This approach allayed fears and produced great results. · No executive buy-in or continuous participation. Deploying social media is synonymous with change. All the executives told us that having executive engagement was an imperative. Making changes to a corporation means that executives must not only buy in — they must also support the initiatives with resources, as well as actually read and actively participate in online customer conversations. · Unwillingness to be transparent and authentic. In communicating and responding via social media, customers are attuned to the difference between authentic communication and “corporate speak.” ACT! executives adopted a “truth through transparency” policy that prevailed in creating engaging, authentic, genuine, transparent, honest, clear, and direct customer responses. BEST PRACTICE NO. 2: DETERMINE YOUR GOALS To successfully use social media to improve your customer service capabilities, start by understanding who your customers are, determine what objectives you’d like to reach with those customers, and then define your strategy. Here are some tips: · Determine the Social Technographics® profile of your customers. Start by defining who you think will be your social media audience. What types of interactions do they want to have with you? What is their aptitude for adopting and using social technologies on an ongoing basis? Lenovo, for instance, knew that it had a range of customers who might participate in a community, and the company wanted a clearer picture of the needs of those various customer segments. One type of customer might be someone who would engage on a regular basis, August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 8. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 7 For Business Process & Application Professionals providing content or seeking the group’s opinion on what product had great quality or performance. Another type might want advice on how to resolve an issue and then leave the community for a while. Lenovo considered this second type of customer to be “event-driven” participants. Determining the Social Technographics profile helped Lenovo to better plan to serve everyone in their community. · Define your business objectives. Any successful social strategy requires a clear purpose. What types of conversations will you facilitate? What are you trying to achieve in those conversations? How do your business goals align with your audience’s objectives? For example, Cisco CBG’s business goals included decreased customer service costs, enhanced business continuity, and increased customer satisfaction and repurchase probability.5 NetApp wanted to meet its customers’ needs and expectations around online support communities, providing a place where likeminded people could solve problems together; make professional, and even social, connections; and earn highly prized status among their peers. myFico.com on the other hand, sought to provide education, reduce customer service costs, and provide a destination site for its customers to return time and time again.6 Comcast’s objectives were to listen to customers, help them when it could, and serve them via the channels that customers use most. Intel wanted to reduce the costs of product ideation, resolve customer issues faster, and make sure company decisions were customer-driven. · Determine your strategy to reach objectives. Implementing social media strategies requires new strategies. How will social media change your customer relationships? What types of strategies do you need to transform those customer relationships? Intel told us that in order to keep its innovation advantage, it must attract the most brilliant minds in science to push the boundaries of Intel’s technology. The company’s strategy to do this was to build an elaborate network of partners and resellers from around the globe. Effectively managing and engaging these “customers” via social media strategy meant that Intel would have better, more productive, and real-time relationships with their customers. Comcast’s strategy was to create a more positive brand experience with its customers by being able to interact with them “where they were” — i.e., on Twitter. Pitfalls To Avoid Here are some issues to keep in mind: · Listen to your customer before deploying technologies. Five years ago while listening to customer service calls, Intuit realized that each caller thought her business situation (or the challenges she was facing) was different. Therefore, instead of trying to answer each question, Intuit created an online community where users in similar industries and different stages of their company’s life cycles could share best practices and answer each others’ questions. Over © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 9. 8 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals the years, the community functionality has evolved. Today, the community is integrated directly into the product so that users can ask questions and get answers in their workflow. · Don’t just copy other companies’ social media strategies and think they will work for you. After evaluating the Social Technographics®, the objectives and strategy of its social media initiative, Infusionsoft decided that its main focus would be an integrated contact center and social media application that allowed customers the option of federated search. Not all companies use an integrated approach, but knowing that most of their customer service calls were the type that could be reduced or eliminated by having “how to” videos in the community as well as providing a way for customers to share ideas and help each other, they choose to deploy these types of tools in their community. · Don’t think you have to start big. Companies often get slowed down by evaluating which software solutions to choose. While it’s important to create a social media strategy and have technology to empower that, you don’t have to wait to buy social media software applications to start. For instance, Comcast chose first to listen to customer comments in 6,000 to 7,000 blogs. As the company was paying attention to what was being said about it in the “cloud,” it realized that many of its customers were posting “tweets” on Twitter. Twitter is not an application you have to buy. As a result, Twitter became part of Comcast’s social media strategy (see Figure 2). iRobot used a combination of technologies in the cloud. It also started by looking at comments on product review sites (epinion.com) and eCommerce sites (amazon.com) and listening to customer comments on Twitter. Figure 2 Comcastcares Monitors Customer Conversations in the Cloud using twitter Source: Comcast 48001 Source: Forrester Research, Inc. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 10. