Most people know Intel as a provider of microprocessor for large manufacturers like Apple, Dell and HP. A large portion of their business is driven by the elaborate network of customers - resellers, partners, etc.. from around the globe. To remain innovative Intel must enroll, engage, and entertain the most brilliant minds to continue to push the boundaries of technology. They realized the ability to collect and harness the power of that collective wisdom would be best served by social media.
The Old Way Of Doing Business. In the past they had used traditional focus groups, where engineers, scientists and business people would gather from around the globe and spend a week or so together, creating new possibilities. What they found was that ,in addition to the expense of flying people from all over the globe, while the conversations were great -- they were more difficult to keep ongoing conversations as the same level of creativity and intensity. Once back at home, the everyday work/home life catches up with everyone. And they clearly saw the need and desire of the collective wisdom to be in more continuous conversations.
Intel decided to use social media as a platform to look at key business factors and sustain these conversations on a continuing basis. Intel engaged key customers in open discussion about how to improve their customer experience. First they found a need for customer's to be able to contact Intel quickly and securely to discuss product or process issues or ideas. And second, Intel found that the customers wanted the ability to engage with each other without involvement from Intel. Of course, privacy and security were of the utmost importance!
Intel began by evaluating the customer experiences, its methods of being in communication with its customers and its ability to target and engage customers and maximize effective, relevant, just-in-time communications.
Remember that great song... "Can't get no... Satisfaction..." Some how I think that is the national anthem of most customers. Why is it so freaking hard to get satisfaction?
I found out it's not really that hard if you have getsatisfaction.com In an interview with the company's CEO, Wendy Lea and her team, I learned a lot about how they are helping companies hear and respond to the voice of the customer...
GetSatisfaction is the brainchild of Thor Muller, Amy Muller and Lane Becker. They wanted to make a difference. They wanted to use software to enable a better world. There in the heart of South Park - they came up with a way to do that.
After a wave of pretty abysmal attempts in the early part of this decade, virtual chat agents pretty much disappeared from the scene. However, the past couple of years has seen a new wave of implementations of this customer-facing technology with some large-company implementations, including “Frank” on the Verizon website (Ask Verizon); “Louise” at eBay France (Votre conseillère virtuelle); and “Anna” at Ikea (Have a Question?). Virtual chat sits in the interaction spectrum between search and live customer service agents and combines natural language processing, conversational interactions, and an (optional) animated persona.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to three different vendors in this marketplace — all of whom have seen an uptick in the their business over the past 12 months. The common themes expressed by all three — the ability to engage customers with a more conversational tone where questions are answered, rather than search results based on keywords presented; and common results of better sales and higher service call avoidance, indicate that virtual agents may make a good corporate “hire” in the right circumstances. Rough estimates of costs — about $0.25 per successful resolution of the customer problem.
So many of you came to the @CRMe09 conference where I spoke about the ROI of Social Media, in particular that derived from customer service. And a funny thing that happened there... Lithium had a booth in the exhibitors area and they had asked me to come and speak to people about my ROI model. So there I was ready to impart my wisdom. A man came up and saw the flyer on the table - it was for the Tweet-up. He picked up the flyer and asked me to tell him about Tweet-up.
This quarter I've started some research on knowledge management (KM) for the contact center and customer service. This is KM for both agent-assited and self-service. One of the biggest misnomers about customer service is how important great knowledge management is to good experiences. And no, I don't mean Sharepoint. That's a fine product- but for customer service- one needs to find answers and not documents.
Customers often wonder - why, when they do a search on a website or when they ask a customer service agent for help- they wonder why the search results are awful- meaning nothing that got pulled up in the search was even remotely what they needed. And they also wonder why the agents don't have THE answer.