Gartner recently released a report
in which they predict a large disruption of brand loyalty among customers due to increasing trends in Social CRM - in particular, with regard to online customer support. Apparently customers become dissatisfied with a brand when a company provides a plenitude of answers that don't come close to addressing the question while simultaneously hiding any ability to reach an actual *thinking* human being. According to the report, companies have found that they can save anywhere from 10-50% on support costs by leveraging Social CRM - but are they doing so at the risk of brand retention?
We all know by now that the old adage "if you build it, they will come" just isn't true when it comes to social networking, and Social CRM is no different. Nor is the solution to merely build better bots (though, certainly there is huge opportunity for improvement in this regard - as demonstrated by Watson
). As we have learned repeatedly in the social networking world, the success of any "social" solution is depending on having the right people and the right tools in place. These requirements become heightened with regard to providing social customer support solutions to customers -- Gartner's prediction is that by 2014 70% of organizations will experience decreased customer satisfaction resulting from their shift to community-based customer support
What specifically needs to be focused on with regard to People and Tools within online customer support communities? Here's a start...
- People: An effective Social CRM solution employs people who have the expertise in all three of the following areas:
- Social networking and social media
- The company's products / services
- Customer support
- Tools: Social CRM
- Listens for the voice of the customer (even outside of the company's Social CRM tool)
- Provides precision searching, filtering, and indexing options
- Provides customers with a quick and simple method for reaching a *thinking* human being when the community fails
The cultural conversion toward open collaboration and social networking - even among a community of motivated individuals - can be a slow and arduous process. How much more true is this for the broad range of customers? In the shift toward online customer service communities, expectations for customer service must still be met - and meeting them will require being extremely intentional about the people and tools involved in this shift.