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The 2014 Social Customer Engagement Index

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The 2014 Social Customer Engagement Index marks the fourth Year in which Social Media Today has invited employees to share how their employers are integrating social media tools and strategies to improve customer experiences, especially when it comes to service and support.
This year 1258 respondents participated in the survey.

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The 2014 Social Customer Engagement Index

  1. 1. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––       2014  Social  Customer  Engagement   Index  Executive  Summary     The  2014  Social  Customer  Engagement  Index  marks  the  fourth  year   in  which  Social  Media  Today  has  invited  employees  to  share  how   their  employers  are  integrating  social  media  tools  and  strategies  to   improve  customer  experiences,  especially  when  it  comes  to  service   and  support.    This  year  1258  respondents  participated  in  the  survey.     Key  Takeaways  from  the  2013  Survey   As  companies  gain  experience,  further  integrate  social  into  service   processes  and  teams,  and  align  social  service  strategies  more  closely   with  their  overall  customer  engagement  strategy,  they  are  seeing   more  positive  impact  from  their  efforts.    Additionally,  a  greater   number  of  service  interactions  are  taking  place  over  social  channels.     But  even  as  the  percentage  of  social  service  interactions  increases,   it  still  lags  far  behind  traditional  service  channels  like  email  and   phone.         The  move  to  provide  mobile  customer  service  is  accelerating  and   should  continue  to  do  so  in  the  foreseeable  future  as  customers   operate  more  of  their  personal  and  professional  lives  through  a   plethora  of  devices,  including  wearable  devices.   Effective  resource  allocation  will  continue  to  be  central  to  social   service  success  as  companies  continually  fight  to  keep  up  with   customer  expectations  for  better  experiences.    Optimizing  in  the   face  of  an  ever-­‐changing  mix  of  devices,  tools,  platforms  and   technological  literacy  will  only  become  more  challenging,  even  as   experience  with  social  service  grows  deeper.    It’s  the  nature  of  the   current  environment,  and  it  will  only  accelerate  over  the  next  few   years,  particularly  for  organizations  looking  to  integrate  social  from   a  strategic,  process,  and  team  perspective.   Overall,  Facebook  remains  the  most  used  and  most  effective  social   channel  for  customer  engagement  from  a  service  perspective,  but   companies  who  operate  their  own  branded  communities  find  those   to  be  just  as  important  as  Facebook  and  more  important  than   Twitter.    Over  time,  these  owned  communities  should  allow   companies  to  build  deeper,  more  intimate  relationships  with   customers,  as  long  as  they  continue  to  facilitate  peer-­‐to-­‐peer   engagement  and  provide  relevant,  timely  information  whenever  it  is   needed.  
  2. 2. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––     Speed  of  engagement  will  play  an  increasingly  important  role  in   creating  great  customer  service  experiences,  and  companies  that   focus  on  providing  speedy  responses  on  a  consistent  basis  should   create  win-­‐win  scenarios  for  the  customer  base  and  the     response  times  calls  for  alignment  of  processes,  teams  and   strategies  –  and  of  course  a  greater  percentage  of  investment   dollars  being  used  on  the  right  technology  pieces  to  provide  a  solid   foundation  on  which  to  build.   Finally,  companies  will  maximize  their  odds  of  social  service  success   if  they  make  sure  the  strategy  is  a  meaningful,  well-­‐connected  part   of  the  overall  customer  experience  strategy.    To  that  end,  the   organization  should  create  a  culture  that  allows  that  customer   experience  strategy  to  grow  and  stay  aligned  with  customer   behaviors,  activities  and  expectations  over  time.     Below  are  some  additional  high-­‐level  overviews  of  important   findings  from  the  survey.     Key  Data  Points  from  2013  Index     • 15%  of  companies  say  25%+  of  customer  service  inquiries  are   initiated  over  social  channels  (35%  say  less  than  5%  do) • 27%  say  it  takes  them  less  than  an  hour  to  respond  to   questions/issues  on  social  channel • 14%  say  their  company  has  been  integrating  “social”  into   customer  support  for  more  than  4  years • 52%  say  Facebook  is  most  effective  social  channel  for   customer  service • Twitter  follows  at  25%,  then  Linked  at  8% • Owned  communities  are  most  effective  for  7% Hootsuite  use  among  respondents  tripled  year  over  year  on  the   way  to  becoming  the  most  cited  monitoring  tool  used.  Radian  6,   the  most  cited  tool  from  2012,  dropped  by  38%  in  2013. Strategy • 81%  say  social  customer  service  strategy  is  integrated  into   overall  social  strategy  of  the  organization   • 55%  have  fully  integrated  their  support  teams  (no  separate   team  for  social  service  support)   • 25%  say  they  leverage  customer  service  insights  for  non-­‐ customer  service  related  activities  in  a  structured  fashion     Mobile  Service     • 50%  of  those  surveyed  said  their  company  provides  customer   service  via  mobile  devices,  up  from  38%  in  2012   • 52%  of  those  surveyed  whose  organizations  are  building   customer  service  apps  for  mobile  devices  are  creating  mobile-­‐
