Customer Service in 140 Characters

ImageTwitter is good… but how can you make it Great for yourself is up to you. In this post I would list out why we should use Twitter and its mechanics to provide customer service. All in real time, in the moment – we can receive responses and resolutions without holding on listening to music or keying in numbers in response to the IVR. Here why we should adopt it:

  1. Reduce the size of the support team and control costs. For long we have been trying to put our customers to use the IVR, dissuading them from talking to our phone executives. A Twitter listening station would not only help us respond to customers but also identify and reach out to issues, problems or delight that are not directed at us while on phone.
  2. Learn from customers’ repetitive questions to improve our product and service offerings. Repetitive questions on the phone versus the same coming on Twitter, you take your pick – a source of tremendous insights across for teams to make our offerings better.
  3. Replace FAQs with interactive software. All integrated to Twitter, helping us get back faster and with objective resolutions. Take away the dullness for our people and have our customers know that they can help themselves which as humans we all do first before we reach out for help.
  4. Provide support throughout the sales process. Very important that we are able to handhold, guide or just be their to help make out prospects make that buying decision in our favor, particularly for the ones who navigate away before they might complete a transaction.
  5. Focus on high-value customers and questions. With the right system in place the team can concentrate on the most valuable and influential customers who are asking questions and are most like to lead to add-ons, up-sells, cross-sells, accessories sales, service contracts and training offers.

Thoughts? Feedback? Looking to hear from you in comments or @ajaxjoshi

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Social Media KPI [Series] [#1] – Quantitative

Following up on my earlier post in March this year, HOW TO Measure Success – Social Media KPIs here is another one which drills down further. There is so much that you can measure – endless, all you need is the right direction and contextual application. On Social Media, ROI is the most talked about term and for good reason:

  1. It is a new media that is talk of the town
  2. It is shouting for budgets and has already expanding or eating into other media budgets

It is bound to raise eyebrows and there would be tonnes of questions on the ‘Why do we need social media’. This post is surely not going to address that but as the 1st in a series of 3 posts will list out the quantitative KPIs for a Social media campaign/engagement.

Let’s jump right into it, drawing out the KPIs. Mind you, these are still top line and can be drilled out at least 3 levels down and a potent mix with the qualitative (touch points and consumer/audience outlook – coming up in 2 separate posts) will deliver the desired results.

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Facebook’s Hidden Features #1 – The Facebook Archieve

It’s right there… but there is a very good chance that you have not see it – Download a copy of your Facebook data. Look it up – it’s under your account settings tab, right below language.

Here's where you download a copy of your Facebook Data

Click to get a copy of your Facebook history downloaded which features the posts you’ve made on your wall, the photos hared, the names and email addresses of your friends, and more…

Along with it comes an expanded archive download that includes as Facebook calls it, “historic info like IP addresses we store about your logins to Facebook.”

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Is Social Media = Facebook + Twitter?

More often than not you would end up asking yourself this, especially is social media is what you do. I ask this almost daily. Whenever I meet some and tell them what I do, what I hear back is, “Oh! Wow! Facebook and Twitter!”

It used to irritate me earlier; now, I understand that I need to take it in stride for the ignorant few. You can’t help it! While dabbling with the thought, it struck me that each one of us defines a term, a profession, or an action, a process in a way that makes it easy to identify with. With the monumental growth of Facebook and Indian whose who on Twitter, it is very obvious that social media in common man’s language becomes Facebook + Twitter.

Talk about videos – YouTube is on your minds. Want to wish someone birthday on phone, more often than not you would also end up facebooking your friend with the same wish as per the new social protocol that has taken over our lives. An App is nothing but the good old web application that we have been clicking through for some time now, but an App is something that directly relates to our mobiles or to Facebook. Meanwhile while we might be stuck to some of these definitions, we are quick to evolve too! Now instead of Flickr(ing) it you Pin(nterst) it!

