I always enjoy watching Deborah Eastman, Global GM of Business Consulting at Satmetrix, present. And today her subject is right at the forefront of focus for many companies. What do we do with social media and can this connect to our NPS program? Yes - and this can work best when looking at how you close the loop with customers.
When asked, the audience in the room all appeared to have LinkedIn profiles, FaceBook pages and had watched videos on YouTube. The number of people using Twitter was less but still fairly substantial. This served to underline that social media is a part of our lives - but the challenge is how to use it successfully in business.
To climb to a point of social media maturity, Deb mentions 3 stages: participation, integration and activation. At this point in time, most companies are probably at the first stage. They are participating but perhaps have not made the move to integrating the social media strategy fully with other business objectives. Participation is having the FB page, having LinkedIn groups and tweeting about events etc - just as we are doing for this conference.
Deb used a great example of bad integration of social media with closing the loop - with British Airways trying to use Twitter to deal with customer service issues. She was having issues with a flight. Although BA seemed to be up to speed with social media as a communication channel - they failed to resolve her issue and the experience using Twitter? Well it would be better if they had never offered the option.
Virgin Media are a different matter. Meet the TWEAM at Virgin Media. Sitting as part of the customer service function, they know the importance of closing the loop with the customer. And when Deb used them as a customer - it was a great experience.
Other examples peppering her presentation include Dell (see Rishi Dave present tomorrow at the conference); Bupa International - presenting in about 30 minutes! And the reason for using these examples is because they have real strategies and processes around the use of social media in the way that they communicate with their customers. And it is NOT a one-sided conversation but a dialogue.
To really demonstrate the power of social media - Deb and her technical magician (Anthony Wright - another colleague from Satmetrix) played in the social media space - live for the audience. And it is interesting to see this in action. (You may want to check out Mighty Leaf on FaceBook!!!)
If you are going down this route - using social media within your customer communications and experience - do it well, or don't do it at all.