There are a lot of marketing eyeballs on social at the moment, with “social war rooms” staffed up at a rapid rate to help enable the business to protect its brand. Soon after a negative comment is detected, many businesses now have the power to pounce and manually inject themselves into these conversations to try to minimize the damage. Nevermind the naming issue (do we really want to be at war with our customers?); while this absolutely needs to become a concerted focus for many B2C businesses, there can be a trap here.
When it comes to true customer engagement, we now often see brands falling into a “social silo,” and a consumer backlash is emerging in response. Why? The social team frequently operates in relative isolation from the rest of the marketing functions, with separate teams, separate measurements, separate processes and separate treatment strategies. As a result, customers are not treated in the right context; their past purchases, loyalty status, and other basic information is not used in the social response. As we all know, getting the context right for a customer conversation can make the difference between great and disasterous outcomes.
Yes, social media is a massively important way to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ behavior. However, customers operate in so many different ways with a typical business, that brands are risking their own reputation when they don’t connect the the dots between these channels – their “social CRM” efforts end up stuck in a “social silo.”
At the end of the day, these solutions aren’t enabling brands to do what they really want, which is to have thoughtful, individual and engaging interactions that add value. They’re confining some of their most interactive customer conversations to just social channels.
The fact is, brands must be empowered to not just listen to their customers, but really hear them, across all channels. Companies are missing a massive opportunity if they don’t connect their social interactions to all their customer data, and if they ignore mobile applications, websites, email and even traditional touch points such as call centers, point of sale and field service. For brands to form meaningful relationships with customers, they must understand them intimately and immediately. This means knowing their history, purchasing habits, how they like to be communicated with, their personal preferences and more. After they are equipped with the right information, brands must be able to use it instantly. In our constantly connected, “always-on” world, consumers move fast; if brands fail to interact with their customers in the moment, they’ll increasingly lose the very opportunity itself.
At Provenir, we are committed to elevating customer engagement by offering brands the solution they need to interact intelligently, individually and immediately with their customers. We encourage you to visit our website and share your thoughts on the “social silo.”