Also, notice how we also add to the English dictionary certain other brands as language words. When hurt we do not ask for a bandage but a ‘band-aid’. When thirsty we reach out for a Bisleri and not a bottle of water from the roadside vendor. The latest – iPad! What does one ask for if he wants to buy a tablet – iPad! 🙂

Considering these and many more such examples, I derive peace that its okay if people think and perceive me doing Facebook + Twitter for a living. Yes, when I do meet a few interested few, we dvelve on it more and it all becomes enlightening for the other!

Cheers to us and how we try to make things easy and the easy slowly evolves with our lifestyles and becomes an integral part of it!

What are your thoughts on this? Sure, would love to hear from you guys. Want to know more from me, follow my blog or follow me on Twitter @ajaxjoshi

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Why does every brand page needs a Facebook App?

What is a Facebook App?

A Facebook app is nothing but a micro site, Period! How a techie might put it – It is something that can do almost anything we want to. Coming into Facebook from a hosted source, you could have the database to be what you had like it to be – which unlike through the App is impossible to extract information from Facebook 🙂

Not all people put their contact number and address in online forms – with a Facebook App using Facebook connect you get your information and properties when you can reach your fans.

Keeping Facebook’s promotion guidelines in view, an App is what a brand needs to fuel the much needed engagement and impetus for the brand though sweepstakes, contests, loyalty programs…

… and more…

1. They have an inherent Marketing Potential
2. They act as engagement drivers
3. Enable outbound linking (a big one to have an app!)

Putting 2 and 2 together, it is no doubt an imperative, a must have for every brand Facebook page. If you don’t have one, get one today or miss the opportunity to access the 800MM worldwide!

Send me your app links… follow me @ajaxjoshi
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HOW TO Measure Success – Social Media KPIs

This one is a follow-up post to my earlier post ‘HOW TO Measure Engagement – Social Media KPIs‘. In this post, i would like to talk about ROI of social media. Or, would it be better if I say we use the term Return on Experience (ROE) instead of ROI?

I will choose to talk about ROE, since ROI discussions are something most traditional marketers enjoy hiding behind! No offense meant but the mere idea of talking about ROI in traditional on assumption while ROI in social to be obvious – eyebrows will rise! Though ROI in traditional is something now brands have agreed to go by through the years, social has a long way to go if that were to be the case.

That’s about it on that in this post. Another post opening up that debate 🙂 soon.

So, as a general rule, we could use the following 3 broad KPIs to measure success:

  1. Exposure – How many people will be exposed to our brand/activities?
  2. Engagement – How many people will engage with our brand/activities?
  3. Evangelism – How many people will create content and evangelize our brand/activities?

Broadly these 3 will define your success. A set of KPIs for each of these will further breakdown numbers coming from all the social channels and networks that our campaign will leverage. Each one adding up to another, some overlap like a comment on a post amounts to engagement as well as evangelism though it should fall under engagement.

What do you think about this. Looking forward to your feedback/queries in comments.

Follow me @ajaxjoshi 

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SOCIAL > Media – [SERIES] Post 1

I have always believed that SOCIAL > Media and thats one of the major reasons why I am in this profession that I am – SOCIAL!

We have numerous social media marketers, trainers, specialists…and yes the evangelists. Numerous evangelists? What do you think? numerous is a small count, ain’t it?Who is an evangelist? I am an evangelist, you are an evangelist, everyone is an evangelist. We are all evangelist in our own right and we are zealous advocates of a cause, idea, movement, initiative, or even a brand.

Not beating too much around the bush let me come to why I say SOCIAL > Media – but, before that a small introduction to Cricket in India for my fellow members/colleagues on social space who live in a non-cricket playing country. Cricket in India is a religion. We Indians are crazy about cricket. Today, one of India’s most prolific batsmen, Virender Sehwag, who we also call Viru scored a world record breaking 219 runs in a 1-day international match against the West Indies. Now, I am sure you are confused -“Why is this blogger talking about cricket?” Ah, i will let you in on the answer to this question. Repeating again, SOCIAL > Media, today the whole of Twitter and Facebook was abuzz with Sehwag and Viru and the 200 + runs that he scored. So? Why was the social space abuzz? A few had the previlege to wwatch the match live, rest were glued to their TV sets or watching the stream online. But all of us were sharing our joy with each other of scintillating batting with our friends, family et al online.

