Caitlin

Maturity Levels Are Improving As Social Starts To Drive Customer Care

Companies are getting better at using technology holistically to understand and improve the experiences of their customers, says Caitlin Green, CEO of KINSHIP digital — an implementation partner of CX platform Sprinklr.

“You can see the level of maturity increasing. It is now more common to see multidisciplinary teams being brought together to solve customer experience problems, or to develop new products, rather than each organisational silo trying to do everything by itself.”

In the early days, customers first considered Sprinklr because they convinced themselves they needed a social solution for marketing, she says. These days it is more common to view social as a channel for customer care.

According to Green, “another trend we see now is to move headcount from the call centre into marketing to train them on how to engage on social. Then they return to the call centre where they will own customer care on the social channel.”

Green says she also expects to see a reallocation of headcount resources from traditional service channels like telephones into social and chat channels. “It is all about trying to push it onto digital and making this the primary channel.“

The reason is simply because customers see better outcomes. Call centres are designed to solve problems that can be scripted — where a process can be clearly defined and the call centre operators can follow that script. But it breaks down in the face of ambiguity.

Customers are increasingly savvy. They understand staff on the social desk are more empowered to make decisions. More than that, they know their voice will be heard on social media.

That’s a realisation that consumers arrived at well before brands.

Social Is More Than Marketing
Five years ago, marketers saw social media as simply a marketing channel. But customers actually wanted to use those same social channels to yell at brands when they were unhappy, and be noticed. They didn’t care about brands using social to market to them.

Now those two world views are starting to blend. Not only have brands learnt to listen to customers on social media and to respond quickly, but consumers have learnt to leverage the power of social channels like Instagram and YouTube to build their own audiences and to amplify their own opinions.

LaToya Nicole Benson, Senior Manager for Client Engagement at JeffreyM Consulting, a KINSHIP business partner, says companies are getting better at using tools like Sprinklr to respond to customers. “If folks are out there talking about your brand and they are sharing how they feel about your brand, you will want to be right there to engage with them and to act upon their feedback.“

The power of social is also much better understood across the enterprise, says Benson. “Managers from all different facets of the organisation now come to these social teams in the customer experience centres asking for insights into the customer. For instance, when they are preparing to do a product launch.”

According to Green, “We are seeing that across all different types of companies. They understand that tools like social listening help them to innovate, to build new products or perhaps discontinue older ones.”

That’s a reason why conversations around platforms like Sprinklr need to happen at a higher level in the organisation than just inside the digital department or marketing, she suggests.

“What began as ‘How can we have a conversation?’ has evolved into ’How can we use insights from the conversations to make experiences better and co-create new products with the customers?’” Green says.

“This is why Sprinklr is such a powerful platform. All of the unstructured social data can be collected and then layered on top of existing customer data (like purchase history) – creating a more complete view of the customer..”