5 Steps to Choose the Right Social Media Monitoring Tool

Social Media has evolved immensely over the past few years, with hundreds and thousands of people signing up on a daily basis. The space in fact is constantly growing and the scope for companies to extract valuable customer insights is also increasing accordingly. So, how do the companies access this valuable information? Does human monitoring work perfectly to extract all the information that a strategically designed monitoring tool can?

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Whether one likes it or not, the answer is actually NO! Our human eye misses out on a lot of information, which is important to make sure your social media strategy is on the right track. It also helps in targeting your customers better and at the right time. So, what exactly do companies look for, while choosing the best social media monitoring tools?

Here’s a brief about what is required:

1. Listening

The basic step to Social Media Monitoring is listening, i.e. keeping an eye on who is talking about your brand, where and when. This helps in making sure that you do not miss out on any information that is being disseminated about your brand, whether good or bad. In fact, this also helps the customer service desk to serve better, considering the consistency and well structured display of content, that they are supposed to respond to.

However, every monitoring tool might not be able to provide this. Therefore, it is necessary that one looks for specific features, such as the number of social media platforms that the tool supports a subscription with, the kind of keywords that the tool supports, the ease of removing spam messages and content. More the number of facilities the tool provides better are the results.

2. Integration

Another important aspect is the ability of the tool to integrate with other software, for better access to contacts and information. Especially if the company is also looking at providing support through the same tool, there needs to be a proper mechanism in place, which allows integrating customer lists, contacts and profiles for reference and also easy access to answers for frequently asked questions.

3. Features and Analysis

Every tool has a pre decided set of features, which helps customizing data visualisation according to the needs of the company. This includes viewing your data according to the choice of language you prefer, region you wish to focus on, demographics you need to look at or even the sentiment around the topic of search.
This helps in reaching perfect values for analysis of big data and deriving conclusions about trending topics, industry specific researches and more.

4. Spam Filtration

One of the most important aspects of Social Media Monitoring is being able to differentiate between real and valuable content versus spam content. If this process needs to be done manually, it might take the longest time. Therefore, it is necessary to use a tool which does the same for you by removing content which does not add value to your research, which is repetitive or which might be posted by unidentified people.

5. Budget

Another important aspect which needs to be considered while hiring/buying a monitoring tool is how much does the tool cost. If, the service the tool provides is not in line with the amount you pay to use it, it might turn out to be a complete waste. Considering it is a data extraction tool, specified volumes of data is offered at a particular pre decided rate. Making sure that you are receiving the right amount of data, at the right rate is something that companies should focus on while buying a monitoring tool.

The Magic of Social CRM Overwhelms the Financial Sector

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There are plenty of reasons for financial businesses to be excited about CRM in the financial sector right now. After all, without these advancements, retaining customers on a massive scale would be quite nearly an impossible task. So how are CRM advancements shaping the finance sector, and what can we expect from the future of CRM in finance? What are some of the problems in the CRM-finance world, and what can any industry take away from these missteps?

Put the C Back in CRM

As the old adage goes, the customer comes first. It’s the first word in the acronym and it’s the most important aspect of a CRM program. The problem is that some companies (and even some of the programs designed to help them) spend far too much time focusing on what they can do for the business and not what they can do for the customer. This is not to say that it is unimportant to consider how a business goes about providing the best possible service to their customers, but instead that too much focus on that aspect of customer service can have negative consequences.

Once you get into the area of manipulating consumers (often with language, but also with poor focus) in order to get more out of them, relationship management has become more about control and less about service. More time spent determining how to best communicate with people is less time spent actually communicating with them. CRM and the technology surrounding the concept isn’t intended to make the process more difficult or cumbersome, it’s intended to make everything function smoothly. It’s time to talk about how a modern financial business can use CRM to truly improve their services before their customers go elsewhere.

Deliver an Excellent Experience

In order to make the best use of a CRM program and implement strong customer relations, it will be important for businesses to determine how to give their customers a good experience. When it comes to finances, it can be very important to make quick contact with a customer, and there are many different factors to consider.

What do they need to see?

Don’t just give your customers what they want, give them what they need. By studying your customer base and determining how they use financial services, you can begin to discover which services your competitors are neglecting to provide and capitalize on that by setting your business apart from the crowd.

