The Social Customer Engagement Index

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The Social Customer Engagement Index Powered By Docstoc

The Social Customer
Engagement Index
Survey by
The Social Customer &
The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals

Analysis by Brent Leary

                       Sponsored by
                                Table of Contents

                                     I. Introduction
                                	     	 Page	3

                                 II. Survey Results and Analysis
                                	 	 Page	5
 The moderated
                                    III. The Impact of Corporate Online Communities
  for social CRM
                                         on Serving The Social Customer
                                        A Conversation with Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President
   and customer
          service                       The SAP Community Network
    professionals                       Page	9

       Visit us at                  IV. A View of the Future
http://thesocial                        Connecting Solution Seekers to Trusted Solution                           Providers in Real Time
                                        Page	14

                                    V. Q&A with the Editors
                                        1to1 Media’s Ginger Conlon and CRM Magazine’s Josh
                                        Weinberger on Trust, Social CRM and the Importance of
                                        Universal Customer Engagement
                                        Page	16

                                VI.     Detailed Survey Results
                                        Page	20

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                                SECTION I


                                As part of a continuing effort to provide     and analysis on areas related to survey topics.
                                members of              One of the key areas affecting how
  The study data
                                community with information to enhance         customers communicate with companies
    reveals some                their customer service/engagement             is the growth of customer support
      interesting               activities, this white paper shares the       communities. As you will see in the survey
                                results of our June 2010 survey of            results section, the major social networks
    patterns that
                                community members.                            are already playing a significant role in how
    can help you                                                              companies surveyed are interacting with
  transform your                The goal of the survey was to gain insight    customers. Company-owned community
       company’s                into how your organizations were utilizing    sites lag way behind in usage compared to
                                social channels to engage your customers      the general networks.
        efforts to              from a service perspective. In order to
 integrate social               maximize the number of people taking the      In many instances, customers look to
  and traditional               survey, we partnered with the Society of      other customers for assistance with
                                Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP         product/service information and insight.
      methods of                International) and its membership of          These customer-to-customer interactions
 communication                  seasoned customer-support professionals.      can not only drive down the costs of
   into a win-win               Between the two communities, and in           servicing customers, but also improve
                                less than one week’s time, we were able       customer satisfaction while creating
for you and your
                                to gather 118 professionals to participate    strong advocates. Mark Yolton, senior vice
      customers.                in our inaugural Social Customer              president of the SAP Community Network
                                Engagement Survey.                            at SAP, shares his thoughts on developing
                                                                              active, robust online communities—and
                                As you will see in the survey results         how they can affect customer relationships
                                section of this paper, The Social Customer    today and in the future.
                                community members are actively using
                                multiple social tools and strategies to       Also, as more people turn to social
                                communicate with their customers. A           channels in search of trustworthy
                                review of the study data reveals some         information providers, we look at how
                                interesting patterns that can help you        a service like Google’s Aardvark may
                                transform your company’s efforts to           provide a model for facilitating efficient
                                integrate social and traditional methods of   context-specific community support
                                communication into a win-win for you and      networks. This may prove to be a very
                                your customers.                               important approach, as chatter/content
                                                                              overload proliferates on major social
                                While the survey shows a great deal of        networks, making it more difficult to
                                activity taking place—and provides us with    connect information seekers with trusted
                                valuable information—we also thought it       information providers. Additionally, we
             RETWEET            important to provide additional perspective   are fortunate to include perspectives from
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                                Introduction (cont’d)

                                1to1 Media’s Executive Director Ginger                  today’s social-savvy customer. As you
                                Conlon and CRM Magazine’s Managing                      will see in the results of the survey and
                                Editor Josh Weinberger. They share their                in the examples provided, technology
                                considerable insights on a wide range                   is the enabler, but it still comes down to
                                of customer engagement topics and                       people. Introducing new technology only
                                issues–including the current state of                   gets you part of the way there. In most
                                Social CRM; the need to adopt contact-                  cases, delivering traditional messages
                                center implementation methodologies to                  with new tools will not suffice. Processes
                                other back-office processes to improve                  and approaches may need to change, but
                                the customer experience; and how                        attitudes may need the biggest change
                                engaging customers on social channels                   of all to create significant customer
                                should be the job of experienced service                experiences.
                                professionals—not interns.
                                                                                        Thank you to all who participated in the
                                Finally, you will find a more detailed look at          inaugural TSC survey. Your participation
                                the survey results, with some commentary                provided valuable insights we share here
                                on a few key points of interest. We hope                with the community.
                                your takeaway from this paper will help
                                you successfully integrate social tools and
                                strategies into your communication with

