Case Study #1: How ACT! by Sage Software Transformed the Customer Experience By Social Media

The First Case Study in the Series About "How to Deploy Customer Service Social Media!"

If you have been following this blog, you might remember that I posted this a while back. But with the new year here, I thought it might be good to repeat some of the case studies while adding new ones... just in case you missed them or in case you wanted a refresher as you start down the path of providing a solution to your company social media needs!

When I published the ROI of customer service social media, everyone had asked me - who is doing social media and what are they doing. To help those who haven't started down the social media path, I put together the 5 Best Practices of customer service social media. That doc is chocked full of ideas you can use today. And to provide more details on how companies have accomplished their goals for social media, I also decided to publish a bunch of case studies! ACT! is the first of many! I hope it helps you to get a better idea of how valuable social media is and its bottom-line affects!

Who is Sage and What Did They Want to Accomplish With Social Media?

Sage North America provides softwar applications to small and mid-sized business. The software covers a full range of business functionality including customer relationship and contact management. Facing tangible and intangible challenges with customers and a downturned economy, Sage was faced with reinventing ACT! software. They wanted gain and retain market share with top-notch customer service. They saw this as the most important component to the brand's success and the company's revenue growth.

To solve these challenges, Sage CRM Solutions product management turned to social media. They launched an online customer service community. This gave Sage executives a more dynamic view into actual customer issues and thereby allowed the whole company to know what needed to be done to transform the customer experience. The community provided a two-way conversation between top executives and customers. There customers told the honest truth about how they felt about the product, the service and shared "what would be better if..."

Executive Sponsorship? Yep- B.I.G. Time!

Executive blogs were a key part of the online community. In particular the GM used his blog to have an open dialogue with customers. When customers raised an issue, the GM responded in the blog, addressed the challenge and even provided his direct contact information if customers wanted to continue the conversations offline. While some executives might be paralyzed by the unknowns of engaging in truly open, authentic, genuine and honest dialogue with customers in a "public" setting like an online customer community, the GM saw it as his opportunity to get closer to their customers.

The results are that the ACT! brand's Net Promoter Score increased by 15 points, web self-service was enhanced and product development now became directly driven by the voice of customers in the community. For more details on this, see the report: Case Study: ACT! by SageSoftware uses Social Media to Transform the Customer Experience.

Let me know what you learned and how it affects your social media initiatives! Be brave. Just do it!

Click here to visit the ACT! community!

Learn. Grow. Share. @drnatalie or npetouhoff@forrester.com