One of the major reasons is that CMOs will be leveraging big data, mobile and social. Social Media becomes a word of mouth channel.
This new channel drives understanding of customer behavior and allows you to determine if you want to approach them and how you should approach them, respecting their privacy throughout the process. Through real time social media techniques, like blogging or online chat, you can determine if someone needs assistance, or if they are really focused on a particular topic. It offers an opportunity to interact with a person in a nonthreatening manner.
During the process, there is an opportunity for a transformation to occur with the person — from information gatherer, shopper, potential prospect and then ideally into a customer. In addition, real time chat enriches the customer experience. At IBM, for example, its online chat capability increased its leads, improved customer satisfaction, and drove up sales productivity In the first 3 months of operation on the IBM SOA site, there were over 2,845 chats, resulting in 182 validated leads! Online chatting provides assistance “just in time” not waiting in a reactive mode where someone has to click on a button to ask for someone to contact them at a later time. It gives you the ability to have a conversation with your prospects when they’re most receptive — while they are on your website or on your Twitter Channel actively gathering information. For example, a manufacturing company has been using conversations on Twitter to drive sales. In the first year since utilizing Twitter as a promotional tool, the company generated over $500,000 in revenue in sales of refurbished systems.
- Skills matter. The presence you put out there in front of prospects is very important, so you want your best and brightest reps doing the real time chats. They need to be very knowledgeable about the products and services not simply communicating at a high level.
- You need to understand the etiquette for inviting people to chats and for chatting with them once they accept. For example, don’t immediately pop up an invitation within the first 30 seconds that a person is on your site — it’s pushy.
- New Customers. Social media is a way to reach new customers. For Dell, Twitter represented a new way to reach customers and they claim that per their latest surveys, a significant portion of people who bought through Twitter were not aware of the Dell Outlet before Twitter.