Organizations Must Overcome Four Fears To Master Social Customer Data
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been criss-crossing the country on a multi-city speaking tour talking about the strategic value of customer data. (In full discloure, the tour is sponsored by Informatica). As we talk about the implications of social media and customer data, inevitably the audience raises four main concerns:
- Existing models outdated, but must be adjusted. How business is conducted does not reflect the shift to a social construct. Existing systems rewarded management and control not engagement and influence. Organizations and business processes must support engagement and relationship applications.
- Organizations are no longer in control, and must build or reestablish relationships. Social opens up a can of worms. Organizations who believe they are in control will quickly find out how little control they have. Organizations must foster communities so that relationships can be nurtured.
- Volume of requests keep increasing, thus automation is the key to sanity. Those who experiment in social media often find out quickly they can not scale in a 1-to-1 fashion. The empowerment of the individual means an increase in expectations in response and quality of service. Automation tools must be put in place to manage, triage, and predict requests.
- Data deluge will kill the business, yet the data is the strategic asset. Huge amounts of information from unstructured sources such as comments, blogs, tweets, and video inundate existing systems. Signal to noise ratios decrease with all the noise. However, the relationships to the customer in orders, comments, products, services, interaction histories, and sentiment is more valuable than any other asset in the company.
The Bottom Line: Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.)
At this point in the discussion, the audience inevitably asks the same set of questions, “How do I start? Where do I begin?”. The strategy for success – start with three simple tactics.
- Prepare for social data. In all your customer facing systems, leave a column to capture social data. Even before an investment is made, organizations must ready themselves for new sources and data types.
- Capture social media in customer facing processes. Start by asking for twitter handles and facebook id’s at every customer facing interaction. Online transactions should have popups, contact center agents should ask upon interaction, and store managers should ask at point of sale.
- Listen before you act. Armed with social data correlated with existing customer information, organizations embark on listening programs. Track trends by socialgraphic whether it touches on a region, product, interest group, or social economic class. More importantly, track competitors and compare with existing customers.
With these three steps, organizations will have put in place the fundamentals to begin any social business program. More importantly, these tactics provide the foundation for success without making costly investments.
To find out more, join me at the Informatica Customer Data Forum over the next 2 weeks.
|May 10 – Toronto, ON Canada
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
|May 11 – Dallas, TX
Crowne Plaza Hotel
|May 12 – Rosemont, IL
Hilton Rosemont – Chicago O’Hare
|May 17 – Edina, MN
The Westin Edina Galleria
|May 18 – San Francisco, CA
W San Francisco
|May 19 – Carlsbad, CA
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
Trying to fix your CRM program? Have a lessons learned from your Social CRM initiative. Got a question? Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.
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(Cross-posted @ A Software Insider's Point of View)