Social Customer Care

social customer careSocial customer care or social care; when customer care goes social

Brands and companies have been slow embracing social customer care and even trail blazers have had mixed overall results, one of the main reason being that customer service and customer satisfaction is often times lip service rather than a core corporate value.

Did you know that :

  • 80% of companies say they are good at customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree.
  • Only 5% of unhappy customers complain in a way brands can find it. The other 95% just disappear (often to competitors).
  • 40% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within an hour, but the average response time of brands which respond at all is five hours.
  • Brands spend $500 billion on marketing every year, but only $9 billion on customer service!

Why is that? 

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Porsche Social Media Backbone of its Digital Strategy

For Porsche social media is not just an additional tool in order to connect to online-savvy audiences, it’s the backbone of their online strategy

Porsche is mining the always-on sensibilities of social media to encourage fans to share and consume content from one integrated platform, which is www.porsche.com . Porsche is using content curation tool Storystream to steer this efforts, building microsites that give fans a holistic view of what’s being said about certain car launches of campaigns worldwide.

Porsche Social Media Backbone of its Digital Strategy“We do not believe in a linear progression through a virtual funnel, but recognise that each customer chooses their individual path to form a purchase decision. We thus believe that Porsche must understand the specific needs of the customer in his individual situation and listen to signals he/she is sending in order to cater the right content at the right point in time. In order to work in this context, every bit of content needs to be responsive,” Porche’s digital marketing and dialogue manager and Deniz Keskin told The Drum.

To accelerate the plan, Porsche is encouraging its agencies and ad tech vendors to get tighter to companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter in order to create content that fuels business goals. It’s an approach the car maker tries to balance with what it hopes are more agile ways of working directly with its marketing partners so that it can respond to communication challenges.

“Social media is more than an efficient and speedy way of communicating to a (primarily) younger target group. As a luxury manufacturer, we see more and more of our actual customers in that space,” said Keskin. The discipline is used to hit three key goals; building additional awareness for Porsche’s communications, amplifying the conversation around through brand ambassadors and listening to conversations that could become early signals for business issues.

“This is why we regard Social Media not only as an additional tool in order to connect to online-savvy audiences, but as the backbone of our online strategy,” said Keskin.

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Hospitals Now Focus on Patient Experience and Reputation Management

Patient experience and reputation management now priorities for healthcare facilities

Laura Markowski used to worry every time a text alerted her that a patient had posted a negative review online of a doctor at her health-care system.

She’s in charge of “reputation management” at a group of hospitals and clinics in Virginia, and it’s her job to monitor complaints about rudeness, long waits, lack of face time with a doctor or something more serious.

But after several months of reviewing comments in real time on nearly a dozen Web sites, including Healthgrades.com, ZocDoc.com and Google Plus, as well as Facebook and Twitter, she’s calmer.

Most reviews have been “one-offs for different physicians,” she said, not focused on just one doctor or group practice that would raise a red flag.

Patient experience and reputation management

Markowski is part of a new and urgent effort by hospitals and health systems to track and control their online reputations. As out-of-pocket costs for health care have risen, people are increasingly shopping for their medical care and comparing reviews. And younger consumers who have grown up on Yelp and Rate My Professors expect the same seamless, digital experience with health care that they have used in other aspects of their lives.

Patient satisfaction, long ignored by the health-care industry, is a strategic priority for another simple reason: It’s playing a more important role in determining how the federal government pays hospitals. In the last three years the government has been taking into account patient satisfaction data when determining how much to reimburse hospitals for Medicare patients.

But putting hospitals and doctors into the online rating world is fraught with possible problems. For one, patients and doctors have widely differing expectations.

When patients are asked to rate how doctor quality should be measured, clinical outcomes, such as getting cured of a disease, rarely come up, said Lisa Suennen, who advises health-care companies. Patients talk about whether a doctor or nurse was kind to them, or whether their experience was fast and convenient. It’s assumed that the doctor is going to treat their illness or condition.

Physicians, on the other hand, go straight to the clinical. The cancer is gone. Or the person can walk again. “They don’t even talk about the other stuff,” Suennen said. The two groups “are really disconnected.”

Physicians are not eager to be rated like restaurants. It’s hard for them to wrap their minds around the process, because taking care of patients is exceptionally complex, said Adrienne Boissy, the chief experience officer at the Cleveland Clinic.

