By Ivar Kroghrud
Feedback can come from various sources, whether it be customer surveys, customer reports or increasingly, a social medium. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, commented that: “The strength of social media is that it empowers individuals to amplify and broadcast their voices.” This social change is having a serious impact on business strategy and is changing the way organisations operate.
With the social conversation controlled by the customer, it is essential that communications are listened to and the appropriate response is administered. The credibility of a brand can be tarnished by one stray comment as a detractor voices their feelings. It is the ability to manage these relationships that can quell potential backlashes and positively position an organisation in the social space.
An increase in customer touch-points, via social media, has resulted in an increase in data. In fact, a study featured in The Economist, from the beginning of this year, showed that 62% of workers are already overloaded with data that they cannot make sense of. This is only going to get worse.
The same survey also predicted that by 2020 ‘data-deluge’ will grow by more than 40 times. With an explosion of communication through social media channels, it is increasingly important to have a social customer relationship management (Social CRM) strategy in place. This can enable feedback from all channels to be efficiently analysed and appropriated – strengthening customer engagement.
However, Gartner believes that the most significant barrier that organisations face in the adoption of social measurement, is a lack of strategy and understanding. This is also combined with an inability to determine ROI . A social CRM solution is not simply a case of just putting the technology in place.
Remembering the ‘C’ the ‘R’ and the ‘M’
Yes, social CRM tools provide the analytic capabilities to gain insight, but it is a common misconception that this is all an organisation needs. The most important part of the process is using the information that the technology produces to genuinely interact and build relationships with customers. This interaction must then be measured and a tangible analytics report produced to feedback into business strategy.
There is no hiding from the fact that organisations face serious negative implications from misguided customer interaction, particularly with relatively unregulated channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Where previously a disgruntled individual would be dealt with through private corporate channels, social media allows the amplification of any negative feelings.
It is for this reason that businesses must pay more attention to the ‘R’ in the CRM acronym. Those that have a customer-centric approach to business, have the opportunity to genuinely foster relationships, which will ensure ongoing customer involvement. This can be measured through impacts on revenue or similar KPI’s. User data acts as another input to feed algorithms predicting customer value scores and optimal brand actions. This makes the profile of social media users more tangible, actionable and extendable.
Today, having an authentic and engaging voice in social media is critical for almost every organisation. The social medium has allowed businesses to have deeper, more meaningful and personalised relationships with their customers. By developing the ‘R’ in the CRM acronym, companies can drive customer engagement to the next level – customer loyalty.
By embedding the customer relationships into the business process, organisations can create, and amplify positive customer experiences. This is achieved by the implementation of a comprehensive feedback and engagement platform allowing a complete customer experience process.
Making customer conversations count
Customers thrive in a feedback culture with continuous and inclusive engagement coming from the organisation. Instead of passively monitoring digital behavior and projected sentiment, QuestBack Social Insight provides a new way to interact with people to both understand and activate customers and other stakeholders.
Our social insight tool allows organisations to go far beyond quick polls. They can find out the attributes, actions and attitudes of this at-the-ready audience, with the resulting insights used to inform future interactions and brand strategy.
Customers will always interact with brands whether their feedback is negative or positive – ‘C’. However, it is down to each individual organisation to develop the experience and maintain the relationship – ‘R’. With measurable and controllable actions providing tangible data and ROI, social CRM tools cover the ‘M’. CRM helps ensure that the customer experience is king.
About the author
Ivar Kroghrud is CEO. Ivar has been with QuestBack since the Company was founded in 2000, and is responsible for the overall running of the company. Before joining QuestBack, Ivar worked as a management consultant, focusing on strategy and eBusiness. Ivar holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy and a Master’s degree from the Norwegian School of Management (BI).
QuestBack is a global leader in enterprise feedback management, customer experience management, Social CRM and market research solutions. The company’s SaaS-based feedback and dialogue solutions enable organizations to gain actionable insights and build stronger relationships with customers and employees. More than 5,000 global customers – including Volvo, Ernst & Young, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Bosch – rely on QuestBack to increase customer and employee satisfaction through real-time feedback. Founded in 2000, QuestBack is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and privately held with 19 offices worldwide.