The Customer Experience Exec


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I recently had the opportunity to speak to a large health care company about customer listening, analytics and social media strategy. They asked that we come in to do a primer on the topic and then demonstrate how our products could help them with their strategy. When I entered the room there were a lot of people there! I got a little nervous….but I noticed that they were introducing themselves to each other. I asked the project sponsor what was going on and she said we don’t know each other – we were brought together as leaders from various parts of the organization (customer service, member services (fancy name for sales), public relations, marketing, business process and an IT guy for good measure!) to create a strategy and set of processes for how to interact with customers in social media! The initiative began with our discussion….

I felt privileged to share our customer learnings – about everything from listening strategy, to influencer monitoring, determining how messages could be tracked, routed and responded to, etc with this group. We had a healthy discussion about all of these topics – and went through some excellent examples of how other companies do this (let me know if you’d like us to share these best practices with your company!) We also demo’ed our product. We looked back 7 days at discussions online about the company and its products. We found about 10,000 mentions! Wow. Lots of conversations. We looked closer and figured maybe half were ones that were true opportunities for engagement…..conversations where customers were either looking for service (which sometimes came in the form of a complaint about an experience,) looking for new products (e.g., adding a new family member to the health plan or changing the service) or expressing opinion about something. Well responding to 5K messages in a week or so, that takes scale….the ability to cull through the 10K messages to automatically figure out which of the 5K are the ones worth engaging on, we were glad to be able to focus on how to automate this – but to do it in a way that is in alignment with the expectations from social media (check out @themaria blog on this topic.)

Over the past 18 months many of us here at Attensity have had the same experience. We’ve worked with organizations just trying to figure out how to listen, analyze and act on the voice of the customer. We’ve seen people from all parts of the organization come-together around the customer. We wrote a whitepaper (circa 2007) about the customer experience exec. At the time, it was way before its time. We had met a few of these execs in some of our more innovative customers (Overstock, JetBlue) – but in most cases, we were still talking to functional owners (marketing, customer service, customer loyalty) who took it upon themselves to figure this out. To try to break down barriers and create processes for interacting with customers, no matter what the topic or channel. What we have found lately is that social media has put this, cross functional role of caring for the customer (no matter through awareness, service or feedback) back into motion. We are glad to see this new role emerging in companies. Whether it’s someone who is leading the cross-functional charge or whether it is someone that has reporting/management responsibility for people who interact with customers…It ultimately bodes well for the customer – which bodes well for business.

Has your company created this role?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michelle deHaaff
Michelle leads marketing at Medallia, the leader in SaaS Customer Experience Management and has over 18 years of experience in marketing, branding, product management and strategic partnering in Silicon Valley. Michelle came to Medallia from Attensity where as Vice President of Marketing and Products she led the transformation of the brand and the products to be the leader in Social Analytics and Engagement. Michelle also led Marketing at AdSpace Networks, was a GM of Products at Blue Martini Software and worked at Ernst & Young as a CRM practice manager.


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