Social media customer experience management: The next big trend?
- TripAdvisor alone contains 40 million reviews, double its total two years ago. Yelp, which was founded in 2005, hit 1 million reviews in mid-2007 and passed 10 million in March 2010 despite its policy restricting reviews to site members only.
- Forrester estimates that roughly 65 million US online adults engage in 'critic' behaviour, posting ratings, reviews and other critiques on the social web at least once a month.
- Customer reviews have been bundled into the user experience of most online storefronts. Reviews are front and center on hospitality booking sites such as Expedia.com, just as they are on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and the online Apple Store.
- Emerging location-based applications such as Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla are integrating customer reviews into their offerings.
- Search the social web for customer feedback with associated satisfaction metrics, not just brand mentions and keyword combinations.
- Collect data on the performance of individual business units by location.
- Calculate sophisticated metrics such as customer satisfaction, not just mention counts or overall sentiment.
- Deliver valuable insights for location and business unit representatives, in addition to corporate brand marketing, PR, and customer support.
- Respond to social media reviews easily, using forums, templates, and other approaches.
- Integrate with other existing forms of CEM feedback collection.
- Where social feedback mitigates public risks by managing posts, solicited feedback validates the legitimacy of social trends, concerns and hypotheses.
- Where social feedback maps 'public' customer satisfaction over time, solicited feedback offers scientifically qualified results.
- Where social feedback lets the public know a business cares and works to fix issues, solicited feedback surveys for all locations and across demographics, because not everyone posts online.
Dan Wilson is senior project manager for Medallia, Inc., a CEM vendor headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. He has over 11 years of product management and engineering experience. Dan’s most recent endeavor has been developing Medallia’s Social Media CEM solution.