An interview with Bill Gerth plus a review of social media management tools
When we think of social media, we often imagine a Social Media Manager or Community Manager simply posting marketing content and engaging with their community.
However, our guide based on 22 end-user reviews and ratings across 23 different social media management software products shows many more applications. The table below shows how we’ve identified 3 key ways enterprises are leveraging social media: Social Customer Care, Social Listening and Social Media Marketing.
Most companies fit more than one use case. For example, some companies that manage a social customer care program use a second tool that specializes in social listening along with a customer care tool that provides engagement capabilities.
An interview with Bill Gerth, Comcast
Comcast is a good example of companies with multiple use cases. To explore this, we interviewed Bill Gerth, Director of Customer Service Strategy & Operations at Comcast. In this interview, Bill talks about why they chose social media for customer care, what their customer care team looks like, what is important when selecting social customer care software and what tools they are currently using to enhance their customer care program.
Q. How did Comcast come to adopt social customer care?
'We see more and more of our customers using social to engage with Comcast every day. We want to continue to meet our customers on the platforms that they prefer and continue to increase customer satisfaction. It gives us an outlet to listen and speak with customers.'
'Use of social for customer service is growing. When we first started this initiative, most of the mentions on social were escalation cases, from customers giving us one last chance to make things right. Now, escalations have decreased and the majority of the customers are using social channels as a method to reach out to us for the first time. The customers are adapting to social because it’s simple, and it’s on their time. They send a tweet or a Facebook post before they go to work in the morning, and they have an answer before they get home.'
Social customer care also helps put a human voice to the brand. 'The majority of consumers research a product before purchasing – they look on Facebook, Twitter, read blog articles and reviews. ‘How’s the product? Does it fit into my lifestyle? How’s the support function?' Bill says.
Q. What does your social customer care team look like?
Comcast receives thousands of direct and indirect conversations per month. Specialists review the mentions to find the conversations that are relevant to customer care. 'This allows the care specialist to engage with the customers who need help more quickly.'
The team currently consists of 28 engagement specialists, and Gerth is in the process of expanding his team. This will enable Comcast’s social support team to reach the new platforms that our customers are using today. 'We are always looking for new ways to connect with our customers.'
The social customer care program functions on a 24/7 schedule because the goal is to resolve as many questions or concerns in the customer’s preferred channel as possible.
'When we first started the social care team, we were providing customers an email address to capture
their concerns when trying to engage via a social channel. This is not a best practice, as we were taking customers away from a channel that they preferred and were most comfortable with. By gathering more resources and integrating into a scalable engagement solution, our off channel engagement rate decreased significantly,' Gerth says.
Q. What do you look for in social media software for customer care?
'The goal is to have a cross functional solution that enables you to engage quickly with customers and identify opportunities to create a better customer experience.'
However, it’s also important that the software facilitates typical customer care metrics.
'The tool needs to have the ability to run quality reports on social conversations. This, among other KPIs, will help a user create productivity scorecards and really showcase the ROI in social care. Some of the key KPIs we track are: conversation handle times, target action response times, and closed dispositions. These metrics will help identify common themes, and opportunities to be more successful. Integration also plays a huge role in the ability to understand who our customers are. Social listening and engagement tools need to have the ability to integrate into our internal CRM database. By fully
utilizing all social capabilities, the customer experience will continue to develop via social care.'
Q. What tools are you currently using for your social customer care program?
Comcast’s social care strategy stems from two systems: Lithium Social Web as the engagement console, and Crimson Hexagon for social listening, sentiment analysis and historical information.
'Comcast recognized the value of engaging with customers through social media early on and became an industry leader in the social environment. Lithium’s solution has provided the scalable and seamless agent-to-agent and agent-to-customer workflow we need to enhance our social care support strategy. Comcast has been using Lithium for all social care engagement for over two years, which has allowed us to really amplify the in-channel customer experience. Lithium Social Web has enabled us to use social data to drive change in the organization.'
Comcast also uses Crimson Hexagon to calculate a real-time NPS (Net Promoter Score), to further analyze sentiment, and to run analytics on events and campaigns that the company runs.