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The Social Care Imperative: Four Steps to Drive Brand Health and Customer Acquisition

There are four proven steps you should follow to set up a successful social care program:
1. Diagnose the current state of customer service and model the business case for social care
2. Create a comprehensive social care playbook
3. Design and build the new social care organizational model
4. Track and measure performance

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The Social Care Imperative: Four Steps to Drive Brand Health and Customer Acquisition

  2. 2. THE SOCIAL CARE IMPERATIVEFOUR STEPS TO DRIVE BRAND HEALTH AND CUSTOMERACQUISITIONGone are the days when customer service was the Brands that still try to control the messages andexclusive purview of Operations and Marketing the marketing channel are destined to fail becausecould focus solely on disseminating upbeat this approach runs contrary to customer centricity.messages. Fast adoption of social media is quickly Today, consumers increasingly determine when,blurring the lines between Marketing and Customer where and how they want to engage with brands.Service. Customers cannot be herded to voice their A top 10 U.S. bank experienced this when trying toquestions, issues and complaints only on “service force all service issues to be handled on Twitter,channels.” They want to be served where they while keeping its Facebook fan pages clean, tidy andchoose, even if it litters “neat” marketing channels positive (Figure 1).(e.g., your company-branded Facebook page).FIGURE 1: CUSTOMER COMPLAINS TO BANK X ON FACEBOOK AND IS DIRECTED TO TWITTER Bank X (Response 1) Bank X attempts to redirect customer Customer Complaint service issue to Twitter to Bank X Customer (Response 2) Customer clearly states @bankx i do not wish to use twitter & its a sad & pathetic desire not to use Twitter way to offer customer service via twitter... Bank X (Response 3) @Customer: A phone conversation will certainly happen once your Bank X continues to tweet has been received by the @BankX_Help team. From here, they encourage customer to will take the conversation into a Direct Message, where they will ask use Twitter, offering a you for your phone number and contact you. By starting with a tweet brief description of the to the team, it helps us to track all servicing request to ensure your process case is resolved and closed in a timely way. ^bw Customer (Response 4) The customer voices frustration with the service experience - Bank X does not respond again 1
  3. 3. NM INCITE WHITE PAPER | THE SOCIAL CARE IMPERATIVE What is Social Care? Social care is a system for companies to regularly provide customer service through social media platforms. Companies listen at the brand and category levels for customer questions, issues, needs and concerns, and address them through the social channels where existing and prospective customers express themselves. Full issue resolution might involve taking the conversation privately online (e.g., direct messages on Twitter), or diverting it to other channels such as phone, email or chat. In some industries, companies might develop and rely on user communities to answer peer questions. In its more advanced form, companies listen for customer needs beyond their own brands, and may reach out beyond Facebook and Twitter into online boards and blogs to offer help, build relationships and engage new customers. This enables Customer Service and Marketing to partner for success. If your company has a 1-800 number for customer service, social care applies to you. Higher customer satisfaction is immediately tied to the customer’s ability to influence peers across their social graph, with implications for your branding, sales and marketing efforts. There is also value to be gained by making it easier for customers to reach you, from “call diversion” and from operational efficiencies.With consumers expressing themselves more frequently acrossa growing number of social channels, and sharing opinions A single negativeand recommendations with a group of peers and influencersthat extend beyond a brand’s realm of control, the picture customer experience posted in public cangets complicated for marketers. Compounding this, McKinseyresearch shows that a single negative post on social media has,on average, as much impact on customer purchase decisions asfive positive posts.1 In other words, Marketing can be toiling hard wipe out the effect ofto build the brand and generate positive sentiment, but a singlenegative customer experience posted in public can wipe out theeffect of five positive customer messages. five positive customer messages. For customers, there is value in being able to post questions, raise issues and voice concerns through social media channels and receive feedback and responses in near-real time. Research shows that 46% of customers want to solve a problem when they are engaging with a brand on social media.2 In fact, most people do not bother to check whether a company has actually set up a Twitter handle to provide such support. They simply go to Twitter, post their issues and expect a direct response from Negative Positive the business, regardless of whether the business is structured Messages Messages to accommodate this (Figure 2). For a company not equipped to face this barrage and engage effectively, brand equity and brand health are at risk.1 M. Corstjens, A Umblijs. The Power of Evil. Forthcoming, September 2012. Journal of Advertising Research.2 eMarketer. Social Media Customer Service Faces a High Bar. June 2012. 2
