Five steps for Succeeding with Social Media in a Multichannel World

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Here are five steps for companies to define and execute the right channel strategy to meet the demands of the social customer.

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Five steps for Succeeding with Social Media in a Multichannel World

  1. 1. • Cognizant 20-20 Insights Five Steps for Succeeding with Social Media and Delivering an Enhanced Customer Experience Executive Summary heart of the company, where customers become the focal point and the key driver of business The emergence of social media as a mainstream operations. phenomenon is placing a great deal of stress on existing marketing channels. Customers The social component in the CRM model facili- tolerate traditional media channels, but they tates communication and collaboration between are also looking for ways to truly engage with brands and customers to solve business problems, brands through digital means. Presented with shape better experiences, build customer rela- these digital media options, customers are no tionships and garner brand advocacy. Through longer at the mercy of companies’ communication social network integration with traditional CRM choices and procedures. Other than being choosy systems, companies can better monitor, facilitate and demanding, customers often and leverage relationships with their customers. Social CRM places have very little attention span in The integration of social in a traditional CRM the digital world. system allows companies to gather additional the customer at customer data and insights to proactively manage the heart of the Social media is not simply a and implement action plans. fad. Customers have grown company, where to rely on multiple sources of While it is now common knowledge that busi- customers become digital information and expect nesses want to “engage” and “communicate” the focal point and a seamless, easy and proactive with their customers through social channels, communication experience with why are so many of their social efforts misaligned the key driver of companies every day. Therefore, with corporate objectives? Some companiesbusiness operations. it is not enough to engage make the mistake of jumping on the social media with customers on a one-to-one bandwagon without first establishing a business basis. Customers desire multiple sales and support objective. Because they lack a strategic plan, they outlets, and they want to review product and don’t allocate resources to adapt to the tools and company information through third-party venues, engagement methodologies that their customers such as social media sites and online forums, are utilizing. Before implementing a social CRM rather than through brand-controlled channels, strategic roadmap, there are two things to keep which makes managing and tracking messages a in mind: determining what your company’s social challenge. Social CRM places the customer at the intent is and crafting a channel strategy. cognizant 20-20 insights | march 2011
  2. 2. The Importance of a Channel Strategy Social CRM is a business-wide strategy for managing real-time enterprise communicationsSo where should companies start? With new with customers, partners, prospects and vendorsapplications, tools and social networks continu- to gather and optimize business processes thatally appearing in the digital landscape, a swirl of span various functions to increase customer sat-noise and chaos threatens to distract companies isfaction. We will start by identifying the two setsfrom planning and implementing their strategies. of channels and their differences.Companies will need to mine intelligence from thedata chaos and create actionable insights in order Channel Typesto keep abreast of the competition. • Individual Channel: Traditional CRM is opera- tionally and internally focused with a client-While many businesses are starting to invest in centric approach. This channel focuses onmonitoring tools, many fail to derive any real a one-to-one relationship with customers,value from the data or gain insightful intelligence while providing the company with an overallfrom their investment. Companies need to have viewpoint of the customer’s interaction witha strategic process in place before executing service tickets, e-mail communication andsocial efforts that are aligned with their goals and telephone tech support. For example, escalatedobjectives. customer concerns are routed to the appropri-Customers are increasingly participating in commu- ate department and key contact to assist thenities, forums, blogs, various social networks and customer with her query. Metrics and measure-digital mediums. By having a social CRM strategy, ments used to gather customer data in thiscompanies can learn how to obtain direct feedback channel consist of click-through rates, numberfrom customers and transform this unstructured of service calls, direct mail, responses, leads,data into actionable insights. Social CRM can sales revenue and e-mail. Data is relativelyzero-in on customer conversations online through easy to track and depends only on informationlistening tools to pinpoint what customers are that the customer provides.really saying in the digital space and to apply thisknowledge from a business standpoint. Companies • Community Channel: Voyeuristic in nature, this channel allows companies to listen andcan also communicate with their customers in real dive into meaningful and insightful conversa-time to solve immediate issues. tions in the social ecosystem through different channels such as forums, blogs, socialHere are the many benefits that companies can networks, instant chat, etc. This channel canobtain by implementing a channel strategy that be tricky for companies attempting to (effec-comprises corporate strategies coupled with tively) maneuver through millions of conver-social technology platforms: sations and social data. Unlike its traditional CRM counterpart, the community channel• Marketing: Companies can reach their targets more consistently, develop better products and is built on a customer-centric model, where create better customer experiences. Because customers need to be able to find companies of this, companies can increase return on in any channel they choose. investment, reduce traditional marketing costs Types of customer information that can be and improve marketing effectiveness. derived from this model include ratio of positive vs. negative sentiments, keyword• Customer Service/Sales: By having a com- mention trends, number of views, number of munication process in place, a company’s rapid response to social media events can lead brand mentions, etc. Due to its viral nature, to effective crisis management, proactive lead companies will need to ensure that they generation and higher customer satisfaction. conceptualize and execute various types of strategies to adapt to the social customer.