We’ve been talking quite a bit about social CRM lately as I’m gearing up to present at the New Communications Forum in a few weeks. I’ve really received some killer feedback on the Social CRM Process post that I wrote a few days ago. Collectively we (me and the community here) have identified several areas that need to be fixed. Mitch Lieberman even sent me a modified version of my diagram with some interesting ideas, but we’ll get to that in an upcoming post. For now I want to address another topic which is the current gap between what companies are doing and what customers expect. The image below depicts this gap.
Perhaps the image would be better served as some sort of a balancing scale where customer expectations weight far more than company outputs, but for now this works. There might be a few other items that are missing, if so, please mention them in the comments section of this post. The goal of this image isn’t to say that companies are doing a horrible job with their social CRM efforts, it’s to show that we are on the right track but that we still have a long way to go before we align ourselves with what customers actually expect brands to deliver.
Company outputs, what companies are currently doing:
- Inconsistent communication across multiple channels
- Active listening but not acting
- Fragmented customer experience across multiple channels
- Weak community-based relationships
- Too much selling
- Non-targeted offers & promotions
- Limited transparency
Customer expectations, what customers want from companies:
- Collaborative relationship
- Marketing relevancy
- Good value
- Trust/piece of mind
- Prompt dispute resolution (customers don’t care what department you are in)
- Feeling of importance
- Consistent presence
- Two way communication
Keep in mind that this is a general list of items and not all of them are applicable to every company or to every customer. Again, I’m just trying to paint a broad picture of what I believe we are seeing in the social CRM space. I see this gap as a giant opportunity for companies and have a few examples to share.
I’m currently looking for flights to Australia and New Zealand for sometime in June or July. I came across a few special offers on Qantas Airlines but when I actually tried to purchase the tickets those special offers did not appear. I contacted Qantas on twitter and I must say their response to my issue was killer. I received a tweet and an email from Qantas asking me for a good time to chat, within a few minutes I had the same person that manages the twitter account on the phone with me. A very personable, friendly lady who not only helped me find the offers I was looking for but also spent some time with talking about several must see places on my trip. Not only that, but I also received a custom made ppt presentation which walked me through all the steps that I needed to go through to get those offers (this would be great to put for the general community to see as I’m sure I’m not the only one having this problem). This built an emotional relationship between myself and Qantas Airlines. I can now put a voice, personality, and a name to the person behind the twitter account (same for Qantas) and I know that if I have any other issues I will get help quickly. So when it comes time for me to purchase tickets to anywhere near Australia or New Zealand, why would I fly any other airline? (I haven’t purchased the ticket yet as I’m finalizing dates, but I will)
I also booked a last minute flight to Hawaii which leaves in a few hours. I spent some time looking at flights on various sites; finally I decided to reach out to Hawaiin Air on twitter. Keep in mind I was already on the purchase page for Hotwire and was ready to click the “pay” button but wanted to check if Hawaii Air had some sort of specials on last minute deals. I sent out the tweet and waited a few minutes but received no response; so I just booked the flight via Hotwire. Shortly after I purchased my ticket Hawaiin Air got in touch with to get more information but alas my ticket had already been purchased. They were just not fast enough.
So here we have two airlines with two very different responses, one of those airlines got my business, the other did not. Qantas solved my customer expectations of:
- Prompt resolution (had someone on the phone within a few minutes)
- Two-way communication (on twitter, email, and the phone)
- Collaborative relationships (helped me select destinations)
- Personalization (I received a custom ppt presentation with steps outlining how to get the special offers)
- Feeling of importance
The gap between what I expect and what Qantas offers is small, the gap between what I expect and what Hawaiin offers is larger. Now I’m not being critical of Hawaiin Air, after all they did respond to me and they did a great job, but when I’m looking to buy ASAP, prompt response is everything. This is just my expectations of a brand with a presence on twitter, I expect them to be there whenever I have a problem, is that unreasonable? Maybe it is, but it’s still what I expect.
Sometimes it only takes one transaction to help close the gap between what a company offers and what a customer wants, case in point Qantas.
Your turn. Have any other stories, comments on the diagram, thoughts on this post? Please share.
(Cross-posted @ Social Media Globetrotter )