Social Business Sandy

BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

Category: governance

Talking Social Business with Airlines in Prague with a new Social Study for Airlines

 The GLOBAL AIrline Summit. 

On September 9, I’ll be talking with senior airline executives from around the world at the IBM Airline Summit in Prague, Czech Republic. The theme of the summit is “Smarter travelers expect smarter airlines: Delivering an exceptional customer experience while optimizing operations.”

Today’s travelers really do expect more from airlines than ever before. Yes, we expect smooth operations, a pleasant flight and good value.

But more and more we expect personalized customer service while we are shopping for a trip and during each step of the journey, delivered consistently through all the devices we use.

The NEW Socially Connected Airlines. 

Today, meeting those expectations depends on using the latest social business tools to help the airline workforce keep the planes on schedule and to create exceptional customer experiences.

I recently read a related article in Business Travel News that might interest you by Paul Campion, an IBM colleague in the UK.

The SUMMIT.  A Breakthrough Event!

 At the summit, airline executives will share their own experiences and hear speakers from other airlines, industry analysts, a leading international airport, Coca-Cola marketing, Netflix, and from IBM. 

We’ll be launching some exciting new social business research sponsored by IBM with PhoCusWright – “Social media in travel: mayhem, myths, mobile and money.” The study will provide clear quantitative insights around what travel companies need to manage, mobilize, and monetize their social strategy.

Of course, the Summit won’t be all work and no play. I hear that we’ll take a tram ride and walking tour through Prague’s beautiful old town. Then we’ll share a meal in one of the city’s great restaurants. I’m looking forward to it. Watch this space for my blog post after the event.

Social Selling — Why is it important?

Social media is used everywhere and is crucial to think through as a sales avenue:

  1. 1 of 5 minutes is spent online
  2. 3 in 5 IT decision makers learn about new products
  3. 57% of decision made before Sales contact
Social selling drives (per Aberdeen Group, Collaborate, Listen, Contribute: How Best-in-Class Sales Teams Leverage Social Selling, Nov 2012)
  1. 30% more team attainment of sales quota
  2. 21% more reps achieve quota
  3. 15% increase in customer renewal rate

Who is a Social Seller?   The social seller doesn’t just use social tools — they have a different approach.   They are:

  1. A Trust-builder
  2. An Idea challenger
  3. A Customer Advocate
  4. A Conversation Partner
  5. THE Go-to Person
sales quote

Social Business Governance: Relationship over Rules

I have been meeting with a lot of clients and see a lot of discussion around governance and structure required.   In a survey done in 1Q 2013, we see 2.7X the focus on developing social business governance. 
 
Because there is no natural organizational owner of “social,” an effective governance structure must balance  responsiveness and inclusiveness. 

Being inclusive means engaging stakeholders early and broadly to build shared understandings and expectations.  Responsiveness provides for clear accountability and speed in decision making.  The  challenge is to build governance structures and processes that accomplish both.

Having a relationship with your employees not just rules makes a huge difference in how successful you are!

Achieving the transformative value of becoming a Social Business involves connecting all parts of the organization (including channels, partners and customers) in new ways.  It often requires quite new ways of managing people, flatter organizations, and significant cultural change.  While becoming social provides individual flexibility, it’s important that the change achieves the unifying value for the company  of the new goals and culture. 

A strong governance program facilitates coordinated change.  The governance is led by two complementary leadership groups who’s members include the major “organizational structures” (e.g., LOBs, Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Channel Management,  …). 

The first, the Executive Sponsor Group, defines the strategic linkage and goals   of becoming a social business.  Members are leaders across the organization.  The second is a Digital Council.  These are executives who are responsible for the organization-wide, execution creation of the Social Business plan.  The representatives are often the social business leaders in their respective LOBs and functional areas, which ensures focus on the vertical and horizontal needs.

governance

The Digital Council focuses on the key areas of a social program:

  • Community Management – Provides a common approach to drive change and adoption at and across the LOB and functional level.  It includes actions like community management, Content Management, community analytics, and best practices.  While the focus is value at the  LOB / functional level, the governance processes has a Center of Excellent that shares best practices to create a common social voice and approach across and outside the organization. 
  • Metrics and Measurement –  Covers all elements of data and measurement.  Starts with analytics / listening to guide the where and how to engage socially.  This includes internal analytics of social networks, expertise, and projects, as well as the external listening and analytics.  This group also is responsible for creating and automating the overall program measurements to track success, progress on the plan, and social return.
  • Reputation and Risk Management – Focuses on 3 main areas:  1. regulatory risk and compliance(if relevant),  social record retention for general discovery, and other legal and financial risks;    2. policies, guidelines and processes for the organization and associates to participate in social media (for example, IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines); and    3. proactively managing the organization’s reputation and having a defined plan to respond to various levels of negative media or emergencies.
  • Standards – This group focuses on process and technical standards for a social business.  While LOBs, major business functions, etc. require the freedom to build their social programs tailored to their needs, the Standards group ensures that the overall company can be nimble in connecting across boundaries in ways not always anticipated.  Standards for brand and ways of connecting with partners, channels, clients, etc. ensure that the company is viewed as coordinated and focused on needs vs. a “collection of parts.”   On the technical side, a common social business framework enables the new ways of working.