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customer experience excellence requires focus on the journey

By on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized |

A recent McKinsey study (link hat tip to Dion Hincliffe) highlights the importance, for brands, of focusing holistically on all the touch-points of the customer journey rather than on isolated interactions (which they call “moments”): “Customers are increasingly using multiple channels to interact with companies in an effort to meet their needs. To resolve a billing issue, for example, customers will often start with their bill, turn to the internet, call in to a call center, revisit the web site to check for resolution, and finally confirm a resolution on their next statement.  In fact, over 70percent of very satisfied customers build a favorable impression when their needs are met over three or more  touchpoints. A Customer Journeys approach addresses this. Additionally, Customer Journeys are consistently better predictors of value. They do a better job than the touchpoint approach of predicting a customer’s willingness to recommend the company to others or to renew their business. They also give more reliable insight about a customer’s likelihood to cancel/churn…” The McKinsey research is worth a read:...

social businesses of today can learn from the gigging bands of the 90’s

By on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized |

I just came across an interesting post by Jeremiah Owyang, in which he charts the evolution of social business and makes the prediction that it’s future will be centred around the collaborative economy: “…the next phase of Social Business goes beyond marketing and customer support, it changes the fundamental business models and relationships that we will have with our customers. The big change that brands will struggle with, as is it means that brands will have to care about the relationship between customers as they trade and rent your products between themselves.” Whilst I agree with Owyang on this being the next stage of social business adoption, it’s not an unfamiliar or new model (update: which, to be clear, isn’t Owyang’s arguement). As a university student, in the America of the mid-90’s, I observed a number of bands – Dave Matthews Band and Phish being examples that spring to mind – that followed exactly this approach. They were “gigging bands” who traveled from town to town, usually university campus to campus, playing at sold out venues every night. Fans were encouraged to record and share their recordings of shows, to set up stalls selling home produced merchandise in venue car parks, and to follow the band from show to show so as to create a traveling community of like-minded people. These bands not only survived but thrived, not on the basis of radio plays and album sales (although both those did eventually come to Dave Matthews), but on the enthusiasm of the community of fans they built around their music and the lifestyle it spoke to. They realised, early on, that by engaging with fans in this way, they could create legions of advocates, spreading their music and encouraging those they influence to buy tickets to gigs and branded merchandise. For the gigging bands of the 90’s, the community and the experience it offered, rather than pre-packaged albums, was the product. Brands of today can learn from this and apply those lessons to social...

why social networking struggles in the living room

By on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized |

I recently purchased, after some consideration, a new flat screen television with built-in wifi. One of the big selling points of TV manufacturers these days is integration with download services (for me, it had to come with iPlayer integration to be on my short list) and social networking platforms. I just don’t get why someone would want Facebook, at least in its native format, on their television. Facebook is a personal experience, centred around an individual’s profile, whereas television viewing, at least in my household, is a communal experience – something an individual centric, profile based platform can’t natively support. I’ve thought of a logical workaround, however – a Facebook app that allows all viewers (perhaps it could use the built in sensor to determine which family members are viewing) to be logged in simultaneously, with the newsfeed, potentially filtered by “updates related to what you are watching now”, appearing alongside the programme on screen. By filtering for programme specific content, the app would deliver relevance, and extend the communal experience of watching to friends outside the home. Watching a documentary about New York? Your friends in New York will see an update inviting them to reply. Got a friend who is watching the same show? The app connects you. The filter would also stop your kids from seeing content containing certain keywords, your partner from seeing posts from that ex you’ve sworn your no longer in touch with, etc etc – again, something I think presents a stumbling block to bringing Facebook into a communal TV viewing experience. I struggle to think of any social networking or Internet service that have solved the challenge of communal usage. I’m often frustrated that it’s not possible to create, for example, a household iTunes account. We use my account on the iPads and Apple TV my family uses, but my wife’s phone has to have it’s own account, meaning iTunes content and app services aren’t available on her device. It’s somewhat ironic that profile based services, whilst opening up a huge variety of communal experiences by diminishing the barriers of distance and time, don’t yet support shared experiences thru a single device. I don’t think there’s a huge space for communal social networking apps, but if someone does it right, perhaps by building an app like I’ve described for TV viewing above, I do think there would be a market for...

search – a source of outcome based metrics for social

By on May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized |

It’s long been known that social media impacts a brand’s overall visibility, both through it’s reach into social media audiences as well as by generating new inbound links, wrapped in useful context, that search engines index and apply within their algorithm so as to (help) determine relevance. The latter of these – the “boost” that social media gives to a brand’s visibility in organic search results, is a potentially useful source of outcomes based metrics for social media activities. Let me explain. Google, according to a 2012 study, usually displays 10 results on it’s first page, 85% of which are organic with the remainder paid. Over half – 53% – of users will click on the first organic result. A further 34% will click on results 2-5. That’s a total of 87% of users clicking on the top five organic results. How much is a top five search result listing worth to a brand? A lot. And it’s not just a brand or product name that needs to be found within search results – brands also want to be associated with key words related to their product or service offering so they can dangle those links in front of users with little or no brand awareness. In instances where it’s possible to control for other factors, such as SEO activities, benchmarking a brand’s appearance in search results offers a useful opportunity to, during and after a social media campaign, measure progress towards a number of desired outcomes including: the ranking of brand owned pages in search results (from 3 and 5 to 1 and 2 for example) the dominance of the brand’s pages or pages containing references to it in results (from 20% of first page results to 40%, for example) the crowding out of the results of competitors, etc (three competitors appearing on front page instead of two) In addition to measuring the (potential) impact of social media activities on search visibility, it is, of course, also possible to interrogate the brand or product website’s analytics to determine what impact, in terms of actual click-throughs, that enhanced search visibility has had. It might also be useful, when doing this, to conduct an analysis of how much a similar number of click-throughs would have cost through paid search placement activities. This allows direct comparison of costs vs benefits. It’s not perfect, but search visibility and the resultant click-throughs are a reasonable enough place to start when beginning to measure progress towards specific outcomes, and starting to understand how the cost/benefits of social weigh up against those for paid...