May 19, 2020

Don't be a wallflower, be a social butterfly

Social Media
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Don't be a wallflower, be a social butterfly

Social media is fast becoming sewn into a successful company’s fabric and those businesses that haven’t already engaged with this internet phenomenon should be asking themselves why.

According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report 83 percent of marketers say social media is important for their business and the majority of them are looking to increase their use of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Calvyn du Toit, Digital Marketing Manager at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, said: “Social media is to marketing what websites were at the turn of the century. Some companies were on it. Others weren’t.

“The ones who had a website benefited and those who didn’t lost out.  The question today is if companies are not using social media, why aren’t they and why are they gambling with their business?”

Stay connected

The ever-increasing need to be connected to customers, the vast majority of which are using or have access to mobile phones, tablets and computers, is of paramount importance.

Du Toit said: “Customers are already on social media so it makes sense to be where your customers are as they will be having discussions about your brand whether you engage with them or not. It is also important to plan and have a clear strategy on how you will interact and engage with your customers.”

When it comes to creating a social media strategy there are a number of crucial points to remember to ensure it is both effective and worthwhile for the company.

“Firstly, you need to determine which social media channels would best suit your company/brand. Some might not work for you and the last thing you want is a social media channel that has been created but left stagnant with no new content or interaction,” warned du Toit.

He also advised to beware of the term “social media is free”, as while the platform itself is free, there will inevitably be costs to a company in terms of man-hours needed to maintain the various channels the company is engaged with.

“You must be aware that social media is for two-way communication, so don’t just broadcast to your follower/fans,” he said. “Think about being at a party or social gathering. Do you want to talk to the person who just stands there and speaks about themselves the whole time? Most probably not and social media is the same. You want to have a balanced conversation with your followers.”

In the picture

When developing a strategy, companies need to think carefully about which social media sites they want to interact with.

For example a wedding photographer would have need for something like Flickr and might be happy to use YouTube for videos, but a film maker would ignore YouTube and is more likely to use Vimeo due to its strong connection to the industry.

Du Toit believes that in South Africa Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube are very popular. He said: “Pinterest also has garnered a lot of followers particularly among female users. Pinterest also works well for companies that have an E-commerce element and have lots of photos to “pin”.

If your business hasn’t already devised a social media strategy here are a few top tips to get you started:

1 List goals and objectives – decide which department or departments own social media within your organisation and make your goals SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely.

2 Do your research – find out which social media sites would work best with your needs and look at what your competitors are doing. Discover what are key influencers and trends within your industry and get to know your target audience.

3 Working together – Make sure you team are all on the same page using the SMART guidelines and write down your course of action.

4 Implementation – Assign responsibility to certain tasks and use a content calendar to help keep things focused. Promote your social media networks on company emails, letterheads, invoices, business cards and other places.

5 Monitor the strategy’s performance – after a few months evaluate how successful (or not) the strategy has been. Use specific metrics to analyse click rates, shares, likes, subscribers and sales.

Social media plays on one of the core human survival instincts, which is having information and according to du Toit is here to stay.

“I think social media will be around for a long time,” he said. “I am positive that the digital element of social media is here to stay. Soon all ads will be served digitally. Billboards, bus stops, movie posters, inshore advertising etc, will all become digital at some point and with it grants a world of flexibility.”

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Jun 12, 2021

Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey

Roger Beadle, Co-founder & CEO...
6 min
Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless looks at how CX can directly Influence revenue generation in streaming services

There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.

There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.

There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.

In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.

Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.

So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?

Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney

While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.

For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.

For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.

Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.

It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.

How do companies support the new customer journey?

More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.

These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.

The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?

For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.

It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.

And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.

It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.

At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.

About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.

About Limitless
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.

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