"Community College": Social Support Strategies


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Amy Muller, Co-founder and Director of Community Education at Get Satisfaction, walks you through how Get Satisfaction can help you connect your support community to different social media channels on the web. And how you create an effective social support strategy.

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  • Today’s subject is Social Support Strategies.

    Everyone’s talking about social media these days, but we’re going to talk practically about how you can use it to improve the experience of support for your customers and prove the results for your business. How you can connect your customers with your Get Satisfaction community space, increase community participation AND use Get Satisfaction to get more out of your social media efforts.

  • What is social support and why is it important?

    Most of us are familiar with Frank Eliason’s efforts over at Comcast with his ComcastCares group which uses Twitter, Facebook and blogs to respond to customers. That’s a great example of Social Support.

  • Social Support is about meeting your customers where THEY are. Engaging with them in the spaces online they’re choosing to talk about you and to you. Then leveraging that to build deeper relationships with them by being as honest and transparent as possible. Your customers are talking about you in these spaces because they’re passionate – for better or worse – and they care about relationships – whether with you directly or with other customers around your products. Take advantage of this new way that customers are thinking about you. By engaging with your customers “out in the wild”, you will build trust with them, which will, in turn, increase customer loyalty, retention and even evangelism. And social support is fundamentally one-to-many and many-to-many, which is where you can realize significant cost benefits.

  • One concept that is core to our understanding of social support is the notion of the “Lazyweb”. The idea is that people increasingly do not bother to find the “proper” channel that the company wants its customers to use. Instead, they are using whatever communication path they prefer—whatever they consider the path of least resistance. This is different for every person—some use Twitter, others might Google for the first result they find. More and more customer-centric companies are adapting to this behavior by creating strategies to respond to users wherever they happen to be talking. This in turn encourages more people to use the Lazyweb rather than using hard-to-use, (all too often dehumanizing) traditional channels. One benefit of the lazyweb is that even when people don’t get a response from the company or someone in their network, at least they felt like they were in control of the situation. Too often in our “take a number” systems we make customers feel disempowered.

    How can we put some structure around a strategy for engaging in this “lazyweb” world? The strategy needs to embrace these new channels but also has to allow us to evolve our existing ones.

  • The components of a social support strategy range from old-fashioned, all the way to the latest social network. It doesn’t mean giving up your old systems, but enhancing your overall strategy to incorporate these new ways.

  • -Help desk or CRM system: your internal systems for managing customer records and providing workflow around support process. These are still important tools for support and are increasingly evolving to integrate with some of the newer tactics.

  • -Managed community: create a safe place to cultivate and organize community knowledge. Traditionally these were forums, but forums are increasingly too isolated and old-fashioned for supporting the range and sources of conversations.

  • -blogging: Blogs have become indispensible as an efficient way of communicating about product issues and updates. If used in concert with a social outreach program they can help promote customer-company collaboration, drive peer-to-peer help and amplify the answers that have the greatest impact.

  • social web monitoring: It’s a big web out there and you never know where people might be expressing frustration with your product. Doing customer support house calls can win you lifelong devotion from would be haters.
  • -Using anything from Google Alerts to Radian6, you can keep tabs on what’s being said about your product and brand out there in the wild.
  • twitter monitoring/responding: Twitter’s strength is that it provides a kind of panic button for people who hit a wall with your product. It’s also become a favorite channel for evangelists to sing the praises of products and develop “influencer” cred. Twitter may be a fraction of the size of Facebook, but it’s users are arguably more influential. It’s certainly a more public place. Increasingly, people search Twitter for a zeitgeist sense for what people think of a product or brand.

  • facebook network: the world’s biggest social network is also the world’s biggest potential support network. While it’s easy to see the potential, until recently the tools for harnessing its power have been weak or non-existent. It will rapidly become one of the most impactful channels to provide support and magnify the goodwill across several degrees of separation.