How can you reach them?

Once again, through intense study of your customer base, you can determine information such as this about your clientele and use that to your advantage. If they are more likely to prefer a phone call instead of an e-mail, take this into consideration when deciding how to contact them. If they’re more likely to be receptive to a response on social media, this will also be important to consider.

How can we improve their service?

Take a look at what has been successful for your company and try to figure out why your customers come to you for their financial needs. Here’s a hint: It’s not your company motto, although you may believe in the message that it sends. Through careful examination of your success, you can start to see what people do and do not like about your services. There will more than likely be areas where improvement is needed, but don’t forget to keep providing the service that keeps people coming back while improving other areas of your business.

These are only a few examples of different questions that a business in the financial sector should be asking themselves when working on their CRM. A Customer Relationship Management program can help to manage a lot of these tasks, but it doesn’t work like magic. The technology exists to help form a better connection with customers, not to make life easier for those in customer service.

Focus on the Customer Experience

The problem with spending too much time figuring out how a company will use a CRM program to make customer relations more efficient is that it often pulls the focus away from the customer. Instead of asking how the customer uses financial services or how they would like to approach their finances, you might find a financial business asking how their employees approach customers and how they can provide the best service. Such an approach can make a company blind to the actual experiences of their customer base, which can lead to disaster if they are not careful.

Instead of working from within the organization and moving outward, it’s time for modern businesses take a look at how their business functions from an outside perspective. This is the primary means by which a customer will communicate with a business and use its services, so it will be important to streamline this process and make it as simple and useful as possible. Sometimes it’s hard to get that done if it’s been a while since you actually experienced the manner in which your customers interact with you.

CRM is still incredibly important, but it’s time to change how it is viewed in business and how we interact with the technology that has been built up around the Customer Relationship Management experience. Hopefully the future of CRM in this industry will be more focused on the customer experience and less focused on how things function behind the scenes.

Who knows? Perhaps the technology of CRM programs will even advance to the point where social media allows financial institutions to establish a constant connection with their customers, keeping them informed at all times. Heck, we’re already reaching the point where the simple press of a button can instantly inform us of our finances. The process is becoming quite streamlined, but as always, there are still areas that need improvement. That being said, the future looks bright for CRM in the financial industry!

About the Author: Dave Landry Jr. is a financial consultant for several small businesses. Dave is also passionate about finding and perfecting new customer service strategies, which is when he turns to Simplify360 for ideas. He hopes you enjoy this article.”

10 Step Guide to Preparing Online Reputation Management Report

Online Reputation Management (ORM) has become an integral part of customer servicing in today’s date, however, many marketers still fail to understand how not doing it properly can negatively affect the company’s business. In fact a lot of sales (up-selling, cross-selling and even new prospects) are now dependent on how well a company interacts with their customers. “Word of mouth”, which is known to be one of the most effective ways of doing marketing, can be achieved using social media.

Measuring the performance on social media is another important aspect. While running a marketing campaign and measuring its performance seems to be a simpler task, reporting related to ORM can be pretty challenging. In fact it is in many ways different from the general reporting. With ORM, it is not just the performance of the brand that comes under consideration, but also aspects like how positively or negatively the brand has been spoken about, what are the high priority issues faced by the customers, what time of the day do the customers talk about your brand the most, what is the response time your servicing agents are taking to respond to messages online, and the list continues.

Here, I will take you through the entire process of generating an explicit Online Reputation Management report.

1. If you are a big brand and you are handling customer service on social media, you must be using a CRM platform, which helps track the people who are complaining or raising queries about your product/service and replying to them. If the platform in use also allows you to generate reports, it might be helpful.

2. Reporting is a tedious process; it requires generation figurative estimates and graphical representations for all aspects. The basic requirements being, total mentions, total number of cases responded to and the total number or actions taken/cases closed successfully.

Total Mention for Online Reputation Management

Total Mentions for Online Reputation Management

3. The next step is to identify the days/time frames when there was an increase in the conversations about your brand, which should also be backed with data about what led to the increase in conversation. (This can be food for thought for the marketing team)

4. Your report should also contain the sentiment perception towards your brand, i.e. whether your brand is being talked positively/negatively about, which should be presented in graphical representations providing percentage representations for each.