“We don’t have consumers, we have patients,” she said. “Health care isn’t necessarily like shopping at Target.”

And some experts fear that the focus is more on burnishing the online reputations of doctors and hospitals than improving delivery of care.

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Businesses Feel The Pressure on Social Media

Businesses Feel The Pressure on Social Media According to a recent survey of over 300 executives of companies with revenue of at least $1B, by Harris Poll for Lithium Technologies,  increasingly businesses feel the pressure on social media to improve services, products and quality of service

In the study, 42 percent of those surveyed say that consumers have shamed their company or brand on social media and 82 percent of business leaders say that customers’ expectations have risen in the past three years.

According to Bob Tarkoff, president and CEO of Lithium Technologies, consumers not only use the web to find and share information, reviews and tips, they also use the web to push organizations to improve their products and services as well as shaming them into solving their customer service issues and impacting their brands Continue reading

United Flight 958 Another Customer Service Blunder

By now most have heard of United latest blunder.  United flight 958 from Newark, NJ to London had to make an emergency landing in Goose Bay in Northern Canada.  nothing unusual here, mechanical issues happen and most passengers would rather temporary abort a flight than risk a worse emergency somewhere above the northern Atlantic and the Canadian Air Force base in Goose Bay has been used a number of time for emergency landings

United flight 958 blunderThe whole experience would probably not have been a big deal if with an airline with an already bad reputation like United if United had not, once again, dropped the ball on the customer service side.

So let’s revisit the incident.  The aircraft experiences technical difficulties and the captain decides to be on the safe side and turn around to land at the closest airfield that can handle an aircraft like the Boeing 777 , the Royal Canadian Air Force base in Goose Bay Canada, so far so good.

The passengers disembark and are bussed to the barracks on the airfield because the local town does not have enough rooms for the passengers, that’s understandable and I am sure the passengers would not have had an issue.

Then, things start going South. Continue reading

Seven Reasons Businesses Lose Customers

A May 2014 onliSeven Reasons Businesses Lose Customersne survey conducted by Harris Poll points out seven reasons businesses lose customers.

Poor customer service is costing American consumers 30.8 work hours which translate into $108 billions a year in missed work time and productivity

Poor customer service costs a lot more to businesses and brands when you take into account that 35% cancelled their service or stopped using the brand or business and factor in a customer’s long term value (LTV), lost referrals or worse, since 13% have taken to social media

What frustrated them the most?

  • 44% waiting for a service rep
  • 43% being put on hold
  • 38% feeling that service representatives didn’t know how to fix problems.
  • 35% service rep did not understand their problems
  • 32% having to call back because the problem wasn’t fixed
  • 21% billing issues
  • 12% trying to schedule an appointment

“These service frustrations are significantly impacting service businesses today because consumers are becoming more and more likely to demand not just a great price but a great service experience,” Timms said. “Companies that offer the best experience in all parts of the service process will be the ones that retain their customers, grow, and succeed.”

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Physician Reviews: Patient Experience Trumps Skills

physician reviewsHow important are physician reviews

In healthcare, branding sometimes is reduced to its most basic component and it’s not what most physicians would thing about first.

Unless a patient is victim of malpractice, it’s very difficult for them to evaluate a physician medical skills.

On the other hand, patients have expectations in terms of experience and oftentimes, that experience will drive their perception of the physician or the healthcare facility.

According to a recent study of physician review websites released in April 2013 by Vanguard Communications, poor customer service and bedside manners are the biggest complaints on online medical review sites, trumping by far poor medical skills

  • 43.1 percent of the negative reviews complained about doctor indifference and bedside manner
  • 35.3 percent were about poor customer service including staff rudeness, erroneous billing, unprofessional dress and facilities not being hygienic.
  • 21.5 percent highlighted a lack of physician skills

To stand out of the crowd, just like any business, healthcare professionals need to start thinking about their brand holistically, in term of patient experience from beginning to end.

What does that mean?  That means evaluating and improving each point of contact with the patient, from the website, social media, printed material, telephone demeanor, front office staff,  assistants, nurses, bedside manners, parking lot, waiting room … to improve patient and caregivers’ experience

Think in term of great experience and patients and caregivers will flock to review sites and sing your praise.

What’s in it for you? Increasingly patients are going online for healthcare information and  to choose healthcare professionals based on peer reviews and referrals.

In addition, positive reviews improve your website organic search rankings which in turn, means better visibility and more patients and referrals.

There is no downside