• Research & Development: Companies can Communities present an easy way for co-create/innovate with their customers customers to connect with other members through direct feedback and collaboration to who share similar interests and viewpoints. The ensure that better products are being made. community channel has no ties to a specific• Customer Loyalty: By effectively engaging company/brand. Social consumers utilize these with customers through various channels, channels and participate in conversations with companies can foster long-term relations with other consumers in a natural and unrestricted their customers and increase customer loyalty. way. The channels are not controlled or owned cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  3. 3. by the company. Negative comments about • Example #1: If your company’s social intent is companies are widely accepted and, at times, to effectively manage brand reputation, you can nurtured. derive insights and participate in social channels that consist of: Forums and review sites, blogs,For companies to really understand their listening and monitoring, text mining, Facebook,customers’ social behavior, they will need to LinkedIn and Twitter for real-timeembark on a data integration and scalability conversations and comments For companies toexercise to build a comprehensive view of multi-channel social behavior. It is simply not enough about your brand. really understandto rely on individual traditional channels or • Example #2: If your company is their customers’social channels as a silo to understand customer looking to increase R&D involve-dynamics but rather an integration of the two. ment with customers (and reap social behavior, theyCustomers are still engaging with traditional CRM the benefits of decreasing R&D will need to embarkchannels such as e-mail, mobile media, Web sites, costs), you want to form online on a data integrationphone/call centers and search engines, as well communities that foster col-as participating in social communities, forums, laboration and direct feedback and scalabilityblogs, social networks and chat sessions. management. Participation on exercise to build a social networking sites such comprehensive viewWhat companies need to understand is that as Facebook can foster co-capturing an overview of relevant customer data creation, identify focus groups of multichannel and deliver feedback through social behavior.can deliver very positive outcomes. However,customers are more likely to pledge their loyalty interactive contests, surveys,to companies when they effectively engage location check-ins and reward points. Participa-with them in the customer’s preferred channel. tion on Twitter serves both as a broadcastingBusiness use cases and strategies executed tool, as well as a channel for real-time customerthrough traditional and community channels engagement and sentiment analysis.will need to be integrated and fully supportedby this universal goal. It is important, therefore, Another part of this step is to Create an audit/for all companies to understand the differenc- define and develop specifices between the two channels and be ready to social CRM use cases and discovery of yourimplement separate strategies (that share the channel strategies for these company’s currentsame corporate objectives) to ensure across-the- organizational functions: internal socialboard customer satisfaction. • Internal audience: Employees, strategies, identify partners, contractors, vendors.We advocate the following five steps to help the existing social-our clients define and execute the right channel • External audience: Customers, readiness andstrategy to meet the demands of the social partners and across markets.customer. examine the steps • Business functions: R&D, mar-1. Identify Social Intent. keting, public relations, custom- that your companyThe first step for any company to take prior to er service, sales and others. can take to improve.a strategic implementation is to define and 3. Conduct an Audit and Discover Currentunderstand their social intent, which comprises Corporate Strategies, Levels and Resources.goals, objectives and mission statements.Examples of social intent include: increasing Create an audit/discovery of your company’straffic, instituting a crisis reputation management current internal social strategies, identify thestrategy, increasing lead generation or improving existing social-readiness and examine the stepsbrand awareness. The social intent will define the that your company can take to improve. Byplanning, roadmap, framework and strategy that creating a roadmap and strategic process, yourspan channels and internal/external business company can transition from its current state to afunctions. desired social state.2. Define Channel Objectives and Choose the Your audit should include: Right Channel. • An assessment of your customer-based capa-The second step involves identifying your compa- bilities, a refinement of company objectivesny’s social use cases to define channel objectives and an understanding of how these effortsthat are based around your social intent. Here are are currently being integrated into your dailytwo examples of this: operations across business functions. cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  4. 4. • Identification of corporate policies, governance • Establish a clear vision of what your company or regulations that create an opportunity or a is trying to achieve. This means having compa- roadblock. ny-wide social practices, processes, resources (staff, technology, budget, etc.) in place. • Assessment of your digital company culture, including staff, employees and resource allo- • Create a mechanism to prioritize corporate cation. assets and resources required to meet your objectives. Make sure you build clear action • Integration of corporate operational and plans and target social channel utilization to technological CRM tools with existing social channels for seamless deployment and data achieve maximum results. intelligence extracting. • Create an actionable roadmap where you It is important that your company conduct an develop key marketing insights, define projects, enterprise-wide assessment to help understand identify channel choices and decide on social corporate readiness relative to social ownership, use cases in terms of their priority. governance of social CRM and resource allocation Next, build a social CRM roadmap, but only after prior to executing your multichannel strategy. you have your corporate goals and objectives 4. Create a Social CRM Prioritization Model defined. and Build a Social CRM Roadmap. • Understand the health of your company’s At the fourth stage, your company will need to current social CRM performance. Is your identify areas within the organization that are company effectively capturing and tracking most appropriate for leveraging social CRM in valuable customer information? order to maximize efficiency • Establish a clear multichannel mission. What Creating a social and effectiveness and optimize additional information would need to be performance across businessCRM prioritization functions. Creating a social leveraged from your customers to ensure better customer service and data derivation? model can help CRM prioritization model can identify your help identify your organiza- • Understand and compare the state of your