Online Reputation Management Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis Graph

5. Along with providing what is being spoken about, your report should also be able to tell you who is speaking about you and where. Influencers (people with a higher following, like celebrities) and people who complain repetitively (who might also be spammers) should be identified for further actions.

Social Media Mention Distribution

Social Media Mention Distribution

6. A categorically divided list of complaint types and the issues/topics being spoken about during a particular time frame helps understand where the brand is going and how successful are the marketing initiatives of the brand turning out to be.

7. Measuring the performance of your agents is another important aspect of reporting. Measuring in terms of how many messages were responded to by each agent as well as whose performance is better based on the number of errors made/responses made, helps in future internal endeavors of the company.

This should be coupled with the average time taken to respond to messages and the first response time, in comparison to competitor brands.

8. ORM reports should help the brand managers understand the perception of the brand, by their customers, better. Hence it should also provide detailed analysis of which form of content/strategy is working best for them and what can be the other variations that the brand can adopt based on competitor analysis.

competitor analysis

Competitor Analysis Graph

9. As much as it is important to understand the brand it is equally important to also understand the fans. This can be done through gender analysis and generating a count about which fan is talking the most about your brand.

10. Another important aspect of reporting is to provide suggestions and guidelines to the brand about what strategy/content is in trend and helping competitors garner better attention. This can help the marketing team of the brand understand the market better and hence design their future campaigns based on the inputs provided by the report.

A complete Online Reputation Management report contains both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the brand, helping develop effective strategies for future campaigns.

4 Ways to Differentiate Between Traditional and Social CRM

Traditional CRM to Social CRM

Engaging with customers is one of the most important aspects to maintain a good brand name. It is also one of the major issues that most companies find challenging. However, the customer relationship aspect of business is constantly evolving and the shift from “Traditional CRM” to “Social CRM” has taken “customer relationship management” as a concept and practice to a whole new level.

Here’s a glimpse at how the process has evolved and changed a lot for the good and a little for the bad as well.

1. Communication has now become a two way process. Reaching a company is much easier, thanks to the various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. A process which was traditionally focused on the company directing sales/marketing related content to their customers/prospects from a prerecorded set of data has now changed to a dynamic process where customers reach the company as and when they want.

This transformation is huge and a significant one as, the communication process which was predominantly brand driven has now shifted to being customer driven. More power to the public!

2. The focus has shifted from being sales driven to building relationships. Brands today have come to realize that it is the pool of returning customers which needs to be targeted and retained. A good “word of mouth” is company’s concern today. Retaining customers and keeping them happy is what social CRM has largely enabled.

Using platforms like Facebook and Twitter, companies can reach out to their customers which highly engaging content and also address their issues in public. This helps build transparency of the brand and also makes the brand more humane. If you have already connected the dots, social media has helped build a relationship between the brands and their customers, which eventually results in more loyal and returning customers, brand advocates and some free marketing!

3. Traditional CRM was a process, whereas Social CRM is a strategy. Traditional CRM practices involved a canned mechanism to make phone calls, send email messages or attend live meetings with existing customers and prospects. This has evolved to a more relaxed process with customers engaging in more personalized conversations with brands through social media.

This not just helps in building a better relationship with the customers but also enriches the brands customer data, which helps in targeting the marketing initiatives better.

4. The difference between Traditional CRM and Social CRM can be distinctly differentiated based on the software used. Traditional CRM tools were only focused at recording and processing information for direct communication, namely contact number, e mail address, mailing address and the like. It also had a limited capacity to record historical data; only data related to communication between the brand and the customer.

This has shifted drastically with the invention of software that could track their customer’s social behavior. This allowed the brands to understand their customer needs and interests better and serve them accordingly. It also allowed giving a more personalized direction to every communication with customers based on their interests.

From an unorganized dump of information about customers, i.e. traditional CRM, social CRM has moved to gathering and managing customer information into more strategically divided groups.This has not just helped in engaging with customers better but also increased each brands potential to spread a good word of mouth.

7 Guidelines to Provide Great Customer Service on Social Media

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If customer service had to be described in 3 words, for sure “fast”, “appropriate” and “satisfactory” would top the list. Customer service has actually reached a state where companies can no longer keep it in the back seat, in fact as most companies today mention; it has become the backbone of many processes and areas of functionality. Be it marketing or sales or for that matter the product/brand’s personality as a whole, all these are dependent on how people perceive and receive your brand.