We are all social and like to celebrate and spend happy moments with a larger group of people. When it comes to something like Cricket, we are bound together so tightly that it doesn’t matter if I am in a crowd and I hardly know anyone. i will not think even once before I chat up with anyone within that crowd and share my views and excitement. That’s what we all did again today. Through the social networks we did exactly the same stuff, just that we were not present at the same place offline. The platforms were the medium to carry the SOCIAL online. True that the media is important, but, without social media wouldn’t be media while the reverse is not true. SOCIAL wil llive and has always, media come and go.

Closing it here and leaving some food for thought. Would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave your comments.

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Facebook Ads – Should I or Should I Not?

No doubt that Facebook is up there and Mark Zuckerberg has more friends that anybody in this world 🙂

So, the question is, while the opportunity is there, should brands allocate funds for Facebook Ads? Chunk of the funds still go to traditional media but the Facebook media is growing fast and a brand can’t help but but get sucked into it.

Today Facebook has a reach of over 9.5 million of India’s most attractive and affluent which is higher thanany English publications and for that matter English channels on TV. Its so damn cheap, you can get a CPR of as low as INR 0.30! 30 Paise, that’s it, a fraction of a front page of any daily. Add to this, the brand can engage in different ways than how they could with traditional media. Facebook enables conversations leading to engagement and potential sales. A Facebook user can ‘like’, ‘comment’,  answer polls, watch videos, click through to sites… enough to take the user from knowledge to experience and then on the marketing team can create a story outta it. Or, better still, let the users create the story for them – that’s what guys like me do, day in and day out and so can write this post 🙂

If Facebook were a country, it would be 3rd largest in the world – we are said and done with this over and over again. I also talked about it. Here is a stat for India – if Facebook were a daily, it would be number 1 with the next falling behind by 2 million. WOW that’s huge!

Decide for yourself and for your brands.

Please feel free to add comments. Reach out to me if need be.

Happy FBing.

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Influence – Over Drinks with Friends

Haven’t written for some time now. Been busy, swamped with work, family and social media insights.

Last week, over drinks with friends I noticed something that can and is easily being replicated on Social Media platforms. Your friends, people who who think are good and thats why you take out time to meet them act as major influencers when it comes to buying. Its either peer pressure, your ego or just that one wants the other to try/buy what he feels is a great product.

Sitting with them, just observing how one influences the other. The discussion starts off with Suzuki’s new Kizashi and how big a flop it is coming from a small car makers stable. All talked about the fact that Indian market identifies Maruti Suzuki with the Maruti 800 and not a too expensive sedan like Kizashi. I thought to barge in with how Nissan, Toyota and Honda started out Infinity, Lexus and Acura to fight with Mercedes. This would have somehow ended the debate, but I did not.

Next was Apple! How apple has changed how we look at IT. How IT has become a part of our lives, the high-on user experience that makes us talk about Apple products. The fading market share for Nokia, the Blackberry cult and so on.

During all this… I kept to myself but keenly observed how one influences the other. But how? When one backs his argument with information supporting it. My eyes lit up! Social media works the same way. One influences another with his recommendation. To make sure that his recommendation is taken in serious light, enforces it with a hyper link to info/content supporting it.

2+2=4. And I could see that addition right there.

To summarize, if I may, influence is a major driver and social media is an able and a very apt medium for that…

Would like to know of your thoughts. Feel free to comment or reach out to me at @ajaxjoshi

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Keep seeing the same people in your newsfeed lately?

Keep seeing the same people in your newsfeed lately? Also, do the same faces keep commenting on your posts, photos & links?

Facebook recently changed the default newsfeed setting to show posts only from the people you’ve recently interacted with. This also means that most of your friends now don’t see what you share!

Should you like to fix this, please do navigate to the bottom of your newsfeed via desktop, click on ‘Edit Options’, and select ‘All friends & pages’ in the ‘Show posts from’ drop box. Hit ‘Like’ if this tip helped, share it with your friends, & tell us, what do you think about this Facebook update?

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