  • So how can you use Get Satisfaction to leverage your social support? How can you use social support to enhance your Get Satisfaction community? And how can you effectively connect your customers with your Get Satisfaction community?

  • One way of doing this is with our new Facebook Support Tab.
    The Facebook Support Tab allows you to truly get value out of your efforts on Facebook. Many of you may already have a Facebook fan Page for your company and you may have customers interacting with you and each other on your Wall. But there are several limitations to this:

  • 1.The wall changes quickly which means limited exposure of valuable content to your fans and customers
    2.There is no search function which results in costly, repetitive responses
    3.The content has no permanence so there is limited value to internal teams and systems
    4.The content is not optimized for SEO which means you’re getting limited leverage of user generated content.

  • By using the Get Satisfaction Facebook Support Tab, you can get much more value out of your Fan page. And you can leverage your fan page to generate content and activity in your Get Satisfaction community.

    When a user posts a topic in your support tab on FB, that same content is mirrored in your GS community and is then hosted there where you can easily share it internally, export it for reports or product marketing insight and curate it for easy findability by other customers with the same question, issue or idea.

  • Let’s take a look at a couple good examples of Support Tab usage.

  • And as you can see again, the content posted in the Support Tab is mirrored back in the community. So whether your users are on Facebook or in your Get Satisfaction community, they will have access to any relevant content that’s been created in either place and you can engage with them in whichever channel you happen to be in.

  • MogoMoney has done a stellar job pimping out their Support Tab page with a customized design.

  • Want to know more about our Facebook Support Tab? Or just need help getting set up with it? We’ve got a couple of screencasts over at GetSatisfaction.tv that you can check out.

    The Facebook Support Tab is available for $99/month in addition to any Get Satisfaction paid plan.

  • Another component of a Social Support Strategy is leveraging Twitter. We make that really simple at Get Satisfaction with our “Overheard” feature that is free with every community.
    This allows you to do several things.
    You can connect Twitter with your community space to drive traffic to your community; it allows you to make relevant content about your company that is posted on Twitter trackable and findable; and it enables you to have a longer conversation with a customer or even a group of customers as others join in the conversation. And again, it’s all tracked in one topic on Get Satisfaction.

  • You just navigate to the “Overheard” section of your community. Find a tweet you’d like to respond to and click “Reply via GetSatisfaction”.

  • The Twitter user is notified via an @message that you have replied and is provided with a link back to the topic on Get Satisfaction

  • Where they can then see your reply and continue the conversation.

  • And we’ve now given you the option of bringing the Twitter stream of topics about your company front and center in your community with the “On Twitter” tab.

  • The newest member of our social integration family is our Get Satisfaction for Wordpress Plugin. This free plugin allows you to connect your blog with your Get Satisfaction community so that you can instantly turn your blog posts into topics in your community and the comments in your post will post as replies to the topic. This cuts down on the amount of work you need to do to communicate to your customers and gives you yet another channel for connecting your customers with your community.

    Check out our Partners page to find out more at getsatisfaction.com/partners/wordpress.

  • And when talking about connecting your customers with your Get Satisfaction community and generating content in your community, we can’t forget about our widgets. At Get Satisfaction, we offer four widgets that you can easily add to your own web site to both bring your community into your site and connect your customers with your community.

    We’ll take a look at some widget implementation examples and use cases first.

  • A common use case for our widgets it to collect feedback and ideas. Our Feedback Widget was actually designed for this purpose.

    Here, you can see it in use on Cartfly.com. When the tab is clicked...

  • ... it launches the widget where a user can start to post an idea or issue, is presented with some possible matches before then continuing on to create a new topic which will then appear in your Get Satisfaction community. When you or another customer responds to that topic, the original user is notified via email and connected back to your community where they can continue the dialog.
    That’s the basic functionality of the feedback widget, which I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with.

  • But you can get creative with this widget too. Here, Snipi has customized the tab so that it blends in with their overall page design.

