The real CRM side of listening and monitoring

17th Nov 2011

I don’t want to say anything but the obvious. Even if it’s difficult to find lots of posts or articles in which you can read explicitly what I’m going to analyze.

As you know I dealt with listening activity and its essential role in a Social CRM strategy (just to refresh your memory you can read here and here) many times and I’m absolutely staunch that every company need to set the technological and organizational infrastructures that can enable market insight (just as I was and am still convinced about gathering and analyzing customer feedbacks flowing through traditional touchpoints like IVR, email, phone call, survey, web form and so on).

Normally you read about well-known guidelines and approaches that tells you how to catch and analyze industry/sector conversations or direct ones about you and your competitors; and everything starts with a wise choice of keywords and a good set of Boolean operators maybe shared with domain experts. That’s really great and it’s the first main layer on which others Owyang’s Social CRM use cases are based on.

But I think something is missing especially considering that Social CRM is an extension of a traditional CRM strategy, so let’s start for once not with topics of conversation but with your customers.

First of all try to catch all information about your customers social profiles. That’s an hard task but with the more and more accurate algorithms inside stand-alone Social Connector tools (PeekYou, Social Diligence, etc.) or Social CRM platforms (SFDC, Pivotal, SugarCRM, etc.) the final result will be worth the effort (also considering that normally profiles don’t change too much with time).

Next, brush up the good old segmentation with which you can aggregate your customers in homogeneous groups; a perfect base of departure and I really recommend to use a value-based segmentation to enrich next with social, demographic and behavioural attributes.

Once you get all your segments “profiled” it’s time to structure a listening approach to your actual customers.

I find useful to focus on the analysis crossing Social Presence aspects of each segment with Social Behaviours aspects conceptually mapped on four main social use cases (Social Marketing, Social Reputation, Social Support and Social Innovation).

Social Presence

This section tries to answer questions related to the level of “sociality” of segments. For each one, in fact, you can measure among others:

  • percentage of customers present in the most popular social media
  • percentage of customers having a personal or professional blog
  • average level of sociality in terms of passive and active utilization for each social media (read and write)
  • primary time range of utilization per social media (passive and active)
  • main characteristics of customers social graphs (average number of connections, content diffusion average speed and dynamics, etc.)

Finally you should build a dashboard which visualize the specific social “profile” for each segment like in the example below.

It’s like having various panels to analyze and, comparing them, you can find which characteristics mainly differentiate segments. In other words you can understand the WHEN (best moment to interact with the segment), the HOW (aptitude for peculiar communication and interaction form such as video, photo or its own text rather than others one such as links) and the WHERE (best media where segment is more disposed to interact).

Social Behaviour

In this section you must understand the content essence which is correlated with a social media utilization by a specific segment. For this reason it’s essential to channel the analyses along the main components of a Social CRM strategy answering questions like:

  • Social Marketing – what are the main kind of brands/products/services discussed by the segment? which kind of content is considered more interesting and useful by the segment? what’s the level of influence showed by the segment and for which specific topic? what’s the level of advocacy that characterizes the segment?
  • Social Reputation – what’s the segment contribution to different brand reputation crisis? what’s the segment approach (positive or negative) and level of involvement during the crisis?
  • Social Support – what’s the segment propensity to ask direct support through social media? what’s the segment level of contribution to peer to peer support?
  • Social Innovation – what’s the segment propensity to suggest real improvement to products/services? what’s the segment level of participation to innovation management initiatives (suggestions, comments, rates)?

In other words this section lets you realize the WHAT (the content and the approach to interact effectively with your customers).


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