  3. 3. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––   friendly  websites,  vs.  36%  who  are  creating  native   iOS/Android  mobile  apps     Results   • 32%  say  they  have  seen  very  positive  impact  from  “social”     on  customer  service  goals  and  objectives   • 16%  say  they  are  very  satisfied  with  their  company’s  efforts  to   engage  customer  on  social  networks  for  service  and  support         General  Trends  Over  Time:  Year-­‐Over-­‐Year  Comparison     With  the  completion  of  the  2013  annual  index,  a  number  of   interesting  temporal  trends  begin  to  emerge.  We  review  these   below.     As  illustrated  above,  there  has  been  a  steady  and  significant  trend   of  support  interactions  occurring  increasingly  through  social   channels:   • Only  35%  of  respondents  say  their  company  has  less  than  5%   of  support  interactions  taking  place  over  social,  compared   with  57%  in  2011.   • Roughly  twice  as  many  people  say  they  are  seeing  11-­‐15%  of   interactions  taking  place  on  social.   • Over  three  times  as  many  people  report  16-­‐20%  of   interactions  occur  via  social  channels.   • Greater  numbers  of  people  report  more  than  20%  of   interactions  happening  over  social  channels  in  2013,   compared  with  2011.        
  4. 4. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––     Looking  at  the  impact  “social  support”  is  having  on  service  goals  and   objectives,  the  upward  trend  in  reporting  positive  impact  is   matched  by  the  downward  trend  in  those  reporting  no  noticeable   improvement.    In  fact,  between  2011  and  2013,  the  10%  drop  in   those  reporting  no  noticeable  improvement  is  almost  completely   offset  by  the  11%  increase  in  those  reporting  either  a  positive  or   very  positive  impact  from  social  support  initiatives.    Given  these   trends,  it  seems  safe  to  say  that  over  time,  as  more  experience  is   gained,  goals  and  objectives  will  benefit  from  an  expansion  of  social   tools  and  strategies  into  customer  service/experience  initiatives.     While  most  other  aspects  of  the  survey  are  trending  positively  over   time,  some  interesting  results  emerge  with  respect  to  overall   satisfaction  with  company  efforts  to  integrate  social  into  customer   support  efforts.    Despite  the  aforementioned  trend  towards   reporting  more  positive  impacts  on  goals  and  objectives,  there  has       been  no  increase  in  the  proportion  of  respondents  who  are  “very   satisfied”  with  company  efforts,  and  overall,  the  numbers  for  those   reporting  some  level  of  satisfaction  are  unchanged.  There  seems  to   have  been  a  shift,  however,  from  disappointment  to  neutrality,  with   the  proportion  of  people  reporting  a  level  of  disappointment   decreasing  over  time,  and  the  proportion  reporting  a  neutral   opinion  increasing.   With  the  rapidly  changing  landscape  of  social,  mobile  and  cloud   technologies  –  along  with  even  more  rapidly  changing  customer   expectations  –  it’s  not  too  surprising  that  respondent  satisfaction   levels  are  not  increasing  as  quickly  as  other  areas.    The  following   chart  of  major  challenges  faced  by  social  support  initiatives  may   help  to  further  clarify:      
  5. 5. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––   While  there’s  been  significant  improvement  in  areas  like   determining  key  performance  indicators,  the  main  obstacle   continues  to  be  figuring  out  how  to  optimally  allocate  resources.     Well  over  40%  of  respondents  say  this  continues  to  be  a  serious   impediment  year-­‐over-­‐year.    Resource  allocation  can  take  the  form   of  people,  team  configuration,  training,  tools  and  financial   investment.    How  companies  determine  resource  allocation  can   determine  how  employees  develop  and  implement  processes  and   procedures  when  engaging  customers  –  which  also  plays  into  how   satisfied  employees  are  with  how  things  are  going.     Insights  from  the  Very  Satisfied  Group     Among  those  who  answered  the  question  about  their  satisfaction   with  their  organization’s  efforts  to  integrate  social  into  service,  16%   said  they  were  very  satisfied.    