Social Support: Seizing the Opportunity

Today at TSIA’s Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas I served as moderator for a session entitled, “Social Support: Seizing the Opportunity,” led by David Kay of DB Kay & Assoc. and Brad Smith, Vice President, Global Support Experience, Yahoo. This was a workout session, meaning instead of the usual “stand and deliver” format, David and Brad opened with a few slides and then introduced a list of discussion topics for the group. I tried to capture some of the major discussion points:

  • Companies need to automate virality tracking. For the uninitiated (I had to Google it), virality is the measure of a customer’s social media influence. If a customer has thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook friends, or a popular blog, you don’t want to give them a reason to start attacking you via social media channels.
  • Outside experts can help validate things for feet-dragging executives. While you may know as much or more than the consultant, the truth is some companies need to hear about the critical importance of a strong social strategy from an outside expert as validation.
  • Measuring forum consumption. You need to understand if people are in your community to learn, to contribute, to ask a question, etc. Exit surveys are a good way to capture data on customer intent, as well as figure out some deflection numbers.
  • Insight analysis tools. Having a platform that analyzes oceans of community content to understand trends and customer sentiment is increasingly important. Today’s customers demand a voice in product futures, and companies ignore this valuable input at their peril.
  • Managing conversations. When questions from social media channels like Twitter or Facebook are too complex to answer with a simple response or a link to existing content, try to move the conversation to your customer community. There the question will receive visibility with the entire community, and a more thorough answer is possible.
  • Characteristics of social support lead. While younger employees may be great at interacting with customers via social media, the program lead needs some experience and business savvy to better judge when issues aren’t appropriate for the community, as well as which questions should be referred to a marketing or PR group to answer.

I’m always a bit nervous with these workout sessions, and have moderated a few in the past that had a difficult time getting the discussion going. With a hot topic like social media, and real-world examples of best (and worst) practices from Brad and David, the audience had lots of questions and comments, and I think the session was very valuable for attendees.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of today’s top attended sessions, and thoughts on the closing day of TSW. As always, thanks for reading!

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One Comment on “Social Support: Seizing the Opportunity”


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