Liz Brown Bullock, Director of Social Media and Community, Dell, presents how Dell has used social media to build trust and deepen customer relationships by listening, engaging and acting. Presentation at Marketing Science Institute Board of Trustees Meeting April 2013 with the topic, Building Trust in a Digital Age.
Businesses are facing a fundamental paradigm shift. With the increase of advertising clutter and lack of trust, customers are turning to their peers and like minded consumers to make product decisions. Think about the last time you made a purchase. What was the process for attaining information for that product and making that decision? I’m planning upcoming summer vacation with the family. I’m thinking about initially asking my FB friends for recommendations, then going to various travel sites to research ratings & reviews and peer feedback, along with photos. Whom do you trust better? Adverting brochure vs. friend or peer’s recommendation on your next vacation. More than ever a company’s brand is influenced by what consumers are saying about the brand We have a democratizing trend of the redistribution of influence. We gone from 2000 where is what very few people controlling the conversation, fixed, monologue to 2013 it is many and customers are co-creating our story, it’s a dialogue. Edelman Trust Barometer analyzes whom consumers trust and 2013 findings show an academic or person like you is 2X as trusted vs Chief Executive or government official. Additionally, customers are moving in droves online. 80%s of consumers search for a product online weekly. Oh – and 25% of search results for world’s top 20 largest brands link to user generated content. How companies market, sell and support their customers is fundamentally changing.
According to Edelman Trust Barometer in the past five years, customers expectations for companies have shifted from focus on operational excellence to importance of building trust via more engaging, external facing behaviours and policies that contribute to personal satisfaction, customer satisfaction and the greater good. Edelman identified 5 trust performance clusters in order of importance: engagement, integrity, products and service, purpose and operations at the bottom. Additionally, business must change how they are engaging. The traditional pyramid of authority with messages being pushed down from the top, is now joined by employees, active consumer, social activists involved in real-time, peer to peer dialogues. You need to be listening, contributing and acting on those peer-to-peer conversations in order to be a better business. You can’t sit on the sidelines, anymore. You must engage or die.
Social Media offers Dell more opportunities to listen, engage and ultimately understand our customers better than ever before. Our strategic approach to the growth of social media is to build a social business. We’ve been seven years in the journey to embed social in the fabric of the company – across the entire organization: marketing, sales, product group, online, HR to bring our customer front and center. Social Media has proved to be about more that business transactions or top of marketing funnel. After 7+ years, we have concluded that social impacts every aspect of customer experience and lifecycle in positive ways and sometime even more impactful vs. other mediums. Today, we see social media as tool to be used across the fabric/functions of our businesses to build better business and be more connected with customers (i.e. the social web is not just about marketing or a customer support channel, rather it is a tool to be used to collaborate, connect and constantly do more with customers, from quality, to innovation, to building better business processes, to connecting and sharing real time, as well as solving technical or customer care issues) In March 2006 we established the Online Community Outreach team, a group of tech support experts that reached out to bloggers around the world who had questions or required assistance. Later that year we expanded blog outreach beyond tech support to include any conversations about Dell. 2006 was also the year we launched our blog, Direct2Dell.Moved into communications – using as a channel to tell our story – Direct to DellDeveloped into crowd sourced product and service development with IdeaStormGone multi-lingual – multi-platforms – from our own .com/blog out to those customers select for themselves – no good just listening to the conversations in English, in your own front room - got to get out into the street to hear what customers really thinkInternal and external – agent for collaboration and innovation within the organisation e.g. Employee Storm; ChatterDirect sales (or facilitation) channel – lot made of our sales on platforms like twitter with @delloutlet but also important to realise that buying behaviours for products and services are also now heavily influenced by the social web – the opinions of trusted friends often first port of call (social web friends; bloggers)…so bringing those views into the buying process is impactful – so dell.com brings reviews/ratings front and centre with customersPower of advocates/ambassadors not to be underestimated – your team members are powerful voices for your brand/products and services… SMaC training and open access to all the tools they need at work to both LISTEN and ENGAGE
As we’ve approached social, we’ve put the customer first. This is relationship marketing and opportunity to get closer to the customer than ever before. Our mantra is listen, engage, act. Like in any relationship – you must listen and have some form of engagement in order for that relationship to be successful. At a very high-level, we saw that in listening to our customers, there were conversations where customers had ideas and wanted to co-create with us, technical needs and questions and positive conversations around our products and marketing campaigns. We’ve build programs to support those various conversations, so that we may learn and contribute with our customers.
Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) Days:The goal for these events is to hold open, honest and collaborative dialogues in person with up to 20 customers at a time who are ranters or ravers online about Dell products. It provides an opportunity for Dell and participants to build relationships and learn from each other, bring their collective communities and feedback together and have an engaging conversation. CAP Days is a time for Dell to listen to customers’ feedback first-hand, show off the latest and greatest products, discuss improvements they’ve made to the business and foster a relationship with the group and their social communities. Dell has hosted CAP Days events in the U.S., Canada, Germany, UK and China on topics ranging from laptops to customer support to its enterprise storage offerings.The original CAP Days event had more than 128 million impressions on Twitter. That original group was brought back to Round Rock one year after the first event for a reunion event where Dell shared the progress it had made implementing the suggested changes. Social Think Tanks:Dell’s Social Think Tanks evolved out of the CAP Days program. However, rather than a dialogue with customers, these are in-person conversations with online influencers covering a particular industry or technology. And rather than a discussion about Dell solutions, the discussion centers on the challenges, opportunities and the future of a particular industry or technology.These events are in person for a group of up to 20 influencers and are moderated by a 3rd party expert such as an analyst or professorDell has held social think tank events on topics such as healthcare, education, small business, cloud computing, and customer support.These events provide an opportunity for Dell to listen and understand key priorities and needs of potential customer base and build relationships with important influencers in the given industry.Dell’s CAP Day & Social Think Tank program has grown from 2 events in 2010 to 5 events in 2011, 20 events in 2012, and 8 events so far in 2013.
According to ReadWrite Enterprise, “IdeaStorm is one of the touchstones of the enterprise social media age.” Launched in 2007, Dell’s IdeaStorm is a community site where anyone can submit ideas about improving Dell’s products/services, and allows the community to vote for their favorite submissions. Recently reinvigorated, the redesign supports more robust ideation, more prominent member presence and better social sharing. Dell has 28 IdeaStorm Partner employees, representing every aspect of our product line, who promote two-way dialogue between Dell and the community, IdeaStorm is also used to for customer feedback when Dell is in the process of designing/developing new products. In this situation, Dell puts its own ideas on IdeaStorm, hosting a “Storm Session.” Taking place in real-time, participants join a session to provide feedback on issues/proposed products.
How Dell is using social media to deepen customer relationships and build trust
How Dell is using social media todeepen relationships & build trustLiz Bullock, Director Social Media & MarketingLiz Brown Bullock (LinkedIn)@lizbbullock#MSITMtg
Power of social media: More than ever – a company’s 90% trust recommendations from brand is influenced by what people they know. 70% trust consumers are saying about the consumer opinions posted online. brand 14% trust advertising (Nielsen, 2009) A professor or person like you is 25% of search results How companies trusted 2x as much for the world’s top market, sell to and as a chief executive 20 largest brands are support their or government links to user- customers is official generated content changing… (Socialnomics, ’09) (Edelman Trust Barometer, ‘13)2 Confidential Global Marketing
Engage or Die…Customers expect more.• In 5 years trust attributes have shifted from operational excellence to more engaging, external facing behaviors – Listens to customer needs and feedback – Takes responsible actions to address an issue or crisisTops down message won’t cut it aloneanymore.• Action consumers, social activists, employees involved in real-time, peer to peer dialogues3 Confidential 4/16/2013 • Edelman Trust Barometer 2013 Global Marketing
Dell’s Social Media Journey4 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
Seven years journey of embedding social to be a better business AltimeterFebruary 2006 March 2008 June 2009 Dell February 2007 recognized DellMichael Dell asked Accepted Solutions Global Twitter with “Open namedWhy don’t we reach out and help IdeaStorm launched launched on Community revenues of Leadership Award the No.bloggers with tech support issues? A voting based site allowing $6.5 M for Innovation and customers and others to Dell France begins Online May 2008 1 most Community Outreach Execution” submit ideas for Dell. Dell Outlet achieved social October 2007 $0.5M in sales via Twitter brand Michael Dell quoted in Business March December 2006 Week 2010 Ratings and In response to Jeff Jarvis question around Dell whether companies want to be part of the January 2009 joins reviews launched