When  comparing  these  respondents   to  the  overall  population  some  key  points  stand  out.     While  there  are  several  data  points  that  show  those  very  satisfied   with  company  efforts  in  social  service  track  closely  with  the  overall   survey  population,  it  can’t  be  ignored  that  this  group  is  more  than   twice  as  likely  to  also  report  very  positive  impact  from  these  efforts   on  service  goals  and  objectives.    Additionally,  they  are  much  more   likely  to  respond  quickly  to  service  inquiries,  while  handling  a  higher   percentage  of  those  requests  via  social  channels.    They  are  also   more  likely  to  work  in  integrated  teams  of  people,  have  social   integrated  into  traditional  service  processes,  and  have  a  structured   process  for  leveraging  customer  service  insights  in  other  areas  of   the  business.     The  Impact  of  Being  a  Fully  Integrated  Organization   In  2013  we  were  curious  about  the  extent  to  which  social  service   was  integrated  into  the  fabric  of  the  organization.    In  order  to   capture  this  we  added  a  question  that  asked  if  the  social  service   strategy  was  integrated  into  the  organization’s  overall  corporate   social  strategy  to  improve  customer  experience.    Since  we  added   questions  last  year  to  track  if  social  tools  and  strategies  had  been     integrated  into  traditional  support  processes  and  if  support  teams   were  integrated,  we  were  able  to  assess  the  possible  impact  of   integrated  teams,  processes  and  strategies.   240  respondents  indicated  that  their  organizations  have  integrated   teams,  processes  and  strategy.    We  call  these  “fully  integrated    
  6. 6. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––     companies,”  The  illustration  below  compares  this  group  to  the   overall  population  in  a  few  key  areas.    Additionally,  we  look  at  a   subgroup  of  fully  integrated  companies  with  500  or  more   employees,  to  see  how  they  compare  to  the  overall  population.     What  immediately  stands  out  in  the  figure  above  is  how  much  more   likely  fully  integrated  companies  are  to  experience  very  positive   impact  of  their  social  initiatives  on  their  service  goals  and  objectives   Fully  integrated  companies  with  over  500  employees  are  most  likely   to  benefit,  being  almost  twice  as  likely  to  report  very  positive   impact,  compared  with  the  general  population.           Fully  integrated  company  respondents  were  also  much  less  likely  to   report  their  method  of  social  engagement  as  being  “ad-­‐hoc.”    They   are  also  more  likely  to  have  their  own  communities  (especially  500+   employee  fully  integrated  companies),  and  provide  mobile  support   for  their  customers.       While  it  would  seem  that  becoming  a  fully  integrated  company   would  entail  operating  in  a  more  complex  environment,  at  least   while  transitioning  to  this  kind  operation,  fully  integrated   organizations  were  less  likely  to  cite  resource  allocation  as  a  major   challenge.    Management  buy-­‐in,  however,  is  a  slightly  greater   challenge  for  fully  integrated  companies  with  500  or  more   employees.   In  general,  it  appears  there  are  significant  benefits  to  combining   social  tools  and  tactics  at  the  process,  team  and  corporate  strategy   level,  and  for  larger  organizations  the  impact  seems  to  be  even   more  potent,  but  it  will  be  interesting  to  see  how  this  trends  in   2014.   Depending  on  Branded  Community   Last  year  we  looked  at  how  branded  communities  fit  into  the  mix  of   customer  engagement  from  a  service  perspective.    Respondents   who  reported  working  at  an  organization  with  a  company-­‐owned      
  7. 7. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––   community  found  them  to  be  the  most  effective  channel,  even   though  Facebook  and  Twitter  were  by  far  the  most  used  networks   for  customer  engagement.    The  image  below  illustrates  the   continuing  importance  of  these  communities  to  companies  who   own  them.     Facebook  and  Twitter  are  definitely  the  most  effective  channels  for   engagement  for  the  general  population,  by  far  out-­‐distancing   owned  communities,  but  but  those  with  an  owned  community  have   a  different  perspective..    While  Facebook  nudges  out  owned   communities  among  this  group,  those  communities  are,  for  all   intents  and  purposes,  just  as  important  to  them  as  the  big  guys.     A  Look  at  the  Allocation  of  Investment   A  quick  look  at  the  annual  financial  investment  that  companies   allocate  to  implementing  social  tools  and  strategies  into  customer   service  efforts  reveals  some  slight  upward  movement  from  2011  to   2013.     In  the  2013  survey,  for  the  first  time,  we  asked  respondents  to  tell   us  how  the  monies  invested  in  social  service  initiatives  were   allocated.    The  overall  population  reported  allocating  the  money  in   the  following  manner:   • Technology:  23%   • Employee  Time:  51%   • Training:  11%   • Consulting:  10%   • Other:  5%    