                                Brent Leary, Partner of CRM Essentials                  Recognized by InsideCRM as one of the 25 most
                                                                                        influential industry leaders, Leary also is a past
                                                           Brent Leary is a CRM         recipient of CRM Magazine's Most Influential Leader
                                                           industry analyst, advisor,   Award. He serves on the national board of the
                                                           author, speaker and award-   CRM Association, and on the advisory board of the
                                                           winning blogger. He is       University of Toronto's newly created CRM Center
                                                           co-founder and partner       of Excellence. He's been quoted in several national
                                                           of CRM Essentials LLC,       business publications, including the Wall Street
                                                           an Atlanta based CRM         Journal, Newsweek and Entrepreneur magazine.
                                                           advisory firm covering       Leary serves on the editorial advisory board of The
                                                           tools and strategies for     Atlanta Tribune magazine, writes the Social CRM
                                                           improving business           column for, and blogs at
                                relationships. In 2009 he co-authored Barack 2.0:       You can reach him on Twitter at
                                Social Media Lessons for Small Business.      

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                                SECTION II

                                Survey Results and Analysis

                                Abstract of Key Findings                         Summary Analysis
As organizations                Key points to improve your company’s             Companies are turning to social channels to
                                ability to successfully combine social           engage with customers and prospects and
     adopt social               engagement with traditional customer             build better, longer relationships with them.
        tools and               support processes:                               And, as organizations adopt social tools
        strategies                                                               and strategies to engage customers from
                                • Management buy-in is the key to                a service perspective, they expect this to
       to engage                  successful social customer-engagement          have a positive impact on overall customer
       customers                  programs.                                      service goals and objectives.
  from a service
                                • Integrating social channels with traditional   While this survey included a number of
     perspective,                 service processes is paramount.                questions aimed at understanding how TSC
     they expect                                                                 community members are utilizing social
   this to have a               • Identify the social channels that your         channels in their customer support efforts,
                                  customers engage in.                           it also asked about the impact of using
 positive impact
                                                                                 social channels on customer service goals
        on overall              • Engage with social customers in multiple       and objectives.
        customer                  channels if necessary.
    service goals                                                                Of the 118 respondents, 61 percent (72)
                                • Customer support staff should take time        said efforts so far have had a positive
 and objectives.                  to engage with customers on social             impact, 36 percent (42) reported no
                                  channels.                                      noticeable impact, and only 3 percent (4)
                                                                                 reported a negative impact.
                                • More interactions generate a higher
                                  positive impact with social customers.         An analysis of the survey reveals a few
                                                                                 factors that may help those involved in
                                • Companies that have a longer history of        engaging customers on social networks
                                  engaging customers on social channels          improve their chances of positively affecting
                                  from a service perspective experience          customers.
                                  a more positive impact on their service
                                  goals.                                         More Time, More Positive Impact
                                                                                 One obvious result from the survey is that
                                • Facebook and Twitter ranked similarly for      the longer a company has been engaging
                                  effective engagement overall.                  customers on social channels from a
                                                                                 service perspective, the more positive the
                                These guiding principles will help your          impact on its service goals and objectives.
                                company meet support goals for engaging          Eighteen percent (22 of 118) of respondents
                                today's social customer.                         overall said their companies have been
             RETWEET                                                             engaged in supporting customers via
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                                Survey Results and Analysis (cont’d)

