Integrated Social Networks Analysis: Communities For Customer Support.

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As I was watching this video recording from one of the last year meetups on Social CRM and The Future of Customer Service, I realized that Kira Wampler from Intuit has raised an interesting point. Is there a need for integrated service/support communities’ management strategies and methodology?

What has changed in a community management space?

Before: companies were creating and managing communities:

Now: users are initiating service/support requests everywhere: on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. , forming their own service/support communities on multiple social networks:

Many companies are struggling with their social media service/support channels strategies.

Here are some lessons learned from Intuit and my thoughts:

-         Based on your products and services pick and prioritize service/support goals per social media channel. In Intuit case, #1 priority is still the internally created communities with millions of users and hundreds of thousands of service requests. The service response goal for Intuit for this channel is 75%. The second most important service/support channel for Intuit is Amazon with target response rate of 100%, etc..

-         Users do want to get support on the same channel they initiated their request at – attempts by Intuit to channel these requests to a special community place have failed;

-         Users trust more their peers for service/support questions;

-         There are many people [experts in your product] out there who will be more than happy to assist others – in Intuit case, they rely almost 100% on their super users to provide Twitter-based technical support;

-         Use community management methodology for social media initiated support communities. Recognize and award most useful users. Kira from Intuit has mentioned about the special Twitter list Intuit has created with the names of the most helpful Twitter-based Intuit users.

Questions to consider:

-         Do you know whether the same gurus who are providing the most helpful support on your internally managed communities are also providing support across social networking channels?

-         Who are the most helpful service/support gurus for your products/services per social networking channel?

-         How can you connect all the dots? How can you make sure people who can provide online support via social networking channels can connect to the ones who need help?

Few weeks ago I did a post on Social Networks Analysis. It was pretty clear from the mentioned diagram that this specific brand did not create twitter-based communities – too many disconnected dots. “Answer” people could not be found anywhere on this graph… Now I think there is a need to create integrated cross-channel communities graph in addition to per-channel social networking diagram to get a better understanding of all the dynamics of all service/support channels. Companies need to come up with integrated service/support communities’ management framework. This will enable them to provide better customer service/support everywhere where the customers are at a lower cost.

Please share with your experiences running service/support operations on social networking channels. Also, make sure you follow our meetup – we have another great panel on The Future of Customer Service coming up on 1/12.

I posted videos from our previous meetups over here.

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