  8. 8. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––     A  closer  look  at  how  funds  were  allocated  uncovers  a  few   interesting  patterns.     Across  the  board,  employee  time  is  far  and  away  the  category   receiving  the  most  financial  resources,  with  technology  next  in  line.     While  technology  made  up  23%  of  the  overall  population’s  annual   investment,  that  number  grows  significantly  to  32%  for  larger   enterprises  deploying  native  mobile  apps  for  customer  service.     Technology  spending  also  reaches  32%  for  larger  enterprises  with   the  ability  to  respond  to  service  inquiries  in  less  than  an  hour.     When  looking  at  companies  reporting  very  positive  impact  from   their  organizations’  social  service  efforts,  technology  spending   makes  up  27%,  while  47%  is  allocated  to  employee  time.  Companies       handling  greater  than  25%  of  service  interactions  via  social  reported   spending  14%  on  consulting  time,  well  above  the  general  population   average  of  10%.    Technology  spending  also  makes  up  a  greater   percentage  of  the  overall  spend  for  companies  investing  more  than   $250,000  (29%  vs.  23%).   Social  Monitoring  Tools  –     Interesting  Shift  Year-­‐Over-­‐Year   In  2012  we  started  asking  respondents  for  the  tools  used  at  their   organizations  to  help  implement  their  social  service  strategies.    A   word  cloud  of  the  services  used  in  2012  is  pictured  below:     Just  one  year  later  in  2013  the  word  cloud  looks  like  this:      
  9. 9. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––       As  you  can  see,  many  of  the  tools  mentioned  in  2012  are  missing   from  the  2013  word  cloud,  with  the  missing  tools,  all  of  which  are   paid  services,  indicated  in  red.    Other  tools  like  Radian6  and  Lithium     have  been  de-­‐emphasized,  whereas  services  like  HootSuite  and   Facebook  have  become  more  popular.    Below  is  the  actual  count  of   the  top  tools  mentioned  in  2012  vs.  2013:               This  graphic  really  illustrates  how  tools  like  HootSuite  and  Facebook   made  tremendous  gains  in  terms  of  usage,  while  Radian6,  Attensity   and  Visible  Technologies  lost  some  steam  among  survey   respondents.    Meanwhile,  other  paid  services  like  Sysomos,   HubSpot,  Meltwater  and  Sprinklr  made  gains  among  respondents.   It  will  be  interesting  to  see  what  this  list  will  look  like  in  2014.  Will  it   be  more  turnover,  or  will  the  likes  of  HootSuite,  Sysomos  and  others   continue  picking  up  users?      
  10. 10. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––         Socialmediatoday            –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––     5000+  Employee  Organizations   This  year  for  the  first  time  we  segmented  out  respondents  from   organizations  with  greater  than  5000  employees,  and  with   representatives  from  these  super-­‐sized  organizations  making  up   11%  of  the  total  survey  population,  we’re  able  to  make  some   interesting  comparisons.    The  illustration  below  depicts  how  these   extremely  large  companies  compare  to  the  general  population  of   respondents  with  respect  to  key  survey  metrics.     As  you  can  see,  “super-­‐sized”  companies  are  aligned  with  the   general  population  with  respect  to  impact,  satisfaction  levels,  and   the  belief  that  Facebook  is  the  most  effective  social  channel  for   customer  engagement.  As  might  be  expected,  they  are  much  more   likely  to  invest  big  dollars  into  their  program.    But  the  total  survey       population  is  much  quicker  to  respond  to  social  inquiries,  handle  a   higher  percentage  of  service  interactions  on  social  channels,  and   work  in  more  integrated  teams  than  do  the  big  companies.   About  the  Index  –  By  the  Numbers   This  study  was  led  Brent  Leary,  Partner,  CRM  Essentials  LLC.    Reach   out  to  Brent  via  Twitter  at  @BrentLeary.    To  provide  some   background  information  to  the  make  up  this  year’s  Index,  here  are   some  key  demographics  to  the  survey  population:   • Total  Respondents:  1258  (920  completed) o Up  from  891  (587)  completed  in  2012 • 69%  of  Respondents  are  based  in  the  USA • 48%  employed  at  companies  with  50  or  less  employees • 26%  employed  at  companies  with  over  500  employees • 11%  employed  at  companies  with  over  5000  employees • 30%  are  Director  level  or  above  (C-­‐Level,  VP) • Top  Departments o Marketing  –  57% o Other  –  20% o PR  –  8% o Customer  Care  –  8% o Sales  –  7%   ©2014, Social Media Today, LLC. All rights reserved.