                                social channels for more than two years.         One Employee Can Make a Big
                                But 53 percent (16 of 30) who reported their     Difference
                                company has had positive results engaging        The vast majority of respondents (79
                                customers on social channels have been at        percent) said that fewer than five customer
                                it for more than two years—three times the       service professionals engage customers on
                                overall rate for respondents. Of those who       social channels—62 percent said from one
                                said they have seen very positive results,       to five customer service employees were
                                64 percent (16 of 25) have been engaged          assigned to that function. But where 17
                                through social channels for more than two        percent of all respondents said they actually
                                years.                                           have no customer service employees
                                                                                 engaged, only 4 percent (2 of 55) of those
                                Equally revealing: Of those who said             that answered Very Positive or Positive to
                                their companies witnessed no noticeable          the impact of social networks. Contrast
                                impact resulting from social engagement          this to the number of respondents saying
                                with customers, only 24 percent (10 of           their company has seen no noticeable
                                42) have been using social channels for          impact—31 percent (13 of 42)—and you see
                                more than two years.                             the importance of having a customer service
                                                                                 professional engage customers, as opposed
                                Integrating “Social” with Traditional            to marketing or public relations staff.
                                Service Processes Pays Off
                                Of the 31 percent of respondents who             More Social Interactions, Higher
                                reported their companies have fully              Positive Impact
                                integrated social interactions into their        The survey also shows the impact that
                                customer support processes, a full 40            the volume of interactions with customers
                                percent (12 of 30) say their company has         from a support perspective has on
                                experienced a positive impact from social        sentiment toward integrating social
                                engagement. That number jumps up to              with traditional support. While a large
                                48 percent (12 of 25) who see very positive      majority of respondents (72 percent) say
                                results from social engagement. Conversely,      a small percentage of customer requests
                                only 19 percent (8 of 42) of those seeing no     are initiated via social channels, those
                                noticeable impact from social engagement         with positive feelings have more social
                                say their company has fully integrated it into   exchanges with customers. Forty percent
                                their customer support processes.                (12 of 30 respondents) who report a positive
                                                                                 impact from social also say that at least
                                There appears to be a correlation between        6 percent of their support interactions
                                the length of time engaged and the degree        are initiated and/or resolved via social
                                to which social has been tied to traditional     channels. The number jumps to 60 percent
                                support. Indeed, you would expect to see         (15 of 25) reporting a very positive impact
                                companies that have been at it longer to be      from engaging with customers over social
                                able to effectively tie processes together.      channels.
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                                Survey Results and Analysis (cont’d)

                                Just as telling is the fact that only 5        can be said for Zappos, which has built
                                percent (2 of 42 respondents) who              a corporate culture of having employees
                                saw no noticeable impact from social           engage customers over social channels,
                                had more than 5 percent of support             even though the number of interactions is
                                interactions initiated (or resolved) over      dwarfed by the 2 million calls the company’s
                                social networks.                               agents took in 2009 alone.

                                Once again, more time as well as more          Management Buy-In Makes a
                                employee engagement may add to the             Difference
                                number of interactions, so there may be a      Understanding customer expectations
                                correlation between those areas. One other     with social engagement was one of the
                                thought about the respondents reporting        top challenges facing those surveyed—
                                no noticeable impact: 95 percent (40 of        and it was a challenge across the board.
                                42) said that fewer than 6 percent of their    Determining ROI and defining key
                                companies’ support interactions occurred       performance indicators also were common
                                through social channels. The fact that these   challenges to all. But having management
                                companies have little social interaction       buy-in for social initiatives seemed to be
                                may well shape their assessment of the         critical to recognizing positive impact.
                                importance or relevance of engaging            While 31 percent of all respondents cited
                                customers through social channels.             management buy-in as a major challenge
                                                                               to their initiatives, only 12 percent (3 of
                                Companies that may not place much              25 respondents) reporting a very positive
                                importance on social interactions based        impact cited management buy-in as a
                                on the low percentage of overall customer      challenge. This compares to 45 percent
                                interactions may want to consider the          (19 of 42) of those seeing no noticeable
                                approach of such companies as Comcast or       impact with social engagement citing
                                Zappos. According to Emily Yellin’s book,      management buy-in as an issue.
                                Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us, by
                                early 2010 Comcast had helped more than        Facebook and Twitter Usage Makes
                                150,000 customers since it began engaging      a Difference As Well
                                them in 2008 over social channels—this         Respondents’ answers to using specific
                                pales in comparison to the 308 million         social networks for customer engagement
                                customer calls it handled in 2009 alone.       generate some interesting insights. While
                                But the relatively small number of social      Facebook was most cited for customer
                                interactions did not deter Comcast (led        engagement, both Facebook and Twitter
                                by Frank Eliason) from leveraging social       ranked similarly for effective engagement
                                tools to better engage with the growing        overall. But, analyzing those declaring a
                                number of people who use such services         very positive impact, 72 percent (18 of 25)
                                to connect directly with Comcast or with       saw Twitter as being very effective while
                                other Comcast customers. The same              just 16 percent (4 of 25) viewed Facebook
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                                Survey Results and Analysis (cont’d)

                                that way. However, those who saw only          Money Does Not Seem to Make a
                                a positive impact, 57 percent (17 of 30)       Big Difference
                                of respondents, said Facebook was very         The overwhelming majority of respondents
                                effective, whereas 40 percent (12 of 30)       say their companies have invested less
                                named Twitter.                                 than $50,000 on the social initiatives. But
                                                                               even when you compare those seeing very
                                While it may seem unusual to see this kind     positive results to the general population of
                                of variance between the “Very Positive”        respondents, 32 percent (8 of 25) invested
                                and “Positive” respondents when it comes       more than $50,000, whereas 28 percent of
                                to which social networks are more effective,   all surveyed invested more than $50,000.
                                the data show that smaller organizations
                                appear to be more comfortable describing       Final Thoughts: Survey Summary
                                their results with social as being very        Based on the survey results, the keys
                                positive, whereas larger companies tend        to improving your company’s ability to
                                to prefer “Positive.” This may explain why     successfully combine social engagement
                                Twitter seems to be the choice of smaller      with traditional support processes are
                                organizations, while Facebook tends to be      fairly clear. You need management buy-in
                                favored by larger companies.                   to give the initiative stability and support.
                                                                               With time and effort thus supported,
                                Twenty-eight percent of those seeing a very    the probability of success increases.
                                positive impact (and 30 percent of those       Additionally, finding the social channels
                                seeing a positive impact) reported using       through which your customers want to
                                both Facebook and Twitter to engage            engage is critical, so it’s important to
                                customers. Those numbers compare with          have a presence on them. This may mean
                                17 percent of all respondents who use          engaging customers on multiple networks
                                them both. Also noteworthy is that only        to get positive impact. Also, as the results
                                12 percent of those seeing no noticeable       show, you have to have at least a minimal
                                impact engage customers on both of the         commitment of customer-support staff
                                popular sites.                                 time to engage with customers on social
                                                                               channels. These actions will take time but
                                One other interesting outcome should           will increase the number of interactions
                                be noted: 40 percent of those who              taking place. According to the results of the
                                saw no noticeable impact from social           survey, this should help your company meet
                                engagement cited their company’s               support goals and objectives for engaging
                                own social site as an effective channel,       today’s social customer.
                                whereas 28 percent of those who
                                responded very positive—and 17
                                percent of those responding positive—              Detailed Survey Results section
                                said company sites were effective.                 begins on page 20.

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                                SECTION III

                                The Impact of Corporate
                                Online Communities on
                                Serving the Social Customer
                                A Conversation with Mark Yolton
                                Senior Vice President
                                The SAP Community Network

                                Brent Leary: Mark, you are involved in         analysts, and media that watch SAP. We
                                developing online communities. One of          do have a community—a social network
         I see our              the things we asked about in the survey is     of our own—a professional social network
corporate social                how companies are utilizing different kinds    for anyone interested in SAP. We are also
     network as a               of social networks—Facebook, Twitter           connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
                                and some of the other general networks.        and many other resources. So we are
      key pillar in
                                Are they utilizing or building their own       doing both, and we think it is important
   strengthening                corporate networks? Are they getting more      to have both a company community and a
     the ongoing                involved in industry-specific sites? Some of   strong presence in third-party, open social
relationship and                the research showed that Facebook and          networks.
                                Twitter are by far the most-utilized sites.
     in delivering              There was a big drop off between those         We view our community as the place where
    extraordinary               major networks and companies’ utilizing or     we can publish some very rich information
             value              creating their own customer networks, but      we couldn't publish on Facebook,
                                you guys have been at this for years. What     LinkedIn, Twitter and so forth. It becomes
      throughout                are your thoughts on companies looking         the central repository for discussions,
    the entire life             to create better experiences with their        blogs and forums. We have a wiki. We
   cycle of SAP’s               customers through their own community          publish white papers. We have software
                                networks?                                      downloads. All sorts of things occur within
   connection to                                                               our SAP Community Network, but then
  customers and                 Mark Yolton: Well, at SAP we've been           we extend out from there into Twitter,
         partners.              doing exactly that—building our own            Facebook, LinkedIn and so forth in order
                                online community for the past seven years.     to reach other communities and catch
                                This thing I and my team are orchestrating     people who might not know that the SAP
                                on behalf of SAP, its customers and its        Community Network exists for them—so
                                partners, called the SAP Community             those platforms becomes an amplifier.
                                Network, has grown in that time to two
                                million individual members from our            BL: You have IT folks who are looking to
                                customer accounts, partner companies and       integrate and use your products or set
                                all parts of SAP and also includes pundits,    them up for their business users. You have
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                                The Impact of Corporate Online Communities
                                on Serving The Social Customer (cont’d)

                                business users who are trying to figure out    through this larger community network.
                                best practices. How has the development        What we get to do then, as you can
                                of your online community impacted the          imagine, is capture people's attention
                                relationship you have with your customers?     throughout the life cycle.

