Editor’s Note: At LI we are inviting digital marketing experts of the country to share their opinion on how the market has evolved and the different facets that have attracted or distracted them in 2015. This is the second in the series, an exclusive guest post from Deep Sherchan – Co-Founder and CMO at Simplify360, social business intelligence product. (Click here to find the entire coverage of this year end series)
The social media story that everyone will take away from 2015 is none other than the “Maggi fiasco”. It is already one of the key topics of discussion within business schools and brand experts. As a result, the entire FMCG sector is creating strategic plans to mitigate any such disasters in the future. At the heart of this strategy lies social customer service, popularly known as Online Reputation Management.
However, not much has changed in the marketing front beside increase in ad budget on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The video ads on YouTube are more frequent than ever to an extent that when you sit to watch the trailer of any Bollywood movie, you end up first watching the exact clip as an Ad before your trailer starts #truestory.
But underneath the hype, there is a real change happening within the corporate rooms. Workshops are being conducted and experts are being called to provide guidelines to tackle the beast called – social media. Here are the five most important trends that I have seen taking place.
Strong ORM Setup: In 2010, the brand manager of one of the leading retail brands told me that he was not bothered about negative complaints, rejecting it with the argument that it could have been posted by the competitors and not from a customer. Well, how wrong he was! In 2015, we saw every brand looking for a strong online reputation management strategy to keep track of all the negative conversations and a process to respond to them.
AFRT is the KPI to follow: AFRT (Average First Response Time) is slowly becoming the benchmark metric for brands to measure their social customer service. This metric is calculated by taking average of the time taken by the brand to make a first level response to the complaints or queries raised on Twitter and Facebook. Most brands are targeting for AFRT of below 30 minutes, but some brands are really pushing the envelop with 2/5 minutes of AFRT.
Delighting Customers: Besides your campaigns, ads and content marketing, delighting customers has taken the center stage. We have heard of cases where brands have gone the extra mile to delight customers by surprising them, by gifting them or resolving their issues quickly. Few stories of Indigo Airlines, Ola Cabs and Flipkart can be heard being discussed as a part of workshops. The idea here is quite simple but powerful – pick one customer that needs your help and resolve them, hence creating a delight. Such personalized experience carries your brand organically.
Social Media Integration of CRM: One of the most repetitive question which every brand is asking is “Who are my customers?”. Fans and Followers count is becoming irrelevant, the main target here is who among these millions of fans or followers are my actual customers and who are my prospects? Can I cross sell my service to these segments? The only way for enabling brands to identify their customers is to merge their social data with CRM. Hence we observe high demand for technologies which can easily integrate with any enterprise software and merge with social data.
Call center being filled with Social Customer Agents: If your call center agents are not equipped with social media data, your brand is missing out a lot on the customer support front. Therefore lots of BPO companies have started hiring non-voice support agents especially for social media support. Investing in social CRM platforms which can integrate with their BPO software, can seamlessly allow social customer agents to create support tickets and push the task to call center agent team. This requires huge investment in people and technology and we are observing new ecommerce brands ready to invest on such infrastructure.