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 9 For Business Process & Application Professionals BEST PRACTICE NO. 3: FOCUS ON ThE CUSTOMER ExPERIENCE One of the reasons social media is so powerful is that its entire focus is on your customers and their experiences. If you have not made “customer experience” a focus in your business, or if you want to learn how to apply social media to accelerate it, here’s where to start: · Redefine the customer experience. Forrester’s data shows that “customer experience” is one of the most important initiatives in 2009 and will continue to be so.7 ACT!’s team, for instance, sought to understand the critical moments of truth when customers interacted with ACT!’s products and services. So ACT!’s customer loyalty department mapped the entire customer experience from the customer’s perspective. The team’s conclusion? The best way to most effectively appreciate and transform the customer experience was to deploy online customer service communities. There, the company could have ongoing honest, genuine, and authentic interactions between the company’s executives and customers, providing the feedback required to revolutionize the customer experience. · Provide a method for two-way conversations between customers and executives. ACT! used online customer service communities to have two-way conversations between executives and hundreds of thousands of customers. This one-to-many approach is a very effective and efficient way of addressing a large audience of customers with a consistent and concise message from executives. Executive blogs were part of the online community, and in particular, the GM used his blog to have an open dialogue with customers. When customers raised a particular product or service issue, the GM used his blog to address the issue and provided his direct contact information to continue the conversation offline if required. · Use voice-of-the-customer (VOC) data. When companies make changes to their business, they need to incorporate the feedback of their customers with VOC data. For example, iRobot didn’t have an easy way to collect customer feedback or provide that feedback to upper management. To address that issue, iRobot built a comprehensive VOC report with feedback garnered from customer service, community interactions, surveys, forums, and social networking site posts. The customer service director leads the company’s customer experience program by disseminating the VOC report results across the entire organization. · Attract, motivate, and engage super users to accelerate great customer experiences. In online communities, approximately 80% to 90% of the content is produced by super users.8 Super users are willing to provide this if they are properly engaged and given incentives. The “currency” for the work super users contribute in a community is not what customer service professionals traditionally think of, i.e., a salary. Their currency is notoriety, acknowledgment, and appreciation. Hence, the engagement and reward system of the customer service social media system must reflect these qualities and be able to facilitate the acknowledgement and appreciation of the super users. © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 11. 10 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals Lenovo, for instance, identified the super users in the laptop computing community very quickly. They invited these extraordinary individuals into their community and created solid, lasting relationships with them. As part of an ongoing incentive to super users, Lenovo provides a small number of systems on loan. Super users, who love to tinker with the machines as a hobby, use this as a way to broaden and deepen their expertise on Lenovo products. Super users also highly anticipate receiving beta products. After completely dissecting a product at times in advance of a customer, their expertise is amplified. They are the go-to authority, providing Lenovo with invaluable user-tested data that’s integrated into making the final product superior, as well as providing exceptional customer service support once the products are launched. Pitfalls To Avoid Social media is about the customer, not about the corporation. To make sure you avoid repeating mistakes of myopic “efficiency only” customer service strategies and technologies, make sure you don’t: · Forget to install community structure and policies to keep the conversation productive. An organization must take into account that social media is new for most people, and there needs to be some effort around establishing the tone, the culture, and the posting policies for the community. Firms also want to consider security and privacy considerations. Rather than invent this from scratch, companies need to learn from others. ACT! found it important to keep the conversations in its community productive, structured, and solution-driven. Some customers may see the community as a channel for unconstructive criticism about the company. Strong community guidelines, and a superb and skillful community manager and moderator add significantly to prompting constructive dialogues between customers and the company. ACT! uses Lithium’s moderation services to help manage the community on a day-to-day basis. · Let the economy quash your social media strategies. With the current economic downturn, many companies are faced with tough decisions. However, the customer community efforts remain intact because they provide an efficient way to interact and learn from users. In fact, Intuit just launched “Small Business United,” a community for all kinds of small business owners. To join, there is no requirement to buy or own Intuit’s products. Instead of being scaled back or downsized in scope, social media at Intuit continues to receive more attention from the company, its executives, and employees. · Limit the community for just dealing with customer service issues. For example, as new versions of NetApp go through the product development cycle, NetApp has plans on its radar to leverage the community in beta-product-testing initiatives. Community feedback is used to shape what features and functions are required in upcoming releases as well as determining a list of future products to develop for a competitive edge using VOC. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 12. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 11 For Business Process & Application Professionals BEST PRACTICE NO. 4: UNDERSTAND ThE SOCIAL TEChNOLOGY LANDSCAPE Many customer service departments have not yet deployed basic technology solutions, much less some of the newer, more advanced capabilities like proactive chat or enhanced natural-language search capabilities. As social media technologies, tools, and applications are applied to customer service, customer service professionals can become even more confused about the best technologies they should invest in. To keep up with the ever-changing landscape in the social media technology landscape, below are a few options to consider: · Use microblogs to discern customer sentiment and reach out to customers. One of the key places companies can begin their social media strategy is on microblogs like Twitter. Airlines like JetBlue and Virgin America use Twitter to monitor customer reactions to their travel experiences. An executive at JetBlue told us that when he first started reaching out to customers via Twitter, they immediately thought he was from corporate or legal. When he explained he was from customer service, customers were flabbergasted that someone from the company was really there to help. JetBlue has found that when customers are heard, they tend to be less harsh of a brand. JetBlue told us, “We can’t change the weather, but when we do acknowledge customer frustration, it is appreciated.” · Establish a presence on social networking sites to interact with customers. Companies use social networking point sites like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Although there are many steps to making a successful customer community on these types of sites, your first step is to search for your company and product names and see what is being said about you. Once you have the basics done, you can set up your brand’s official social networking community on the site.9 The way Facebook works, for example, is that customers can elect to become “fans” on your Facebook page. Once they do that, you can start to interact with them and create relationships with them. An example of how a company began their presence on Facebook is the Vancouver, Wash.- based pizza restaurant, Papa Murphy’s. The restaurant ran an ad offering a free pizza to anyone who became a fan of the restaurant on its Facebook page. Users received notifications in their newsfeed and then were directed to the Papa Murphy’s Web site to get their pie. More than 131,000 users became fans, and the national pizza franchise saw traffic to its site jump 253%. And within two weeks, 1,200 people had posted to the company’s Facebook “wall.” Now Papa Murphy’s can reach out to customers to solve customer service issues, as well. · Consider a community on a third-party social media community site. This category includes vendors like Get Satisfaction, UserVoice, and feedbackjar.com. How are companies using it? P&G and Zappos.com are using Get Satisfaction to answer customer questions, solve customer problems, increase product ideation, and gather marketing data. Blackbaud, Facebook, and Nielsen are using UserVoice to capture and aggregate feedback from users, customers, and © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 13. 12 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals clients. Local businesses find feedbackjar.com great for helping customers locate their place of business and review customer comments. · Evaluate adding an online community on your own Web site. Vendors in this category include Jive, Lithium, and Telligent. These vendors provide a social networking community platform that can include executive blogs, forums, newsletters, federated search including the answers from the community, FAQs, and the company knowledge base of answers. ACT!, Cisco CBG, and Lenovo have Lithium-based communities. Intel has deployed a community for its elaborate network of partners and resellers from around the globe. Carnival deployed Telligent to create a social networking site that would provide a way for booked guests to spread the excitement about their cruise(s), invite their friends and family to join them, and essentially “own” a mini-community centered on their upcoming cruise vacations.10 · Consider enhancing your Web site self-service with an online community. Vendors who specialize in social-media-enhanced Web self-service include Helpstream, nGenera, and Parature. These Web self-service vendors offer a Web self-service portal, a community- type forum where customers can help each other, service tickets, and use federated search capabilities. For example, Infusionsoft chose Helpstream because the training to use its product could often take 6 hours. Infusionsoft found that providing Web self-service was the best way to improve the customer experience and reduce support costs. Using Parature, MusickEd.com created an online, interactive music education “community” giving members the ability to search a knowledge base for information on a wide variety of musical topics and a download center that allows access to free educational documents. nGenera’s social media capabilities are still in the development phase. · Evaluate your current suite vendor’s software for social media. If you already have customer service software applications, you’ll want to check to see what social media upgrades and enhancements they are developing. For instance, traditional customer service suite vendors, like RightNow Technologies, salesforce.com and SAP, have integrated Twitter feeds so that they are fed into contact center agents’ desktops. And salesforce.com allows agents to access Facebook to learn more about the customer. Salesforce.com and SAP applications are under development. · Assess your customer service vendor’s capabilities for social media capabilities/communities. One example of this type of option is RightNow Technologies and Lithium, who have partnered to create a prepackaged integration of a contact center application and a community platform. iRobot and myfico.com both use RightNow as their contact center vendor application. The combination of RightNow and Lithium bridges the gap between customer exchanges happening within online communities and interactions that occur through more traditional channels such as call centers and Web self-service. myFICO.com uses the integrated search features to get results from both the knowledge base entries in RightNow and the posts on the community forum. In addition, myFICO’s customer service agents can view the posting in the community, as August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 14. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 13 For Business Process & Application Professionals well as information about the customer, email, phone number, and so on, which provides a multifaceted way to communicate with the customer and improve customer interactions. · Build your own social media software applications. For most companies, this is not an option that should be considered lightly unless you have engineering resources to develop your own social media software. Great caution should be taken, as do-it-yourself software may leave you far behind the competition unless this is a core competency within your company. When Intuit began down the social media path, it evaluated various vendors’ applications. After analyzing feedback from its customers, Intuit realized it needed to integrate the community access into its software products. As it evaluated the various available solutions, Intuit’s developers felt it would be easier to write their own applications versus trying to modify packaged applications. Pitfalls To Avoid The last thing you want to do is purchase technology and have it flop. Here’s what to avoid: · Not integrating the social media technology to your other business applications. One key to getting an ROI is making social media part of how people get their job done. This requires that social media not be deployed as an isolated, point application, but rather seen as part of the key infrastructure and as an application that is used to get customer service work done and to improve the customer experience. · Unfederated search capabilities. Part of the advantage of social media is the customer- and super-user-generated information that gets posted in communities. When customers search for answers via self-service channels or agents search while helping customers, both need to be able to access not only the FAQs and the company’s knowledge management database, but more important, the ranked community information. This information tends to be more actionable and accurate. · Lack of social media content included in the knowledge management (KM) databases. The key to answering customer questions is content. Because up to 90% of questions that customers ask are unanticipated, a company’s preplanned answers in the FAQ or knowledge base provides limited support.11 Companies should monitor and repurpose community content into their KM databases on a regular basis. · Technology that can’t rank users and content. Part of the attraction to social media is that it is based on real users getting the help they need. Real users depend on finding answers from super users — in other words, those who contribute to the type of questions that the company doesn’t have answers for. If the social media technology allows the postings in the community to be ranked, then customers can see which solutions have risen to the top. In addition, since super users respond positively when their content is highly ranked by customers, they tend to post more and solve more of the company’s issues — as a result, the company has better content to offer customers. © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 15. 14 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals BEST PRACTICE NO. 5: BUILD ThE BUSINESS CASE Customer service professionals evaluating social media need to understand the organization’s pains, how social media can remedy those pains, the metrics required to measure the improvement, and how to put a value on that the remedy. Depending on the business drivers, differences in benefits, costs, and risk are important parts of the equation: · Dig deep to understand total costs. Generally there are startup costs and recurring costs when deploying social media. Those costs will be different depending on whether you are going with a SaaS vendor or purchasing an on-premise solution. Intuit, as mentioned earlier, decided to invest in developing its own software. Comcast started with a small initiative to observe online conversations on the Web. myFico.com deployed a customer community, whereas iRobot deployed an integrated community/contact center solution. Whether you go big or small, make sure to understand the costs.12 · Weigh the benefits. Benefits can range from improved brand sentiment to reducing customer service costs. Determine what improvements you think you’ll want to see from the social media initiative and put a value of that change. For example, ACT!’s community aided a 15% increase in the brand’s net promoter score (NPS). iRobot reduced customer service agent calls by 40%, and the call abandonment was reduced by 18%. Lenovo’s call center experienced a 20% reduction in laptop call rates and its cycle time to get an issue to engineering or the quality assurance department was shortened, which reduced costs. myFico.com experienced enhancement to its brand sentiment, a reduction in the length of a customer service calls, a reduction in call volume, and a 40% increase in sales.13 · Evaluate the risks. As with any technology deployment, there are risks. Those risks include: 1) reputation/trust risks; 2) implementation risks; 3) measurement risks; and 4) scale risks. An example of reputation risk is the honesty of the communication required in social media. A large part of the draw of a community is the transparency and authenticity of the postings. Implementation risks increase when there is poor interdepartmental collaboration. ACT! found it very important to have weekly cross-functional department meetings to gain alignment and keep the focus on the customer. The result is that everyone in the company now has actionable VOC information to improve their departments and keep the social media initiative strong and productive. Another risk is whether you’ve defined the right measurements. Without that, it’s difficult to determine the health of the community and what corrective actions to take, and as a result, your community may come up short of expectations. An example of a company using the right measurements is Intuit, which used Radian6 to analyze what was being said in blogs about the company and its products and services. MyFico.com used Lithium’s Insights community analytics package. Using specialized measurement tools, both of these companies determined the metrics and analytics as well as a reporting process to consistently measure the right things and manage changes quickly. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 16. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 15 For Business Process & Application Professionals Pitfalls To Avoid Tools like Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™(TEI) provide a rigorous methodology to calculate ROI and compare various options. However, you want to be wary of incorrect assumptions that can invalidate your analysis, such as: · Not understanding which metrics mean the most to your business. Analytics is a necessary tool that is often not part of the community platform. In some cases it must be purchased separately, and in other cases, the community platform vendors have a pre-integrated analytics platform via a partnership with an analytics company. You’ll want to do weekly, monthly, and bi-annual analysis to determine what worked and “what would be better if . . .” and make the changes to prove your business case. For example, Lenovo used analytics to set its benchmarks for the growth of its online community. Lenovo uses Google analytics and Lithium’s community platform analytics package to measure community traffic. Within a year, the community grew to approximately 30,000 members. Because the company has used analytics, it knew that these results were very positive; it had taken third-party forums five years to reach the same scale. Within six months, Lenovo had 1 million page views/week, and the content has grown by about 2,000 new discussions/month and about 8,000 new messages/month. · Not defining real success criteria to measure. Corporations depend on knowing that what they have deployed is of value to the organization in concrete terms. After determining what your success criteria is, you’ll need to make sure the technology provides avenues to measure that success. ACT!’s executive team relies on the community moderator to provide weekly reports including activity statistics, analysis, and links to relevant and interesting posts. Using its vendor’s expertise in analyzing the community provided ACT! with analytics and resulting best practices to establish and maintain the type of community voice, culture, and customer relationships that engender trust and transparency. · Not considering the customer experience before choosing technology. The issue with many customer service technology platforms and processes is that they are still based primarily on achieving cost reductions and efficiency gains, not customer experience enrichment or better customer retention. The most critical step is designing customer experiences first and THEN making the subsequent technology choices to enhance the customer experience, not destroy it. Get Satisfaction, Helpstream, and Lithium told us that they include extensive coaching and professional services as part of their pricing structure because they have seen the reasons why CRM, ERP, and other software deployments have failed and want companies to take a different approach. They want companies to think through the strategy, the technographics of their community, their business goals, and how those will all affect the customer experience before even considering their technology. Doing it any other way leads to disasters. © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 17. 16 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals FORRESTER’S CUSTOMER SERvICE SOCIAL MEDIA NExT PRACTICES While our research uncovered a number of customer service social media best practices, here are some next practices that customer service professionals should focus on once they’ve mastered the basics: · Begin a continuous learning strategy around social media. As vendors emerge in this space, customer service professionals will need to take note of the new deployments. Rather than thinking that they can pick one modality and be done, social media and Web 2.0 technologies will continue to evolve. This will require customer service professionals to continually learn and evaluate how the new solutions fit into their business. · Continually reinvent the customer experience. Because customer disdain is so and widespread, managing customer expectations will remain a challenge. Make sure to have your finger on the pulse of your customers at all times and watch for trends in changes in sentiment, in what they complain about and what they request. Then continually reinvent the customer experience to match the customers’ changing demands. These best and next practices provide a set of practical guidelines to ensure that you and your organization realize the most value from your current and future customer service solutions. IDENTIFYING YOUR ChALLENGES Where should you start? Use our self-diagnostic tool to assess your current capabilities — and opportunities for improvement — and see how you stack up against your peers (see Figure 3). Scores will be calculated automatically for online readers. All scores are anonymous. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 18. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 17 For Business Process & Application Professionals Figure 3 Customer Service Social Media Self-Diagnostic tool Part 1: Take ownership. Yes No Does someone in the organization own the company’s social media strategy? Does someone in the organization own the customer experience? Is the person who owns the customer experience the same as the person who owns the social media strategy? Does customer service own the customer experience and the social media strategy? Are your executives ready to provide honest, authentic, and genuine communication to customers via social media? Does your company have a multidisciplinary team to create a social media strategy? Does your company naturally collaborate and create powerful partnerships between what are normally siloed organizations, i.e., marketing, sales, service, product development, and engineering? Total Part 2: Determine your goals. Yes No Does your company have a process to determine the Social Technographics® profile of your customers? Does your company know what goals each of the Social Technographics® groups want to accomplish? Does your company know what goals it wants to reach with each of the Social Technographics® groups? When your company is creating its social media strategy, does it have a clear process to connect the strategy and the business objectives and goals? As your company develops a social media strategy, does it have a clear process to determine how its objectives will change customer relationships and experiences? Total 48001 Source: Forrester Research, Inc. © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 19. 18 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals Figure 3 Customer Service Social Media Self-Diagnostic tool (Cont.) Part 3: Focus on the customer experience. Yes No Is your company ready to hear negative feedback? Does your company have a process to respond to negative feedback that won’t turn customers away? When you get feedback from your customers, does your company quickly act on it? Does your company map the customer experience from the customer’s point of view? Does your company have a process to use customer feedback to transform the customer experience? Has your company identified important experts, influencers, and potential “super users”? Does your company have a clear process to engage and enroll super users as part of its social media strategy? Is your company prepared to provide the types of “exchange currency” that motivates super users? Total Part 4: Understand the technology landscape. Yes No Does your company have a good overview of all the various solutions to choose from for social media? Does your company have a clear picture of how to listen to what is being said about it in the “cloud”? Does your company understand how to use social networking sites to interact with customers? Does your company understand the differences between using a third-party vendor for a customer service community and deploying a community on its own site? Has your company evaluated the enhancements available from deploying social media for Web self-service? Has your company evaluated the enhancements available from traditional customer service applications? Has your company evaluated the pre-integrated community options for traditional customer service applications? Does your company have a clear picture of how to integrate all the available tools for social media? Total 48001 Source: Forrester Research, Inc. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 20. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 19 For Business Process & Application Professionals Figure 3 Customer Service Social Media Self-Diagnostic tool (Cont.) Part 5: Build the business case. Yes No Is your company familiar with the costs of deploying a social media initiative? Is your company familiar with the cost of integrating various types of social media applications with customer service applications? Has your company determined the benefits it hopes to gain from the social media customer service initiative? Has your company determined the metrics that will provide data for the business case? Has your company determined how it might measure those metrics? Has your company determined the risks that may come from social media initiatives? Does your company have a process to handle the risks that could disrupt a successful initiative? Does your company have a process to evaluate analytical tools available to measure your social media initiative? Total 48001 Source: Forrester Research, Inc. CASE STUDIES Case Study: ACT! By Sage Uses Social Media To Transform The Customer Experience Sage North America, a leading provider of customer relationship and contact management software to small- and medium-sized businesses, faced the twin challenges of unhappy customers and a sinking economy. One specific brand, ACT! by Sage, was tasked to reinvent its software to gain and retain market share to repower the company’s revenue growth. To solve this problem, ACT! turned to the use of social media through launching the ACT! by Sage Community. As the brand began this initiative, it put its focus on improving the customer experience. The online customer service community provides Sage executives with a dynamic view into customer issues. The two-way conversation between executives and customers led to the rearchitecting of the design of the customer experience based on voice-of-the-customer (VOC) data generated through the community. The community was instrumental in a 15-point increase in the company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer service and Web self-service was enhanced, and product development is now driven by the voice of the customer.14 Case Study: Infusionsoft Improves Customer Experience via Social Media Infusionsoft is a Web-based provider of marketing automation software aimed at the true small business with fewer than 25 employees. Infusionsoft wanted to leverage a community of users of © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 21. 20 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals its products to simultaneously reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. To make its use of social technologies successful, Infusionsoft listened to its small-business customers who wanted the information they needed, from the people they trusted, in the way that was most convenient to them. The result: Infusionsoft’s social media initiative saved the company millions of dollars in overall support costs, and produced a 10 percentage point increase in customer satisfaction.15 Case Study: Lenovo Takes Ownership of Social Media To Reduce Customer Service Costs When Lenovo acquired the IBM PC Computing division, it saw that customers were talking about its products in third-party forums like notebookreview.com and thinkpads.com, and it worried that it was being left out of these important conversations. Lenovo took ownership of the challenge and launched its own community. Using a peer-to-peer support community, Lenovo garnered critical worldwide views of the customer experience for the corporate-oriented LenovoThink and the more consumer-oriented Lenovo Idea brands. The results have been stellar: By owning the initiative, Lenovo customer service professionals ascertained how to align marketing, sales, service, and other departments to enhance the customer experience. This alignment resulted in a 20% reduction in laptop support call rates, an increase in agent productivity, a shortened problem resolution cycle, and an increase in Net Promoter Scores. This has led to better products and a reduction in support costs.16 Case Study: Cisco Consumer Business Group Builds The Business Case For Social Media Consumer Business Group (CBG) — formerly Linksys — is a division of Cisco that offers a wide variety of consumer and small office voice over IP (VoIP) and networking solutions such as routers, switches, and storage systems under the Linksys by Cisco brand. CBG has long held a reputation for excellent technical support and has developed a number of innovative approaches to contain support costs while still offering responsive service. One key initiative was the introduction of an online customer support community. Before deploying the community, CBG developed a business case and confirmed that its customer service social media initiative would be a good investment. As a result of this initiative, CBG decreased customer support costs through call deflection, strengthened assurance of business continuity, enhanced customer insight, and increased customer engagement.17 Case Study: Intel Uses Social Media To Transform The Customer Experience Most people know Intel as a provider of microprocessors for large manufacturers such as Apple, Dell, and HP. However, a large proportion of Intel’s business comes from an elaborate network of customers, including resellers, from around the globe. To effectively manage and engage these customers, Intel has deployed online communities. Intel worked hard to define how its online communities would enrich the experience of its customers who are hungry for information about Intel’s products and want to interact with their peers. By providing these customers with the expertise and information they need via these online communities, Intel continues to maintain and strengthen its competitive advantage in the market. Intel’s online communities have enabled the company to engage more deeply with customers and respond more effectively to customer questions, which builds stronger loyalty. And Intel’s online communities have not only improved the customer experience, but they have helped the company reduce operating costs.18 August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 22. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 21 For Business Process & Application Professionals Case Study: NetApp Marketing Takes Ownership Of Its Community Initiative To Ensure Success NetApp is an industry-leading provider of storage and data management solutions. It has a presence in more than 100 countries; thousands of customers and a network of more than 2,200 partners; and a culture of innovation, technology leadership, and customer success. The company was seeking to build higher brand awareness and deeper engagement with employees, customers, and partners and decided to deploy both customer and employee communities. To ensure success, the marketing function took the leadership role in designing and implementing the communities — with broad participation from other stakeholders. Centralizing accountability helped to align community goals, strategies, and tactics. The work done to launch the employee community allowed NetApp to launch its customer-facing community. More than 9,000 users from 100 countries registered in the first eight months, with 78% of the community users external to the company (customers, partners, technology experts). The community implementation sped delivery of the company’s new branding initiative, reduced support costs, improved customer transparency, and delivered a new channel for product ideation and feedback.19 Case Study: Yola.com Achieves Customer Service Scalability Goal Using Social Media Yola.com is an online Web site builder that allows anyone to easily create, publish, and host a Web site. Founded in 2007 on the premise that Web site creation should be easy if publishing tools focused less on the technology and more on the user experience, Yola initiated a social media effort aimed at enabling the company to grow rapidly without incurring crippling customer service costs. To achieve this goal, it established a customer community to act as its primary support channel for products and services. The result? A 5-to-1 preference for community support over email and 2 million customers supported by only six people.20 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL Online Resource The online version of Figure 3 is an interactive self-diagnostic tool that helps clients assess how their current practices stack up against those of their peers. Social Media Experts Interviewed For This Document Frank Eliason, Comcast Director of Digital Care, http://twitter.com/comcastcares Paul Greenberg, Author: CRM at the Speed of Light, and CRM 2.0: The Conversation (http://blogs. zdnet.com/crm); President of The 56 Group Morgan Johnston, Manager Corporate Communications, http://twitter.com/JetBlue Charlene Li, Co-founder, Altimeter Group Ross Mayfield, Chairman, President, and co-founder of Socialtext, SocialText.com © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 23. 22 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals Marc Smith, Chief Social Scientist, Telligent Systems Kira Wampler, Social Media Marketing Leader, Small Business Division, Intuit Scott Wilder, User Contribution Systems and Online Communities, Intuit Anne Wood, Head of Knowledge Management, www.twitter.com/carphoneware Companies Interviewed For This Document ACT! Lithium Technologies Cisco Consumer Business Group myFico.com Comcast NetApp DIRECTV nGenera feedbackjar.com Parature Get Satisfaction RightNow Technologies Helpstream salesforce.com Infusionsoft SAP Intel Telligent Intuit The Carphone Warehouse Group iRobot UserVoice JetBlue Airways Verizon Jive Software Zappos.com Lenovo ENDNOTES 1 To make the business case about customer experiences, executives need to be educated about the impact of problems on customer loyalty, the failure of most customers to complain, the potential impact of service on loyalty, and the impact of service on word of mouth. Source: John Goodman, “Turning CFOs Into Quality Champions,” Quality Progress, June 2006. 2 Easy connections brought about by cheap devices, modular content, and shared computing resources are having a profound impact on our global economy and social structure. Individuals increasingly take cues from one another rather than from institutional sources like corporations, media outlets, religions, and political bodies. To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists. See the February 13, 2006, “Social Computing” report. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 24. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 23 For Business Process & Application Professionals 3 Source: Jena McGregor, Alli McConnon, and David Kiley, “Customer Service In A Shrinking Economy”, Business Week, March 2, 2009. 4 Consumers are rapidly adopting social media communication technologies and behaviors. Customer service professionals are beginning to look at incorporating these “social” collaborative tools to deliver better customer experiences at a lower cost. This approach seems to have great promise. However, there is little documentation at present on the cost-effectiveness of incorporating social media strategies and technologies for businesses. Forrester spoke with early adopter companies and reviewed the social media solutions from leading vendors to understand the variables to consider when determining the business value of social media. The early evidence indicates that social media is a stellar choice for customer service because it provides a large ROI in a short period of time while delivering superb customer experiences. See the June 30, 2009, “The ROI Of Online Customer Service Communities” report. 5 Cisco CBG (formerly Linksys) encourages community use through a hands-on strategy. While it hopes that users themselves will answer many of the questions on the community forums (and they do), a dedicated staff monitors the forums and ensures that most questions are answered within 24 hours. Source: “The Linksys ROI Story: Support Community Delivers Significant Savings From Call Deflection,” 2009. (http:// www.lithium.com/pdfs/casestudies/Linksys-ROI-Case-Study.pdf) 6 As a highly government-regulated institution, Fair Isaac is limited in what type of information it can and cannot provide customers. While it can tell consumers what their FICO credit scores are, what the main factors are affecting the score, and how many old payments they have, the organization cannot give advice for how to improve the score. Since education is critical for consumers, Fair Isaac decided the best way to enable that education is through user-to-user interaction. The organization decided to launch a community forum. Source: “FICO Creates World Class Support: Mobilizing And Engaging The Customer Network”, 2009. (http://www.lithium.com/pdfs/casestudies/Lithium-FICO-Case-Study.pdf) 7 Using data from nearly 4,700 consumer surveys, Forrester examined the correlation between the customer experiences delivered by more than 100 US firms and the loyalty of their customers. When we compared the data with our analysis from last year, the correlation between customer experience and loyalty increased in every industry. Given the stronger connection between customer experience and loyalty, customer experience professionals will need to keep their companies focused on customers. See the February 17, 2009, “Customer Experience Correlates To Loyalty” report. 