                                MY: It really provides this great depth        We are engaging and crowd-sourcing
                                of relationship that we wouldn't have          ideas so that we can be innovative and use
                                otherwise. We started out with a               the wisdom of the crowds to supplement
                                developer network seven years ago, back        the good ideas from 50,000 SAP
                                in 2003. That developer network started        employees around the world. So now we
                                to grow and thrive, and we noticed the         also get the ideas of two million customers
                                demographics starting to change.               and partners about what features and
                                                                               functions we should be including in the
                                We saw some business users and                 next generation of our products. What
                                consultants, people in the business world      kind of trends they are seeing out in the
                                rather than just simply the IT organization,   marketplace in their particular line of
                                starting to show up in this community.         business, say, in the HR world or in the
                                We built community content specifically        finance world, or in their industry. So
                                for them. We call it the Business Process      number one, we are getting innovation
                                Expert Community.                              and insight from the marketplace that is
                                                                               influencing our product direction.
                                We started to notice that students and
                                professors wanted to engage more actively      The second thing we improve is the go-
                                with the practitioners who are working in      to-market experience. As we engage with
                                SAP customer accounts or partners, so          existing or prospective customers, we
                                we have a University Alliances community       actually have members of the community,
                                that connects a thousand universities          existing customers, talk to them about
                                around the world—students and professors       how SAP products they solve
                                collaborating and doing homework,              particular challenges…where a particular
                                learning and sharing best practices, etc.      solution might fit in. In short, we have
                                                                               customer input that is helping to drive the
                                Finally, we have a Business Objects            conversation. We also have a marketplace
                                community. We acquired a company that          and app store called the SAP EcoHub
                                focuses on business intelligence, business     where almost 600 SAP and partner
                                insight and so forth, so we have this fourth   solutions can be discovered and evaluated
                                community                                      and then an individual can start the sales
                                                                               process if they wish.
                                We are, as you point out, looking at
                                different demographic areas, different         And then we have a relationship with
                                slices of our ecosystem that are connected     our customers throughout the entire life
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                                The Impact of Corporate Online Communities
                                on Serving The Social Customer (cont’d)

                                cycle post-sale, as the third major impact.   question. When people blog and share
                                This is where the communities really          their experiences with each other, they
                                have tremendous strength because other        get points. When they contribute to the
                                customers and partners are helping the        wiki, they get points. When they present
                                members of the community understand           at a conference, they get points. Any
                                how best to configure, install, implement,    time a member of the community shares
                                operate, optimize, and upgrade the            with other members of the community,
                                SAP solutions they have in place. Often,      they are awarded points. This is one of
                                companies have a relationship with us that    the ways beyond the platform in a more
                                spans many years, decades, even multiple      programmatic way that we're encouraging
                                decades, so offering value and benefits       members of the community to engage,
                                post-sale is extremely important.             interact, connect and share with each
                                BL: How is it impacting the customer–to-
                                customer relationship, and how does that      In essence, beyond the physical platform,
                                impact the overall relationship with your     the tools and technology, we are also
                                customers?                                    proving a culture of sharing where we are
                                                                              encouraging customers, partners, SAP
                                MY: Well, number one, we are providing a      folks and others to engage with each other
                                community platform and tools that allow       and to share. By doing so, we're helping
                                customers, partners, SAP and others who       our customers be more successful and to
                                are interested in SAP to engage with each     execute faster. They get faster answers
                                other. That's the first thing: discussion     to questions. They get better solutions.
                                forums, blogs, wikis, Twitter accounts,       They get insight from their peers. They
                                events where we get people together in        get recommendations. We are essentially
                                the physical world and not just online.       encouraging the fostering of an eco-
                                Essentially, we are providing a physical      system, a tight relationship between SAP,
                                platform, but we are also providing a         its customers, its partners and all of those
                                culture of sharing. We are encouraging        with each other.
                                people in various ways to connect with
                                each other.                                   BL: You mentioned that you have millions
                                                                              of members in these communities but still
                                We have a recognition program whereby         thought it was very important to extend
                                individual members of the community           that reach and engage the customers in
                                can thank or recognize each other with        social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn
                                points. If I ask a question in a discussion   and Twitter. Why was that important, even
                                forum and you answer that question for        while you have millions of people on your
                                me, I can award you points as a thank-        own sites?
                                you. I can decide how many points you
                                deserve depending on the difficulty of the    MY: What we find is that different users
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                                The Impact of Corporate Online Communities
                                on Serving The Social Customer (cont’d)

