Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Can Social Media be the bridge over troubled water?

Read an interesting prediction by Gartner today. (They are a leading information technology research and advisory company). They say that by 2014, organizations that refuse to communicate with their customers via social media will face the same level of wrath as those companies who don't respond to customer's emails and phone calls.

I wonder how many of you agree with them. I do.

If companies are looking at strategies to plug in product information using the social media, it is just fair that people expect a response on their complaints or other assistant which they may require, via social media.

In India there are 48 million social network users. What could be a better way than to publicly show them that the brand they have a relationship with, actually care. Care enough to solve their problems, answer their queries and even at times, apologize for their failings! After all, we would like to believe brands too are human!

This is a good time as any for companies to put down a simple strategy which answers 3 basic questions - as per the Gartner report:

Which posts should they respond to
Since it is impossible to comment on all, there has to be a cohesive strategy which provides a guideline regarding responses - what, how and when.

Who should respond
Each type of comment / posts warrant could warrant a response from different individuals/ departments. It is essential to identify who should respond to what rather than having a standard answer.

What should be done with the comments/ posts
This data is a rich source of insights. Companies will do well to analyse the data and  use it for creating further engagement in the social space as well as disseminate the information across the company for use across touch points including product development.
"Developing a means for acting on social data will provide a competitive advantage by providing exceptional customer experience through increasingly significant social channels."  -  Gartner report. 
I would be interested in hearing from you, the reader, what do you think?


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