The Importance of a Social Relationship Infrastructure
In this episode, Jeremy Epstein, V.P. of Marketing at Sprinklr, discusses the elements needed for organizations to be social at scale. Sprinklr is an enterprise software provider that connects the social media experience to enterprise systems. The topics we discussed on this podcast episode are excerpts from an awesome e-book with 64 contributors from over 45 companies who are on the cutting edge of social experience management. Download the e-book here.
What is Social Relationship Infrastructure?
Consider the challenges large companies face with the social customer....A consumer interacts with a large brand in the moment of an experience with the brand. Today's digitally connected consumer with access to social media in her pocket expects a response from the brand....But, not just a response. The consumer expects the brand to know who she is. But, when a brand has thousands of employees and dozens or hundreds of social channels, the only way to be social at scale is to have relationships. And, that requires a social relationship infrastructure that allows any member of the team at the brand to interact and to know who the consumer is.
Attributes of Social Relationship Infrastructure
A singular, unified view of the customer that enables internal teams to take immediate, relevant action.
This attribute is all about knowing the customer, including what she has purchased in the past as well as her interests as noted in her social media engagement. Based on an engagement with a consumer, the brand can provide pre-approved content for employees to publish in the moment of engagement. Alternatively, an employee can know exactly where to send a customer to a pre-determined path based on the relationship with that customer. In a social infrastructure, the proper security protocols are in place for employees to engage in the moment. The connected customer expects a relevant response in a timely manner. Imagine how the social retailer engages when you buy a product and the transaction reveals your purchase history and your social influence. The employee is empowered to engage with the customer in the moment with premium perks such as a free add-on product, or a gift certificate or something that recognizes the value of that individual customer. Only with a singular view of the customer in real time is this level of customer engagement possible.
Integrates with your existing infrastructure, such as brand, content, customer, knowledge, and employee management systems.
More than 2 trillion dollars of enterprise technology was purchased in 2013. If enterprise data is not integrated with social data, there is a big disconnect in the customer experience. A social relationship infrastructure empowers employees to engage with customers in the moment. Sure, it's complicated, but it's necessary. The processes allow the complexity to make it possible. Jeremy believes that one day all enterprise employees will be connected to a social infrastructure. Employees will have access to content and decisions that allow for employee advocacy through push button actions made possible by the social infrastructure. Brands will have the ability to measure which employees engage and on what topics and what outcomes they produce.
Surfaces the right social data to the right individuals and teams, at the right time, and in the right formats.
Brands need to know who they're dealing with in the moment. They need to identify people by role, e.g., press, customer, partner, competitor, influencer, etc. This allows employees to route people's interactions to the appropriate person to engage in the moment. When a crisis happens, pre-approved written responses can be provided to front line staff for rapid deployment in real-time. This is a crucial form of social governance and compliance. In a crisis there are certain things a brand must do and some things they can not do. Having them well defined and pushed to front line staff is great planning, and made possible to implement at scale through a social infrastructure.
Difference between "doing social and being social."
The basics of "doing social" include publishing status updates and content to social media, launching campaigns and reporting. But, being social is all about having a relationship with the customer as an individual. It's about understanding the customer intimately, including their purchase history and interests. If you have a bad experience with an airline and you're a golfer, the airline can build more loyalty from that customer through a complimentary pass to their favorite golf club versus a bland digital gift certificate. Most tools and technology help brands to "do" social. A social relationship infrastructure helps a brand to "be" social.
Welcome to Social Experience Management
It's hard to manage relationships with a lot of people. But, we can create processes to manage the experience, which can affect the relationship with our customer. Brands are under increasing pressure to deliver a great experience to the customer, whether offline or online. The social relationship infrastructure can understand the customer at a detailed level and help to determine the optimal experience as well as provide processes to empower employees to deliver the right experience at the right time, in the moment. After all, social business is all about connecting with the customer as an individual.