                                with different roles engage in different           that. But we use them all to reach out from
                                ways and in different places. In essence IT        our community, often times to link people
                                people—developers, system admins and               back into our community where the real
                                so on—are very comfortable in certain              meat of our offerings exists.
                                situations where business people—
                                HR Managers, finance directors—are                 BL: Mark, one more question. If you were
                                less comfortable. We are meeting our               starting a network or building on today’s
                                customers and our partners wherever they           social tools, what role would the corporate
                                are, where they feel comfortable.                  online community play in building out that
                                                                                   customer experience?
                                I think Facebook is more of a consumer-
                                oriented, very friendly kind of a place. The       MY: I see the corporate online community
                                tone tends to be very casual and informal          as a place you can't control, but where
                                and personal.                                      you can have more influence. If you think
                                                                                   of concentric circles, I would say
                                Twitter, until recently, was primarily for early   is at the center of a bull’s eye. It’s very
                                adopters, and was more tech- and geek-             controlled—it's really SAP broadcasting
                                oriented—with fewer business people                out to the world. It serves as a “yellow
                                and end-user types. We can have quick              pages” to the rest of SAP's offerings. It
                                conversations in Twitter but they are often        also has to serve the media audience as
                                not very sticky. They are quick threads that       well as the investment community and
                                dissipate quickly.                                 many others in an “official” capacity.

                                About LinkedIn: I was just in Latin America        If we move out a ring from that—and give
                                and I asked how many people had                    up some control and really encourage
                                LinkedIn pages, and was surprised to find          engagement from customers and
                                that almost 100 percent of the people in           partners and others—that would be
                                the room had a LinkedIn profile. I think           the SAP communities. What you get in
                                LinkedIn tends to foster more professional-        exchange for giving up control is a lot of
                                type discussions and is a lot more oriented        engagement, feedback and interaction.
                                around the individual’s career—your
                                biography, history and work experiences.           I would say that Facebook, LinkedIn,
                                                                                   Twitter, etc., are yet another ring removed.
                                Each one of these social platforms has a           You have much less influence on those
                                role—there are sweet spots where each              platforms. You don't get to choose features
                                is valuable. For example, Twitter is great         or functionality or add star ratings for
                                for monitoring for unhappy customers, or           top contributors. You don't really get to
                                somebody who is frustrated and having              have a recognition program. There are
                                difficulty, or has a quick question that you       policies and practices that Facebook,
                                can jump in on; LinkedIn isn't so good at          Twitter or LinkedIn put in place and you
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                                The Impact of Corporate Online Communities
                                on Serving The Social Customer (cont’d)

                                just have to live with them. But what you        I see a corporate social networking
                                gain is engagement with different kinds of       community as a critical pillar in a long-
                                audiences.                                       term relationship with customers versus
                                                                                 a fleeting transactional one. I see it
                                In my world, the thing we really focus on        as a place people can return to, from
                                is this SAP community where we have the          Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., where you can
                                ability to implement some incentives for         really publish a lot of content and offer
                                certain behaviors and disincentives for other    unique value--where you can differentiate
                                behaviors we don't like to see. We can put       yourself and your company and its
                                in place new functional capabilities and new     offerings and programs from the volume
                                features. For example, a job board to cater      of what's available through public social
                                to a university audience, or an idea crowd-      media platforms. I see our corporate social
                                sourcing platform, or a download function.       network as a key pillar in strengthening
                                We have more control over the platform           the ongoing relationship and in delivering
                                and the policies and practices. We certainly     extraordinary value throughout the entire
                                don't have control over the audience             lifecycle of SAP’s connection to customers
                                because it is comprised of two million           and partners.
                                members who are very actively engaged
                                there. And while we don't have complete
                                control over the content, we can influence it.

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                                SECTION IV

                                A View of the Future
                                Connecting Solution Seekers to Trusted Solution
                                Providers in Real Time

