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Improving the Customer Experience with Social Media

By Alan Sears | Feb 07, 2012 | Insights

Social Media applications are not a passing trend. They have quickly grown into a powerful resource for businesses. More than 75% of the Fortune 500 use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or corporate blogs to communicate with their stakeholders. Forward-thinking companies are using these online communities, social networks and other internet-based, collaborative media to support their customer base and improve the customer experience

Traditional customer service has evolved over the past few years with this growth in social media usage. It is no longer enough for businesses to connect with customers on social media. They are now driven to monitor online conversations about their company then provide responsive and timely support through these channels. In addition to using social media for sales, marketing and business intelligence many companies have updated their customer service strategy to integrate these platforms. According to Gartner, 35% of all customer service centers will have social media capability by 2013.

If implemented correctly social media provide additional data streams for understanding customers’ expectations and needs. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere, 38% of bloggers say they post about brands that they love or hate. And the 2nd most trusted information source for product referrals are Facebook friends. There are plenty of tools out there identifying where these conversations about your brand are occurring. The challenge has been turning the data produced by that monitoring into something actionable.

So how do you keep track of what the 800+ million Facebook users are saying or what is being written about you on the millions of active blogs out there? I think Cisco’s SocialMiner product can help by providing the bridge between social media and your customer support team along with the CRM system you are using.

SocialMiner is a customer care solution that helps companies proactively respond to customers and prospects communicating through public social media networks like Blogs, Facebook, Twitter or other online forums. It provides monitoring, queuing, reporting and workflow to organize internet postings related to your business. Then your customer care team can use this info to provide real-time responses using the same channels your customers are communicating on.

SocialMiner is part of the Unified Contact Center so deployment should be familiar if you are an existing Cisco customer. John Hernandez, General Manager of their Customer Collaboration Business Unit (CCBU), has said that SocialMiner is an engagement product, not a listening product. Check out the full list of features that support his statement and help set SocialMiner apart from traditional social media monitoring tools:

Whether you’ve established a social media presence or not, chances are that people are talking about your business online. SocialMiner is one of those products you may want to consider to help your company start listening to these conversations. Your team will be in a better position to increase customer loyalty, provide responsive service, engage new customers and protect your brand.

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