Social Media and the Customer Experience


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I recently attended a fabulous webinar sponsored by CustomerThink, part of their Social Business Executive Summit: How to Win in the Social Economy. The specific session that I am referring to is, "Best Practices to Create Online Communities to Engage Customers and Increase Loyalty." During this webinar, Jason Mittelstaedt from RightNow Technologies spoke about social media as part of the customer experience.

Jason mentioned that most companies who are engaged in social media (SM) strategy are taking a very silo'd approach rather than viewing SM as part of an integrated brand experience. So many marketers are worried about capitalizing on the social experience that this becomes an inevitable result – jumping on the tools because that's the easy part. Marketers know that they have to be a part of the conversation or they will be left out so they jump.

But the conversation went on to say that most marketers are better equipped than they think to thoughtfully and strategically enter the social media world and to think about an online community as a new channel for their brand. So where do we start?

1. Listen and respond in the Cloud. People are talking about your brand. Listen to the conversations, engage with them and take action.

2. Sponsor and facilitate community. You have already seen brand affinity and know that, in most cases, your customers want to talk.

The bottom line? Social media presence and online communities can and should be part of a great customer experience. So take the right steps to get there. Jason referred to the "8 Social Steps to Great Customer Experience":

  • Common knowledge with customer contributions
  • Empowering customers to help each other
  • Empowering front line employees to gain rich community insights
  • Offer multi-channel choice
  • Listen to customers to learn how to improve
  • Design seamless experiences to turn customers into brand ambassadors
  • Engage proactively: don't wait until you see service issues
  • Measure and improve continuously

And one last point that I found very helpful is to take small leaps in establishing a SM presence and establishing an online community. Listen to your customers, establish your strategy and then work towards one piece at a time.

I welcome your thoughts about establishing social media presence and online communities. What has worked for you and what hasn't?


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Renay Picard
Renay is Quaero's Senior Marketing Manager, responsible for managing marketing communications, thought leadership strategies and demand generation efforts. Renay has more than 1 years of marketing experience delivering high quality b-to-b demand generation campaigns across all mediums.


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