                                The search for information has been a         In the end we’d like relationships with
                                driving force in the growth of the Web.       people who can provide us with important
        In the end
                                Internet searches have become a routine       information and collaborative exchanges,
          we’d like             business activity. Keywords typed into        in ways we’d like to receive them and in
    relationships               search engines return a list of links to      time frames that work for us. This calls for
                                potential answers or solutions in the form    a certain level of familiarity, comfort and
     with people
                                of blog posts, forums, white papers and       trust. And while technology has made
          who can               other forms of content. Based on the          it much easier to connect with millions
       provide us               number of times a link is clicked on from     of people via social channels, finding
  with important                a keyword search, and how many other          trusted information sources to build
                                pages on the Web link to it, search engines   multidimensional relationships is more
information and                 determine how far up a link appears on        difficult. In many cases, the loudest and
    collaborative               that list of search results.                  most aggressive voices drown out the
   exchanges, in                                                              more knowledgeable ones, causing a
                                While the information provided by linked      decline in trust and greater potential for
   ways we’d like               pages may help with a specific challenge      roadblocks in building, facilitating, and
 to receive them                or lead to some useful alternatives, it       developing vibrant customer communities.
      and in time               doesn’t automatically provide something
                                even more valuable: a relationship with       While traditional social networks do
      frames that
                                the solution provider. It may not even        provide opportunities to create or facilitate
      work for us.              connect you to the people who can             successful online communities, the above
                                provide the best answer for your current      issues make it difficult to efficiently connect
                                situation or with people with whom you        trusted, knowledgeable information
                                can interact on an ongoing basis.             providers with information seekers. This
                                                                              is why Aardvark ( is a
                                The rise of Facebook, Twitter and other       compelling model to discuss.
                                social networks demonstrates the need
                                for more than raw information. People         Aardvark is a social search service recently
                                congregate on these sites for information,    acquired by Google. Its main objective is
                                discussion, camaraderie and ongoing           to connect people looking for information
                                human engagement. This progression can        to people who can provide information—
                                turn information searches into contextual,    in real time. It differs from Google’s
                                meaningful relationships that can             traditional search, which links people to
                                eventually evolve into online communities.    information.

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                                A View of the Future (cont’d)

                                The power of Aardvark is that it allows         of connection opportunities. Aardvark
                                people to use natural language to               also works over multiple channels such as
                                describe what information they are              websites, e-mail, instant messaging, etc.,
                                looking for, and then uses special              making it easier to initiate and respond
                                algorithms to create a list of the best         to information requests while employing
                                people to answer this inquiry—based             preferred methods of interaction.
                                on rankings of historical answers on the
                                subject, the questioner’s personal social       The important thing about Aardvark is that
                                graph and the availability of an individual     the emphasis is on connecting the right
                                to respond in real time.                        people at the right time around the right
                                                                                information. The focus is on people, not
                                The Aardvark model is compelling in that        a specific network or specific channel. It
                                it limits distractions from predatory social    analyzes information, graded by people, to
                                networkers responding to information            improve the quality of each connection. It
                                requests on open networks with a private        also leverages social graphs to increase the
                                request that is analyzed and routed to the      pool of potential respondents and to take
                                most qualified people in the network, with      into account social behavior. It combines
                                ranking preference given to those with          this social data with information quality
                                whom you have a relationship via social         scores to determine the best people to
                                connections. It has the potential to more       answer a specific question from a specific
                                efficiently create relationship opportunities   individual. This provides an intuitive way
                                and grow context-based communities              to grow a community, which should enable
                                without unwanted, trust-busting behavior.       customers to connect more efficiently with
                                                                                each other as well as with knowledgeable
                                While Aardvark is its own social network,       experts—and of course with the companies
                                it enables people to connect with friends       committed to engaging them across social
                                on other social channels (Facebook,             channels.
                                Twitter, Gmail, etc.) to improve the quality

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                                SECTION V

                                Q&A with the Editors
                                1to1 Media’s Ginger Conlon and CRM
                                Magazine’s Josh Weinberger on Trust,
                                Social CRM and the Importance of
                                Universal Customer Engagement

                                I recently had the good fortune to sit         of companies trying to figure out the best
                                down with two of the CRM industry’s best       way to do that. Hopefully, those numbers
        It’s not just
                                minds to discuss some of the hot topics        will improve over the next couple of years.
         about the              for companies committed to serving             I think customers are always going to be a
         marketing              customer’s needs, today and in the future.     little bit leery about determining if they’re
                                                                               being sold to, or if the company actually
                                Ginger Conlon is editorial director of         has their best interest in mind when it
          it's about            1to1 Media, and Josh Weinberger is the         engages them.
     the company                managing editor of CRM Magazine. As
       itself —that             editors at two of the leading publications     I think the more relevant the messages
                                in the industry, Ginger and Josh cover a lot   become and the more open companies
     the company                of ground with unique insights, opinions       are (where they can be, as there are some
       actually has             and illustrative anecdotes.                    regulations in various industries), the more
   the customer’s                                                              the “trustability” factor will increase. It’s
                                Below are a few key points from that           not just about the marketing messages,
      best interest             conversation. We think they’ll answer some     it's about the company itself —that the
        in mind ….              questions about what companies are doing       company actually has the customer’s
                                and can do better to serve today’s social      best interest in mind when it’s creating
                                customers.                                     new products or delivering services, or
                                                                               responding to a customer complaint or
                                Trustworthiness Factor                         request.
                                Ginger Conlon: I don't think it has
                                changed much, as you can see by those          Important Developments
                                numbers (based on’s              Josh Weinberger: We’re seeing a lot
                                recent survey - What Makes Social Media        of integration between social media
                                Trustworthy?). But I think what is happening   and the enterprise, a lot of push into
                                is all of the conversations in the social      the collaboration space. Much of that
                                world are forcing companies to be more         is internally focused right now and not
                                transparent—to get in there and join those     customer-facing, which I think is a shame.
                                conversations. I think there are still a lot   Seeing things like Social Text, collaboration

