Defining The “Social” Customer:
Ease of accessibility and free membership on social forums, has led to customers utilising the freedom of sharing thoughts [well, I agree “freedom” may be a term that’s debatable] and adding information every second through social conversations. This makes the process chaotic for businesses to track each and every consumer’s mindshare, about their brand as well as their competitors.
Impact of Social:
India, today accounts for the second biggest market of social media users. With 120 million Facebook users and 33 million Twitter accounts, the volume of user generated social conversation is phenomenal and of course, ever increasing. Data also shows that an individual between the age group of 18-35 spends almost 4hrs every day on social forums. Interestingly, majority of this time is spend in associating with brands online.
Are Businesses doing enough to relate to “its” social customers?
Catering to the high volume of conversation, Brands are of course tracking how they are discussed in social conversation and trying to increase brand reach using social channels. Campaign dollars have shifted from email marketing and tele-calling to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Targeting is more personalised and customer oriented [well, my marketing friends take comfort from that]. Legacy CRMs are getting replaced with “Social” CRMs and customer data is enriching the marketing insights with advanced and super advanced analytic engines.
Brands are certainly not doing enough still !!!
I am a user of a cab service, from one of India’s largest cab-aggregator, for the last 2 years [average use: 15-20 rides per month]. I use their advanced mobile app for booking and they certainly have my mobile number [where the driver calls to ask for direction in spite of the GPS in the app] and my email [where the invoice for the ride is shared]. Recently I shared my grievance for a particular ride on their twitter handle and within 10 minutes I was asked to share my mobile number and email where they can reach out to me regarding my issue. It was shocking. If they would have known that I am the same customer, losing whom may cost 20 rides a month [that is if they care the business of 20 rides], they may have acted with more immediate resolution. Almost cost them 20 rides!
I am banking with a certain bank for the last 3 and a half years and I share my updated details once every 12 months. I always thought banks have the most robust customer information and they certainly have deeper understanding of my buying behaviour, since every transaction, online or physical, cannot be completed without feeding information into their system. About 6 months back when I had posted on social forums, asking for public opinion on “home loans”, my own bank reached out to me and asked for my contact information, spotting a potential lead. I felt disgusted at their approach.
The right approach:
Before you analyse the customer data, segment and hyper-segment it, ensure you know enough and more about your customer. It is vital for every brand to have the capability to analyse customer behaviour based on their social activities. Profile your customers, check out who they are and how they exist on different social platforms. Analyse their interest, brand associations and track their life stage changes.
If a customer has tweeted about getting married in the near future, call or send him an email with a personalised offer on loans for his future dreams or give him that exclusive offer on flight tickets and hotel bookings.
Instead of sending a push notification at 2 am and making me choose between buying a new pair of jeans or catch up on some much needed sleep, if you would have called my neighbour’s son who has just joined collage and is bragging on Facebook about his new lifestyle, you had a definite customer there. Some ROI for your marketing dollars, if you care.
So brands need to evolve right and instead of having junk in your Social CRM, have socially relevant customer data! The marketing platform and social customer service platform are integrated with these new data sets to carry out personalized and triggered email, SMS and social engagement.
You have Social Customers, so you have no choice but to be a Social Brand.
Defining The “Social” Customer: