Odeon, the UK-based company that has been bringing the delights of the silver screen to movie-goers in Great Britain and Europe since 1930, has a new partner: Conversocial, a 3-year-old-startup that specializes in social-based customer service.
I spoke last week with Alex Packham, Social Media Executive for Odeon and its sister company, Europe's UCI Cinemas, about how they are adapting to social interactions with their customers as well as using social data to engage management in a meaningful way. Alex heads up a team of five, responsible for both marketing and listening for the company, the largest film exhibitor in the UK and Europe. They engage in 24/7 monitoring and response on Facebook and Twitter, the company's primary channels.
"We're a hybrid between marketing and customer service," says Packham, "and because our responses to customer inquiries and complaints happen in a public forum, we've come to realize that the faster and better we respond, the more likely we will engage and even please all our customers. So you can't really separate [marketing from customer service.]"
"Also, when someone answers a question in a public forum, we're reducing the times that the question has to be answered individually," thus reducing staff time and overhead. Initial measures of success from just Facebook are impressive:
According to Packham, "In May 2012 ODEON had 1,613 incoming comments/posts/messages on our official Facebook page and 190 of these were customer service inquires that we responded to. We had 177,000 Facebook fans at this time.
In July 2012 we had 3,900 incoming comments/posts/messages on our official Facebook page and 300 of these we're customer service enquires that we responded to. We had 216,000 Facebook fans at this time." That's more than double the inquiries over a 3-month period.
But the most impressive thing about how Odeon is using Conversocial may be the way that the analytics provided by social reporting have reengaged the group's reporting to management. Following a "massive" sentiment analysis survey in 2010, Packham has been able to provide clear benchmarks on improvement to his monthly and quarterly reports up the line.
"We'd discovered that we were viewed as an expensive cinema without the best service." That's when the social service program went into high gear. "We chose Conversocial because they had the best combination of tools and brand analysis," says Packham.
The result? "We reduced negative sentiment by 61% in a single year...Conversocial offered us more analysis and set up an analysis dashboard with Twitter and Facebook data, the kind of thing not available on Facebook and Twitter, and in easy-to-read graphs and tables, which is especially relevant not only to members of the team, but also to senior members who get it on monthly basis."
Conversocial, founded in 2009 by Joshua March, has seen their revenue more than double in the past six months as they roll out their focused social customer service platform and their advisory services to new customers.
According to March, "Conversocial is very focused on high-volume social customer service. If a company needs a system to identify and prioritize large-scale social customer service, or is just looking for a solution that just handles social customer service, we can help. Our APIs can integrate into larger (CRM) systems." Further, although those integrations have been "pretty manual" so far, Conversocial is working on a Salesforce plug-in that users of the platform can coordinate with more easily.
Packham says about Conversocial's own service: "They're great at service, very personable, and very responsive in how they work with their clients." Good to know.