Introducing The Social Customer Engagement Index

BrentLeary
Brent Leary Partner, CRM Essentials

Posted on July 19th 2010

Introducing The Social Customer Engagement Index

A few weeks ago we invited members of TheSocialCustomer.com community to participate in a short survey to help us better understand how your companies were using social technologies to support their customers.  We also partnered with The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) to invite their global membership of customer care experts to participate as well.  And thanks to the members of both communities, we had 118 people in less than a week take the survey.

The full results of the survey will be available shortly in a whitepaper we are putting together (you can pre-register for it here).  In the meantime, I'd like to share a few key pieces of information that I found interesting. 

The Very Big and the Very Small

Seventy-six percent of the respondents came from companies employing greater than one thousand employees (46%), or fewer than fifty employees (30%).  This will make it interesting to compare and contrast philosophies and approaches big companies and small companies are taking with respect to integrating social media into customer service. 

For example, twenty-four percent of employees from large enterprises said their companies have already fully integrated social media/networks into their customer service processes.  This compares with forty-three percent of the small business respondents who say they've already integrated “social” into customer service processes.  That's a sizeable difference which may be due to more complex processes and integration needs for the large enterprises, or possibly points to a difference in defining what “fully integrated” means to large and small organizations.

Big Spenders

 While fifty-five percent of respondents from companies with over one thousand employees spent less than $50,000 on their social initiatives, eighteen percent did spend over $100,000.  And of that number spending over $100,000, half of them are spending over $250,000 — or 9% of the total respondents from large enterprises.  Surprisingly, there are even two companies with less than fifty employees who have spent greater than $250,000, with another one of them spending over $100,000.

Intent to Integrate Social into Customer Service

As mentioned above, twenty-four percent of respondents from enterprises with over one thousand employees said their companies have already fully integrated “social” into customer service processes.  Thirty-nine percent of those who are not fully integrated say they will be within a year, while twenty-nine percent say their companies have no plans to do so.

Toughest Challenges

Companies with over one thousand employees cited three main challenges to engaging customers on social networks.  Getting management buy in was chosen by forty percent of those respondents.  But the two answers selected most were determining appropriate key performance indicators/metrics (51%) and understanding customer expectations (49%).  And while understanding customer expectations was the most cited challenge at companies with fewer than fifty employees at 60%, developing key performance indicators and metrics fell way down in importance to 15%.

More to Come

The above is just a portion of the findings from the survey.  The whitepaper on the survey results will take a more detailed look, providing even more insight into how companies are adopting and using social tools to better serve and support customers.  And while this initial survey is not a scientific exercise, we do think the information will help our community gain a better understanding of how their peers are approaching the challenges involved with serving socially-empowered customers.  With 87% of those from the larger enterprises (over 1,000 employees) identifying themselves as managers and directors, we think that can provide a great deal of information.  We hope this will in turn help community members improve their chances to successfully integrate social tools and methodologies into their company's customer service processes. 

We feel by doing this kind of survey on a quarterly basis we can provide ongoing knowledge and insight to the community.  Thanks to all who participated in the inaugural survey.  And a big thank you also goes to the great folks at SOCAP for their participation and assistance in helping us get this off the ground. 

We encourage you to pre-register for the whitepaper now, and we'll send you an email with a link to the finished research as soon as it becomes available.

 

BrentLeary

Brent Leary

Partner, CRM Essentials

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Comments

EricJacques
Posted on June 24th 2010 at 9:13AM

Hi Brent,

These are interesting results and I look forward to seeing the white paper.

On the isuue of spending, were the costs that are/should be included defined? If not, the small business with 250K$ of spending on SM may have simply included costs that others did not. I also think that one single result isn't necessarily statistically significant, they may have simply clicked the wrong button...

Cheers

Eric

BrentLeary
Posted on June 30th 2010 at 2:34AM

Hi Eric,

 

We wanted to limit the number of questions we asked folks to answer, so we kept things at a high level.  So we did drill into what made up the financial investment number each respondent selected.  Maybe as we develop things we'll be able to get a little bit more granular while not asking too much of a time commitment to participate.  

Thanks!

Brent

PeterAuditore1
Posted on June 29th 2010 at 11:40PM

Brent:

So what parameters are you assigning for the engagement index. 

Thanks, miss hanging out with you.

Peter

BrentLeary
Posted on June 30th 2010 at 2:36AM

Hey Peter,

 

Still working the parameters up.  Would love to pick your brain on this if you have some time.  It's time for us to connect anyways, right?  :-)

Thanks!

Brent

Lawrence Of Avaya
Posted on July 23rd 2010 at 12:31AM

I wonder if the large (>1000) and very small (<50) data is closely comparable across some of these measures? Social media integration for a very small organization might mean that they have email, a web site and run Tweetdeck. For a large organization that wouldn't count - they would have to have a far more serious integration into contact centers and complex service processes for it to be meaningful. Essentially a whole different activity.

I always wonder in all technology surveys, especially in early markets, what "fully integrated" really means. I can't say I believe it and I wonder what it could mean in such an early exploratory area as customer care through social media? I personally think it means "we think we have done quite a lot comparatively and may not immediately do a lot more until we understand this more".

Aah, statistics - have fun building the report :)