  4. 4. Some marketers are embracing this trend and engaging in brand health. To win in this new world, Marketing leaders needbasic social care: by Q4 of 2011 almost half of U.S. companies to recognize that effective social care is imperative to drivingwere already listening and responding to customers via social positive brand health, customer satisfaction and customermedia, primarily through Facebook and Twitter. But what most acquisition.companies have not embraced are the more advanced layers ofsocial care, that, while perhaps more challenging to implement, THE SOCIAL CARE PAYOFFultimately add the most value. Companies face the challengeof not only appropriately responding to service complaints, but Social care may very well be the ‘reality TV’ of customerof effectively organizing their business to efficiently perform, service; it brings the conversation between brands andmanage and measure social care. Companies currently customers into a public arena. This level of visibility can work indabbling in social care often discover that they dont have a brand’s favor when passionate, engaged customer advocacyenough qualified people that can provide real solutions to groups emerge. However, for brands facing negative customercustomer problems, that customer service representatives sentiment across social channels, this visibility compoundsare not properly trained to provide service in a public arena, the issue and can pose a serious challenge for marketers.and that outsourcing the function decreases the likelihood Before you know it, your brand might get ‘voted off the island’of cross-functional treatment of any underlying root causes. through a customer’s next purchase decision. For example, aWith the viral nature of negative customer sentiment online, leading pharmaceutical company got caught in a PR firestormpoorly designed and executed social care initiatives open the after mishandling customer comments on its Facebook pagedoor for disappointed customers and pose long-term threats to about an ad image and was forced to issue a public apology. A telecom company’s position in the marketplace wasFIGURE 2: CUSTOMERS WANT SERVICE ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA jeopardized by poorly addressing the social media channelCHANNEL THEY CHOOSE during a crisis that brought its service down in many countries. TWITTER.COM A leading financial institution experienced spiraling negativity in response to a misguided poll question on Facebook. Customer 1 Like all reality TV, there are attractive payoffs for those who do “How have I been well. Positive brand health and brand equity can be enhanced waiting in HSBC for an and nurtured, and done so at a relatively low cost compared hour and a half!” to more traditional ‘offline’ marketing and customer care channels. Properly designed and implemented social care models allow marketers to engage with customers at the Customer 2 category level, not just the brand level, and can lead to new “Omfg seriously wtf? customer acquisition. Comcast exemplifies how an effective #HSBC is becoming social care model can help turnaround a tarnished brand.3 By #CapitalOne” effectively dealing with significant negative buzz about its field service, Comcast fueled a change of heart in their detractors, as depicted by the message facilitators posted on their site: “ has now evolved. Customer 3 This is partly because we have declared victory against “#HSBC smh...what the Comcast, a vast, greedy, blundering, tone-deaf corporate hell. Cant believe it” colossus which, in less than two short years, has finally seen the light.” As another example, a prominent U.S. bank is seeing an uptick in satisfied customers and business as they3 Frank Eliason. At Your Service: How to Attract New Customers, Increase Sales, and Grow Your Business Using Simple Customer Service Techniques. Wiley: 1st Edition. 24 April 2012. 3
  5. 5. NM INCITE WHITE PAPER | THE SOCIAL CARE IMPERATIVEeffectively engage brand detractors.4 Studies suggest that branddetractors, when engaged, spend more. “Unless we get socialFor unregulated industries, such as technology, characterized byonline customer enthusiasm, effective social care can harness care right, it riskscrowdsourcing to handle customer questions and issues,thereby lowering overall service costs, engaging customers and sinking anythingpropagating positive discussion. Gartner research shows thatuser communities can reduce support costs by as much as 50%.5 we’re trying to do inTomTom community members handled 20,000 cases in thecommunity’s first month, effectively saving $150k. Best Buy saves Marketing.”$5M annually as their 600,000 users engage in peer-to-peer - CMO of global financial services institutionsupport. Considering the cost of negative public sentiment acrossTHE MARKETING IMPERATIVE social channels, the fact that customer expectations haveThe CMO of a global financial services institution stated that fundamentally changed and the potential to cut costs, drive brand"Unless we get social care right, it risks sinking anything were health and acquire new customers, marketers simply cannottrying to do in Marketing." afford to ignore social care (Figure 3). There are four steps toFIGURE 3: SOCIAL CARES TWOFOLD IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS High 10% Illustrative Marketing Efficiency & Customer Customer Retention Med. 30% Acquisition Positive service When issues are resolved, satisfied Level of experiences establish User not on customers engage in positive commentary, issue consumer trust and company which... complexity loyalty website Low 60% • is visible to customer’s “social graph” on • e.g., 64% of online User on Facebook and Twitter customers that company • engages customer’s contacts in brand/ receive an answer website product discussion, revealing new target from a business on customers Twitter would be more Call Volume • provides a target audience at zero likely to make a Users that look up service number on effective CPM purchase1 company website before calling are ripe for online engagement to resolve issue: • Lower costs to service each issue • Provide better customer convenience Increase Market Share & Customer Satisfaction and thereby, maintain higher customer satisfaction 1 InboxQ. Twitter Q&A Census. 26 May 2011.4 Javelin Strategy & Research. Banking and Social Media: Easy to Say, Hard to Do. 10 Jan. 2012.5 The Economist. June 2012 Edition, citing Gartner research. 4
