“Everyone handles social media differently. Get used to it.” That’s the perspective Mike Cearley of Fleishman-Hillard brought to the panel “The Business of Social Customer Care” at the Social Media Club of Dallas last Thursday. The panel, moderated by Bryan Person, Director of Social Insights at Social Dynamx, featured varied insights from social customer care experts at FedEx and Nokia.
As an early adopter of social CRM, FedEx has its practice rooted in the contact center. Their approach? Select five of the best call center representatives, keep them in touch with the contact center by working the phones two hours a day, then transfer that customer service skill into the online world of social media, Facebook and blog responses.
As you might expect, FedEx measures its social CRM reps using familiar sounding call center metrics, adapted to social media, such as:
- # authors engaged (authors, because not necessarily customers)
- # authors addressed offline
- Post quality and accuracy
- Latency to close—the on-line world’s measurement for Average Hold Time
Like FedEx, Nokia believes social media customer response is best left to customer service. However, Nokia uses an agency to filter and provide initial response. Due to the more technical nature of its service, Nokia divides its seven-member team into Tier 1 and Tier 2 representatives. They look for more technical subject matter expertise and hire representatives with backgrounds in R&D, product quality and training.
The panel members shares similar approaches for handling unhappy customers. Tony Turnage of FedEx says that “your best judgment is your best tool.” Sometimes a measured response is more appropriate. Cearley asks “Does this call for a bazooka?” If not, step it down. Agents need to discern what is actionable. Companies see little point in responding if griping, rather than problem resolution, is the poster’s objective.
How has social customer care brought value to its organizations? According to Sean Valderus of Nokia, social has taught them the need to move faster. Prior to social media customer care, it would take 2 to 3 weeks to analyze a new handset issue. Social media surfaces the issues more quickly, and Nokia now can analyze new product issues within 24 to 48 hours. As Cearley likes to say “show me the value, and I’ll show you the money.”
Thank you to our platinum sponsor, Sprint, who is promoting the launch of their 4G LTE service in Dallas and Cedars Woodfire Grill for supplying food. Tabbedout, an application supporting mobile payments, generously sponsored the post-event tweetup at Trinity Hall, while Allen Tsai Photography was our photo sponsor. And a special thank you to our annual sponsors, mobile marketing firm Pocketstop.com and Managed WordPress web hoster Synthesis Hosting.