Today morning, I received an apology mail from Flipkart and it provoked me to write this post. Like many, I tried buying from Flipkart on their much hyped #BigBillionDay. I made a couple of futile attempts only to land up on ‘Page Not Found’/ ‘Out Of Stock’ pages. Obviously I was one of the many user dropouts that Flipkart faced on their supposedly big day. The fame turned into fiasco within a few hours and hence came the apology mail. To quote from the mail –
“…though we saw unprecedented interest in our products and traffic like never before, we also realized that we were not adequately prepared for the sheer scale of the event. We didn’t source enough products and deals in advance to cater to your requirements. To add to this, the load on our server led to intermittent outages, further impacting your shopping experience on our site.”
Without getting into the details of the mistakes Flipkart made, the point here to note is that ‘were they really prepared?’
According to a latest survey from Squared One Line, nearly one in four people in the world now use social network. By the rate world’s online population is growing, brands can no more ignore the sheer size of digital presence and work merely on assumptions or limited/outdated research. The modern consumer is now a social consumer. The social consumers want to buy at their own convenience and they make sure that they compare the deals and read online reviews and recommendations before they finally purchase. No wonder Snapdeal and Amazon made hay while Flipkart bled on its big day! I genuinely feel sorry for Flipkart. Had it invested well on Social CRM, may be the situation would have been different today. Situations like this occur when there is a gap between company output and customer expectations.
Company Output can be generally analyzed as per below parameters –
- Inconsistent Communication
- Listening But Not Acting
- Fragmented Customer Experience
- Weak Community-Based Relationships
- Over the top Selling
- Non-Targeted Offers & Promotions
- Limited Transparency
Whereas Customer Expectations are based on –
- Collaborative Relationship
- Marketing Relevancy
- Good Value
- Trust/Peace of Mind
- Prompt Dispute Resolution
- Feeling of Importance
- Consistent Presence
- Two-Way Communication
This gap is difficult to fill as the general practice is to have customer service executives/social media community managers attend to queries, respond and resolve. The biggest challenge for these poor guys is to attend to multiple complaints and queries across the web as it happens, forget about resolving them.
In order to solve this problem, brands needs to implement Social CRM which enables customer relationship managers to do their task seamlessly. The objective of Social CRM is to see what these consumer might need or want and serve them better, thus mutually benefiting both the brand and the consumer by enabling engagement. For this brands need to streamline all their social efforts and create an exceptional brand experience across social networks. Retargeting through SEM or online stalking does not help alone! The key is to actively listen, collect, redirect, interact and measure. This can be facilitated through a successful Social CRM strategy, which enables collaborative experiences and dialogues that a consumer values. The question is how do we do this?
- With help of social data mining tools catering to different geographies, relevant data is pulled out for a brand across online channels. This data contains mentions, conversations, news and articles related to the brand. This data acts as a rich source to customer service and analysis
- Active engagement platforms are provided via social media channels to the brands’ customers. Customized engagement strategy is devised on the basis of the listening reports extracted from the tools. This is a sure shot method to ensure customer acquisition and retention.
- When it comes to social customer service, a workflow engine comes handy. A tool with built-in workflow helps social executives to address and resolve customer issues as per their expertise pretty much in real time.
- The ultimate aim of all the monitoring and engagement is to draw useful analytics (data) for a brand which in turn is used to define and devise the brand’s marketing and customer service strategy
- The sequential flow of monitoring, engagement, workflow and analytics together form Social CRM i.e. Social Customer Relationship Management.
To conclude, if you are not yet in to Social CRM, It’s high time already!
Social CRM enables –
- Monitoring of Social Web in real-time for complaints, reviews and queries.
- Automatic notification capability to alert customer agents on new complaints.
- Ability to respond to complaints from any social sites from a single platform.
- Ability to keep track of social media complaints in a form of case/tickets.
- Reporting ability for supervisors to measure the performance of agents.