tion’s strengths and weaknesses current company’s social CRM initiatives with organization’s to understand the process and that of your desired state. This will determine strengths and time it will take to align your how close you are to establishing that goal. weaknesses to departmental efforts with your • What resources and channels will you utilize? social goals and implementa- Identify your mission and create a defining understand the tion. Companies are encouraged project plan that links a specific social process and time to ask questions such as: channel to strategic execution. An example isit will take to align developing a customer community to reduce • What steps do we take to the cost and volume of service calls.your departmental align our strategy with our efforts with your social intent? • Develop your social CRM business case to understand how financial assets will be social goals and • Are we close to meeting disbursed and how benefits will be measured. our customers’ demands and implementation. expectations? This way, your company can zero-in on important projects that will help your business • Can we identify the gap that exists between become more social, without any added cost. our current social circumstances vs. our desired outcome? • Identify where and what your customers are doing online. How are they communicating Here are a few things to keep in mind prior to online? Why are they communicating in this building your social CRM roadmap: manner? • Develop an all-embracing analysis of your • Establish baselines, benchmarks and project company’s internal-external involvement; timelines for both short- and long-term goals identify road blocks, threats and opportuni- and choose the right channels to deploy the ties. Categorize these based on their levels of strategy based on your targeted customer strengths and weaknesses. demographics. cognizant 20-20 insights 4
  5. 5. • Develop both social policies and best practices, Moving Forward: Keeping Pace with including crisis management, brand reputation Customers’ Social Expectations management and marketing communication. With new customer behaviors and heightened• Create “customer-centric” social governance expectations for engagement in the digital world, within your internal organization to ensure all companies will need to keep up with consumer key stakeholders and executives are equally attitudinal shifts to stay ahead of the competitive informed on social efforts. curve. Social customers expect companies to adapt to changes quickly. They expect brands/compa-5. Conduct Proofs-of-Concept and Experiments. nies to be present in whatever social channel they are participating and demand that companies listen to their Customers knowHow can your organization authenticate the truevalue of social CRM? Proof-of-concept tests andexperiments that cover some of the points below questions, feedback, ideas, com- how critical theycan be great starting points: plaints and reviews (and respond are to every brand’s quickly, of course).• Define the metrics, measurements and success, and they key performance indicators you will use to Customers know how critical they use this as leverage are to every brand’s success, and determine the types of customer data to track. they use this as leverage to direct to direct and For example: Is your business tracking the frequency of complaints filed by customers for and shape marketing messages. shape marketing a given number of days? Are you tracking user Social CRM allows businesses messages. satisfaction and time spent on a given section to have a 360-degree view of of your community? To do this, your company their customers by merging social networking requires separate sets of measurements tools with existing CRM platforms to manage and metrics to derive meaningful business interactions and feedback from one centralized intelligence. location. This allows businesses to effectively manage (and foster) new customer relationships• Identify the tools and resources that are best as well as retain existing customers. Through suited to support your multichannel efforts. active monitoring, listening and engagement with customers in multiple social channels, companies• Identify and define the purpose of data can receive valuable insight into what customers collection. Your company will need to create a are saying about products and services in real process to measure structured vs. unstructured time without the use of polls or surveys. Social data (review, sentiments, feedback, etc.). activities can be tracked, and key data points can• Establish baselines and benchmarks to be entered and merged into a company’s existing measure incremental successes. It is highly CRM system. advisable that efforts are effectively measured to ensure alignment with the social intent. Businesses can obtain a competitive advantage and be early adopters of social CRM through a• Utilize the feedback you receive from the steps general understanding of the steps above. To above to correct underperforming systems maximize revenue and build long-term relations and gather information to execute actionable with your customer (while increasing their lifetime insights based on it. value), you will need to get ready to embrace and map the digital chaos and be an agile enterprise• Rinse and repeat. in this socially-enabled world.About the AuthorsDileep Srinivasan is an Assistant Vice President for CRM and social CRM in Cognizant’s Customer SolutionsPractice. He specializes in helping organizations across industries apply traditional and emerging socialCRM tools to generate long-term business value. He can be reached at Dileep.Srinivasan@cognizant.com.Marguerite Anne is a Principal Consultant in Cognizant’s Customer Solutions Practice. She is currentlyworking on a variety of social media marketing, social CRM, online marketing strategy and contentmanagement consulting engagements. Marguerite can be reached at marguerite.jusuf@cognizant.com. cognizant 20-20 insights 5
  6. 6. About CognizantCognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourc-ing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered in Teaneck,New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry andbusiness process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50 deliv-ery centers worldwide and approximately 104,000 employees as of December 31, 2010, Cognizant is a member of theNASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 1000 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world.Visit us online at www.cognizant.com for more information. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. Haymarket House #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA 28-29 Haymarket Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London SW1Y 4SP UK Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7321 4888 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7321 4890 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: inquiry@cognizant.com Email: infouk@cognizant.com Email: inquiryindia@cognizant.com© Copyright 2011, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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