Gartner Blog Network

The CIO, navigating Social strategies with a map of Jargonia

by Michael Maoz  |  January 22, 2013  |  1 Comment

If you have not gone through the new 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer deck from Edelman Insights, check out their site: This global survey highlights some ideas that you know from your gut, but cringe when you read them. For example, that less than 20% of people believe that business leaders make ethical business decisions. Or that 18% of respondents believe that business leaders tell the truth. Maybe the upside is that the CEO has a very low bar in front of his or her self.

Another of the many questions asked was about the number of times the average person needs to hear the same message from an enterprise before they believe it: 68% of people said that they needed to hear the same message three-to-five times for it to stick. And if you want to be believed: be an “Expert” and not an “Industry Analyst.” Experts in a field are the most trusted business figures in the world, regardless of location or age group or industry.

That leads us to the strange land, laden with abstruse business Jargon, known as Jargonia. The map is particularly vexing for the region of “Social.” Maturity models and cross-functional collaboration and refining core principles, aligning metrics for value outcomes. Yikes. You get to feel Dorothy’s fears on the way to Oz: “Oh! Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.”

Not that the terms are not valuable. They just need to be attached to very concrete ideas on how to move from theory to action. Many of the Social strategies that companies are trying to put in place are hung up on the shoals of jargon. Rather than clear goals, like wiring diagrams explaining the complex skein of wires and welds beneath a motherboard, there is a lot of yammer and chatter. One of the responses to an earlier post illustrated a very nice, clear, and satisfying example of how Nestlé uses social media to detect, analyze, resolve and respond to a customer’s post on Facebook. Maybe everyone can’t have the resources of a Nestlé, but everyone can create clear, integrated strategies to resolve customer issues in a holistic way.

What does ‘holistic’ mean: social listening was tied to customer support. Customer support was linked to a customer database. There was access to a business rule. There was a rule to reach out and, proactively at this point, solve the customer’s problem. There was case creation so that the business could maintain a ‘corporate memory’ of the problem resolution. There was a “Closed Loop” system to get back to the customer, allowing the customer to see the elegant mechanism that had allowed Nestlé to recover from an initial glitch in the Contact Center, detected through Facebook. It was all about the outcome: a ‘win-back’ of a disappointed customer who is now ‘delighted.’ The final step, and I can’t say if it happened or not, would be to feed the analysis of how the process broke down in the first place BACK to the original source, and get it fixed. The best recovery from a bad customer experience is to not have the bad experience to begin with.

CIOs are in a terrific position to take a more ascendant position in Social strategies. They know a great deal about measurement, and about program management, regulations, fraud, security, and technology selection. Over the next three years, CIOs could be partners with global heads of digital marketing in designing systems that lead to greater trust, greater consistency, and, as a result, greater respect for the Brand.

Here is to a 2013-2015 where the CIO and heads of marketing and customer support band together to rewrite the map to great customer experiences.

Category: analytics-for-social-crm  applications  cio  crm  innovation-and-customer-experience  leadership  social-crm  social-networking  social-software  strategic-planning  

Michael Maoz
VP Distinguished Analyst
13 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Michael Maoz is a research vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research. His research focuses on CRM and customer-centric Web strategies. Mr. Maoz is the research leader for both the customer service and support strategies area and customer-centric Web… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on The CIO, navigating Social strategies with a map of Jargonia

  1. Desiree says:

    Great article.

    I’m going to check out that report. And yes – those figures regarding the character of CIO (or any C-levels in my opinion) are scary! But, I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve been fortunate to be in companies where most of the executives are pretty open. However, I’ve run into some unethical ones, too!

    “The best recovery from a bad customer experience is to not have the bad experience to begin with.” 200% agree. Doesn’t help to put a band aid on something. To really benefit the business the root issue has to be identified and resolved.


Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.