  6. 6. enable you to build an effective social care model that will customers. Unlike traditional service script books that canappropriately combat public brand negativity and transform dehumanize and damage a brand, the social care playbookyour customer service into a vehicle that drives business defines guidelines that allow trained service representativessuccess: to appropriately respond to a situation. Effective social care playbooks are informed by the contact centers’ script books,1. Diagnose the current state of customer service and model and contain the following elements: t business case for social care he • Systematically identified issues and sub-issues he diagnosis establishes the benchmark on which social T • esponse approaches for each identified issue, R care improvements will be measured. The diagnosis phase indicating if you should publicly respond, escalate it or should account for… take the conversation offline • he current volume of service requests coming in T • Issue prioritization schemes based on business goals through social media channels. It should distinguish • dentification and prioritization of indirect service I between those directed at the company/brand/product opportunities level, and those that may be at the category level (e.g., a person asking a question about a financial product • ramework for seeding, nurturing and monitoring the F without naming a brand). peer-to-peer service community • he breakdown of requests by social media channel – T 3. esign and build the new social care organizational model D primarily Twitter and Facebook, but also boards, forums and blogs. nce the social care playbook is created, the managing O department needs the ability to identify issue patterns • breakdown of requests from social media by issue A and drive root cause analysis throughout the company to compared to the issue breakdown (“issue trees”) of the troubleshoot. An effective social care organization nurtures a contact centers – calls, email and chat. customer-centric culture and carries enough clout within the his information will allow you to make an educated set of T company to act as a catalyst for product and process change. assumptions about expected growth trends and forecast the To build an effective social care management process, you average time and cost of handling social care requests. Being need to answer the following design questions: able to predict volumes going forward will be immensely valuable as you set up your operations. • hould social care be handled through a fully dedicated S organic team, or through a collection of individuals from inally, having these numbers will allow you to track if F various units in a ‘virtual’ team? customer issues are starting to divert to social care. And if they are, you can effectively determine your cost savings • hould responsibilities be given to an existing Customer S and in essence, the ROI of social care. But keep in mind, Support team or Marketing team (organic or virtual), or in terms of ROI this approach is conservative since it does should a new team be recruited and staffed? not assign any value to the marketing metrics your brand • ill the organization report through Operations (where W may be tracking and measuring regularly (e.g., a brand’s net contact centers typically report through), Marketing or a promoter score, increased customer advocacy, improved business line (such as eCommmerce/Direct)? sentiment, etc.). • hould there be a centralized global team or should S each region/country handle its own?2. Create a comprehensive social care playbook he social care playbook will guide all service transactions to T rganizational design is followed by the creation of a O successfully build the brand, stimulate advocacy and acquire management process. This defines the relationship between 5
  7. 7. NM INCITE WHITE PAPER | THE SOCIAL CARE IMPERATIVE social care, other service channels, Marketing and the effectiveness metrics that relate to solving the underlying business lines. It should be comprised of both cross- problems. functional root cause analysis and issue resolution teams. It sets up a steering committee and establishes a periodic • • • review process. In todays world, there is a clear imperative for Fortune4. Track and measure performance 1000 marketers to implement effective social care. With the potential for negative discussion to do irreparable dentifying a set of performance metrics and applying them I damage when not caught, the proven cost savings of to the organization and its operations is critical to ensuring diverting service issues from inbound call centers, and your social care program continuously improves. These the potential to conveniently solve customer problems metrics should follow a balanced scorecard approach that and inadvertently gain new customers, social care is includes customer-centric measures (e.g., a net promoter invaluable in today’s market. Innovative global companies score). Productivity metrics centered on key team members are increasingly recognizing that social care is essential to should also be established. Finally, your performance their strategy. Don’t be left behind. tracking should include system-wide efficiency measures (e.g., overall time to issue resolution) and the most important About NM Incite Global Fortune 1000 marketers rely on NM Incite solutions to discover emerging, industry-specific consumer insights and build relevant, differentiated and emotionally engaging brands. NM Incite customers are innovative, global marketing executives in brand management, consumer insights and market research at leading Consumer Packaged Goods, Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology companies. They understand that winning in today’s social world hinges on developing deeper and more provocative consumer and market insights to create superior marketing strategies, boost brand strength, develop new products, innovate in customer care and maximize the impact of marketing campaigns. NM Incite is a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey Company, bringing to bear deep expertise in measurement science and management consulting. As one of the largest global leaders in applying social media to solve marketing problems, NM Incite operates in over 30 markets, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, India, China, Japan and Australia. 6
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