Want to know a secret? Things aren’t always what they seem.
In our roles as analysts, we have the opportunity to speak with dozens, hundreds, thousands of companies a year about the good, the bad and the ugly within their organization.
A few months ago was the first time I got a glimpse into any sort of disorganization behind the scenes.
I was speaking to a major B2C tech company (can’t say who, can say I have multiple products of theirs in my home) who had been really impressing me with their creative approach to social customer service and support. They have a hierarchy of Twitter handles and a library of videos that would make Dewey Decimal swoon. I was thrilled to get the chance to speak with them and find out how they were doing it.
So I get them on the phone and we’re talking and here is what I find out.
- They’ve got two employees handling all of the Twitter-originated support questions from a social monitoring dashboard.
- All Facebook support questions are dealt with right through Facebook.
- These two handle 500 to 1000 interactions per week on Facebook and Twitter.
- They do not share this dashboard with the marketing department. The marketing department hands off any questions regarding support to the two of them on Twitter or Facebook by tagging them in their reply posts. There is nothing going on behind the scenes to organize this – you would never know.
- The video support team is a different team from the one this employee worked with. Efforts there aren’t really joined.
- The kicker is - no one is measuring the impact of the social support being given. They strive to respond to all social inquiries within an hour but there is no time to first response being measured, no calculation of cost savings – nothing.
I’ve got two lessons for readers of this blog coming out of this story. The first is: no matter what mess you have behind the scenes, no matter how poorly your customer service or marketing or HR department work together internally, don’t make it the customer’s problem. As a customer of this organization and as someone who keeps an eye on them in the social sphere, you would never know they were working in such a rudimentary manner. And you know what? Good for them. I’m not saying they shouldn’t get there act together. They are missing out on the extraction of cross-departmental business insight and value in this current style, and disorganized initiatives are not long-lasting.
So that bring me to lesson #2: please, please, please, I am begging you: MEASURE THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK. Are there no measurements in place already? Boohoo – create some! It’s not enough to tell me you have 200,000 fans on Facebook – Lindsay Lohan has more than that and I don’t know if you want your company to be seen as the Lohan of the business world. Show me business value!