  • And then they’ve set the default topic type to “idea” to encourage the use of this widget for collecting ideas and feedback from their customers.

  • Another version of our Feedback widget is the Feedback Page widget, which allows you to embed that widget right into your web page rather than as a pop-up window.

  • The Get Satisfaction widgets can also be leveraged to intercept support issues.

    Here on the Typepad site, they’ve combined the Satisfaction Search and Live Topic widgets with their knowledgebase. This way they give their customers plenty of resources to find their answers before turning to more traditional support channels.

  • Songkick has designed a whole custom help and feedback page around our widgets, our API and some hard coding of topics from their community that they consider to be FAQs.

  • All of these widget implementations also serve to populate your Get Satisfaction community with content, that you then can respond to and curate to make it as useful to additional customers – and potential customers – as possible.

    (A discussion of Basic Widgets vs. Premium Widgets and an overview of all the types of widgets was done as a live demo. No corresponding slides.)

    Some notes about the Topic Widget, though:
    -Notice that with the Topic List widget, you can set it to show only topics associated with a particular Tag or Product or even a particular topic type.
    -This is useful when you want to show dynamic FAQs somewhere on your own web site – just tag the topics you want to appear as FAQs then generate this widget code based on that tag and voila!
    -Another idea is to generate a topic widget based only on “praise” topics. Pop this on your home page or a marketing page in your website for an authentic and dynamic customer testimonials feed.

    Some notes about widget customization:
    -As you can see, you have a lot more customization options in the Premium widgets, including adding your own CSS to the widget. You can do quite a bit of customization just using our configuration tool, but you can also really get as creative as your technical ability permits by playing around with the CSS once you’ve grabbed the widget code and added it to your own HTML.

  • A successful social support strategy involves managing a number of moving parts. These include the elements you control like your managed community and blog, and the channels you most definitely don’t—like Twitter and Facebook. With the specific tips we discussed today, we’re hoping you can make social support work for you.

  • "Community College": Social Support Strategies

    1. 1. Community College Social Support Strategies: Facebook, Twitter, Widgets, and more! Your host: Amy Muller Co-Founder and Director of Community Education Assisted by: Paul Blankinship Director of Customer Satisfaction
    2. 2. Syllabus • Social Support Strategies overview • Facebook Support Tab • Twitter / “Overheard” • Wordpress for Get Satisfaction plug-in • Get Satisfaction Widgets • Q&A 2
    3. 3. 3
    4. 4. What is Social Support? • Harnessing ALL channels of communication available to you and meeting your customers where THEY are. • Understanding that these channels are fundamentally one-to-many and many-to-many, public and are built on relationships. 4
    5. 5. 5
    6. 6. Components of a Social Support Strategy • Help Desk or CRM • Managed Community • Blogging • Social Web monitoring • Facebook network • Twitter monitoring 6
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    14. 14. • How can Get Satisfaction help you leverage your Social Support? • How can you use Social Support to enhance your Get Satisfaction community? • How can you effectively connect your customers with your Get Satisfaction community? 14
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    16. 16. Managing customer engagement on Fan Pages presents challenges • The Wall changes quickly • There is no search function • The content has no permanence • Content is not optimized for SEO 16
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    21. 21. Want to know more about our Facebook Support Tab? • http://getsatisfaction.tv/ 2010/04/get-satisfaction- facebook-tab/ • http://getsatisfaction.tv/ 2010/05/how-to-install-the- facebook-support-tab/ 21
    22. 22. 22
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    27. 27. Get Satisfaction for Wordpress Plugin • http://getsatisfaction.com/partners/wordpress 27
    28. 28. Widgets Feedback Tab Feedback Page 28 Satisfaction Search Topic List
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    37. 37. Q&A Your questions please.... 37 1
    38. 38. Thank You! Our www.getsatisfaction.com/ community More videos getsatisfaction www.getsatisfaction.tv Online help www.getsatisfaction.com/ help 38 1