online conversation: ”My argument is you December 2010 Dell Organizes June 2009 Sina on Dell.com absolutely do. You can learn from them. You Social Media can improve your reaction time. And you can into four $2M+ Sales Weibo Listening be a better company by listening and being customer via Twitter in Command involved in that conversation.” focused China Center launched business units 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Social Media & July 2006 Community June 2007 2009 University (SMaC U) Direct2Dell launched Today Direct2Dell exists in Dell joined Twitter June 2008 Dell TechCenter launched English, Spanish, Norwegian, Channel 5,000 team EmployeeStorm January Spring 2009 members trained by 6 Awards for the Japanese and Chinese. blog December launched 2008 Members of end of year Social Media Listening launched 2009 Internal Blogs Launched Dell aligns Community Command Center Huffington January 2007 for Employees. organization and Post Blog StudioDell launched November 2007 for success Conversations B2B pages on Dell’s video and podcast site, with DellShares deployed FacebookAugust 2006 helpful tips and tricks. Eventually launched within each of expanding this into the YouTube April 2008Blog outreach The first investor the new Dell channel making sharing easier. Inside IT launched June 2010expanded beyond relations blog by a Blog focused on business Business units public company. CAP Days launchedtech Support customers, and Cloud In-person events for vocal Computing. online customers 5 Global Marketing
Listen, Engage, Act Customer Listen to customer conversations across online Ideas Customer Needs Brand Reputation • IdeaStorm • Tech & care support • Thank you & delight • Collaboration • Sales support • Employee advocacy • Providing communities Product Sales Marketing HR Online Group6 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
Listening to Be A Better Business, across the Business7 Confidential Global Marketing
Dell’s CAP Days & Social Think Tanks Outside In Inside OutCustomer Customer Influencer InfluencerFeedback Feedback Dialogue DialogueCustomer Customer Influencer InfluencerFeedback Feedback Dialogue DialogueCustomers giving feedback on Dell’s business Dell facilitating topic-based discussions & brainstorms with influencers not customers Global Marketing
IdeaStorm & Storm SessionsLaunched in 2007 to provide customers withavenue to share ideas on products, servicesand operations• 60,000+ User Accounts• 18,000+ Ideas• 739,000+ Votes• 97,000+ Comments• 520 Ideas ImplementedMost recently supported new productlaunch (Project Sputnik) to address newtarget audience (developers)• Ideastorm members 50% higher in revenue vs. non members• Purchase Frequency 33% higher9 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
Customer ExperienceSocial Outreach team formed in 2006• Tech support experts were then hand- selected for their tech problem-solving expertise and superior interpersonal skills• On average team addresses 3,000 posts a week in 11 languages – 98% resolution rate – 45% ranters to ravers conversion – Team proactively developing helpful content based listening and engagements10 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
Thanking Customers #DellLoveSurprise & delight our customers to create memorable experiences• Weekly videos created to thank customers• Ability to answer questions or offer Product Recommendations• 200+ videos created to date with 4MM+ reach• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En5putiBDTg “By creating this video to thank me, Dell has successfully evangelized itself … I will go on and on about this incident anytime someone talks to me about Dell or seeks my advice while buying a computer. And so I act as an evangelist for Dell which can possibly get them more business.” – Social Paparazzi, HappyMarketer.com11 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
Drive cultural change: Training, enablement & customer- connection12 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
Empowering employees: Social Media & CommunityUniversity Policy Principles Governance Training & Tools13 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing
SocialSME (Subject Matter Experts)Train SME’s to be social thoughtleaders, develop key influencer andcustomer relationships and thrive inrelevant online communitiesValue: Impact Dell’s share of voice,sentiment, SEO, solutions andultimately salesIndividual scorecards: Revenue,share of voice, earned media value,SEO and engagement14 Confidential 4/16/2013 Credibility Sees Dramatic Changes: Edelman Trust Barometer 2012 Global Marketing
Closing with final thoughts…• #1 Trust is not a commodity. It cannot be bought, it must be earned• #2 Embrace all channels of communication both offline and online and actively listen• #3 Provide opportunities for your consumers, advocates and employees to co-create and be part of your process• #4 Engagement and Integrity are critical for success in building Trust• #5 Train your employees – and even offer a class on listening for insights and how to bring into the business15 Confidential 4/16/2013 Global Marketing