8 “Super users” is the term referring to between 1% to 2% of community members that contribute between 40% and 60% of community content. The term “1:9:90” refers to the fact that 1% of your community creates most of the content, 9% will reply to what is posted, and 90% will just read what is posted. 9 Having a presence on a social networking site allows a company to engage existing customers and engage potential prospects. Some customers may have already taken the initiative to create an unofficial group about your brand to discuss, rant, or rave about your product and services. It’s important to determine your brand strategy for these types of sites and which audiences you want to reach and to determine what goals you want to accomplish via the site before proceeding. Source: Clara Shih, The Facebook Era, Prentice Hall, 2009. © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 25. 24 Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence For Business Process & Application Professionals 10 The team at Carnival was looking to create a social networking site that would provide a way for booked guests to spread the excitement about their cruise(s), invite their friends and family to join them, and essentially “own” a mini-community centered around their upcoming cruise vacations. Source: Telligent, 2009 (http://telligent.com/customers/lifestyle/carnival%2Dcruise%2Dlines/) 11 The Consortium For Service Innovation research shows that organizations are good at solving known problems with known solutions. However, those issues account for about 1% of the customer service issues. The balance of customer demand for support is divided into 9% — issues that are known, but you haven’t created information for customer service agents — and 90% — issues that are unknown and thus the solutions are unknown. Online communities and peer-to-peer interactions provide companies with some of the best content for these issues. Source: Ann M Marcus, ed., “A Demand-Based View of Support”, The Consortium For Service Innovation, August 2006. (http://www.serviceinnovation.org/included/docs/ kcs_fttcpaper.pdf) 12 Forrester calculated the return on investment, for a small to medium-sized call center, for the deployment of an online customer service community. The costs, benefits, risk and other factors show a quick time to value and a large, ongoing ROI. See the June 30, 2009, “The ROI Of Online Customer Service Communities” report. 13 The forum has received positive reviews and proved successful. To take advantage of the technology, myFICO.com launched a VIP private board, which allows the company to interact directly with super users, cultivate these power users, and ensure that forum posts are high-quality and supportive to forum members. In fact, the forum has helped serve more than 850,000 members since its inception. Most of the users that visit and/or post to the forum are customers that likely would have only called support lines in the past for answers to their questions. Source: “FICO Creates World Class Support: Mobilizing And Engaging The Customer Network,” 2009. (http://www.lithium.com/pdfs/casestudies/Lithium-FICO-Case-Study.pdf) 14 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining ACT!’s focus on customer experience best practices to reduce customer service costs. See the August 14, 2009, “Case Study: ACT! By Sage Uses Social Media To Transform the Customer Experience” report. 15 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining Infusionsoft’s focus on the customer experience to improve customer service. See the August 14, 2009, “Case Study: Infusionsoft Improves The Customer Experience Via Social Media” report. 16 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining Lenovo’s practice of determining business case best practices to reduce customer service costs. See the August 14, 2009, “Case Study: Lenovo Takes Ownership of Social Media To Reduce Customer Service Costs” report. 17 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining Cisco Consumer Business Group’s use of social media best practices. See the September 28, 2009 “Case Study: Cisco Consumer Business Group Builds The Business Case For Social Media” report. 18 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining Intel’s use of social media best practices. See the September 28, 2009, “Case Study: Intel Uses Social Media To Transform The Customer Experience” report. August 14, 2009 © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited
  • 26. Best Practices: Five Strategies For Customer Service Social Media Excellence 25 For Business Process & Application Professionals 19 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining NetApp’s use of social media best practices . See the September 28, 2009, “Case Study: NetApp Marketing Takes Ownership Of Its Community Initiative To Ensure Success” report. 20 Forrester published a detailed case study outlining Yola.com’s use of social media best practices. See the September 28, 2009, “Case Study: Yola.com Achieves Customer Service Scalability Goal Using Social Media” report. © 2009, Forrester research, inc. reproduction Prohibited August 14, 2009
  • 27. Making Leaders Successful Every Day Headquarters Research and Sales Offices Forrester Research, Inc. Australia Israel 400 Technology Square Brazil Japan Cambridge, MA 02139 USA Canada Korea Tel: +1 617.613.6000 Denmark The Netherlands Fax: +1 617.613.5000 France Switzerland Email: forrester@forrester.com Germany United Kingdom Nasdaq symbol: FORR Hong Kong United States www.forrester.com India For a complete list of worldwide locations, visit www.forrester.com/about. For information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Support at +1 866.367.7378, +1 617.613.5730, or clientsupport@forrester.com. We offer quantity discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions. Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward- thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 20 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 26 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit www.forrester.com. 48001