According to research conducted in the past by various platforms, customer’s reaction towards a brand, depend mainly on two aspects, namely, product quality and the quality of customer service received. So, what exactly is the ‘mantra’ for great customer service? It’s pretty simple, reach your customers instantly, add in a bit of personal touch and solve their problems by deploying a smooth process!

The dawn of social media has changed people’s outlook not just towards shopping but also their pre sales and post sales experiences. People talk to their peers before purchasing a product and what better place to get opinions than social media, where the people from across the world are ready to give an opinion. What’s interesting is the post sales procedure, where people express their happiness about the purchased product or how bad the experience was! Here’s where your Social Media Customer Service team needs to jump in, to avoid any extreme situations. It is very possible that you “chose” to ignore a complaint made by any of your customers via Twitter; you might not be ready for the situation, but it has already gone viral!

So, here’s what a Manager needs to teach his/her Social Customer Service Agents for excellent after effects:

1. BE THE CUSTOMER: Treat your customers just the way you would like to be treated. Every customer service agent is also a customer at the end of the day, therefore standing in the customer’s shoes is pretty easy. Respond to them in exactly the same way how you would like to be responded to if you were complaining about a product and half the problem is solved. What matters the most, is the first response received by the customer.

2. MAKE IT QUICK: People hate waiting in queue, be it actually standing at the billing counter at a hypermarket or waiting on hold for their turn to come so they can speak to the customer service agent. People therefore have found a solution for themselves. All the people who are on various social media channels today complain using this platform. This being said, the expectations of people to receive a reply are also as fast as a maximum of 1 hour. Therefore companies who have achieved a first response time of about 5 minutes record highly satisfied customers.

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3. ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH: All customers love to be pampered, therefore adding a dear or a good morning to your message might actually help calm down a certainly angry customer. This also makes the customer feel that you are actually listening to their problems and do not consider you a machine which is simply shooting messages even without reading the complaint. This reduces the risk of continuous complaints from them which also reduce the chance that many people would see the complaint avoiding chances of virality. Also do not forget to leave your name at the end!

4. DO NOT ARGUE: Your customer might be completely wrong and might still be shouting at you for bad service, you still cannot answer them back with foul/horrific words. Be the patient one and respond to their complaints with proof and reasoning. Explaining them the situation might actually help calming them down rather than fighting with them. This will also help create a good image among the rest of the customers who might stand up for you as well.

5. SAY THANK YOU: People always love that extra effort put in to make them feel special. Adding a thank you for a compliment or generally for sharing the problem can help reduce the tension between the customer and the company. They feel more welcomed and hence are willing to co-operate until you solve their problem.

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6. SOLVE THE PROBLEM: Do not leave a case unattended or half attended just because you do not have the solution instantly. Make sure to reach out to a senior or someone in the management who can take care of it. This makes the customer feel important. Keep them informed about each step/process and they will be willing to wait that extra minute without complaining. For all you know, they might even leave a few kind words adding to your company’s charm!

7. REFER BEFORE YOU REPLY: You might have a returning customer at your disposal, someone who has complained in the past and has also shared their details. Keeping track of historical data and referring to them before replying to the customer can help understand their problem better. A reply which says “We have your contact details and we will look into the issue on priority” instead of “Please share your contact details for further assistance” always sounds better. The customer has lesser work to do and so do you.

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Disclaimer: All the images displayed above are from the official handles of the respective companies. The examples mentioned above are not Simplify360’s clients.

Simplify360 Rebranding Announcement

We are proud to announce Simplify360’s brand new outlook towards Social Customer Service. Going forward, our company’s focus is going to be deeply inclined towards providing the best social CRM and you will also get to see constant updates to our CRM features.

Simplify360 as a tool has undergone significant transformation in the past few months. The new identity has been built keeping in mind the requirements of our customers and the direction Simplify360 wishes to head towards.

However, we have also kept in mind the existing positioning of the brand and hope to establish ourselves as the world leaders in the field of Social Customer Service.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. We look forward to delivering you great service with this new focus.