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                                Q&A with the Editors (cont’d)

                                companies like Phantom Networks, there             areas that ultimately affect the customer
                                are a lot of people who think that being           experience.
                                able to make working better will make
                                the company better. I would like to see            JW: Yeah, I would like to see the same type
                                that thought extended to HR software               of work for management and performance
                                processes. Deciding how to hire, train             management skill sets—metrics, process
                                and develop your employees and your                and judgments—being applied across
                                staff should be a customer-facing process,         the enterprise. I’m sure you need different
                                because those are the people who are               metrics or business rules, but it matters
                                going to be dealing with customers. They           that there is some type of holistic approach
                                are your face to the customers.                    to deciding what type of employees you
                                                                                   want, based on what kind of customer you
                                It's really about making sure that                 have and how they need to be serviced.
                                performance management and HR                      People shouldn’t just be hired based on
                                processes—and all of the things that go            a resume. They should be hired based on
                                into making sure your staff and personnel          an end goal, which is serving customers.
                                are doing the right things—actually                Zappos still remains my top example of
                                translates into what matters: dealing with         this. They do not sell shoes, they deliver
                                customers.                                         happiness.

                                GC: That is so true. Look at a company like        GC: That’s true. Their hiring process is
                                Southwest that “hires for smiles” as one of        really in-depth, as far as the types of
                                their criteria. Obviously, there is a lot more     questions they ask during the interview.
                                to it than that, but they started using that       Actually, Mrs. Fields Cookies, when she
                                mantra with their customer-facing folks,           first started her business, had specific
                                and then they moved that into the back             questions. One of the things she did was
                                office. So it’s basically a “hire for attitude,”   make all of her applicants sing “Happy
                                “train for skill” kind of thing.                   Birthday,” or something like that, on cue.
                                                                                   The thought was if you could do that to a
                                Then if you look on the technology side, a         stranger on cue in a job interview, it said
                                lot of the companies focusing on workforce         a lot about your personality. That was the
                                management are really making a push                type of person she wanted serving her
                                into the back office. You can leverage             cookies.
                                the process and execution that the call
                                center has mastered—process flows,                 Current state of Social CRM
                                execution times, defined roles, etc. A lot         JW: I would like to think that we are more
                                of companies are trying to move those              advanced than we were a year ago, but I
                                approaches into the back office into places        think we are still a little bit in the chaotic
                                where it also makes a lot of sense, in             phase. I still see people tussling about
                                things like billing and other process-heavy        definitions. I still see people arguing about
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                                Q&A with the Editors (cont’d)

                                which hash tag belongs to which letters.        But now, it actually seems to require more
                                I hope that we get beyond that soon. I’d        legwork, not less. Until we get to a point
                                like to see us move forward in seeing how       where we can automate things and actually
                                these approaches to social media and            streamline processes, this is actually more
                                social technologies actually affect people.     effort for companies.
                                We are seeing a lot of progress.
                                                                                GC: I would like to echo a lot of what Josh
                                We are seeing a lot of companies actually       said. I think service via the social channels
                                do things with social media now, not just       is still what Josh alluded to—a little bit
                                talk about it. Not just do whatever comes       silo-ed. There are companies trying to
                                up and hope something sticks. There are         get the service interactions basically into
                                some trying to approach it with a kind of       their queue. They are trying to use skilled
                                rigor. We see a push now for Facebook           customer service agents to handle the
                                pages maybe replacing customer service          questions on Facebook or Twitter. But I
                                pages. A contact center company called          talked to someone recently who has a
                                Parature just came out recently with a          couple of interns doing the responses.
                                Facebook integrator/accelerator. We are
                                seeing a lot of companies now saying            JW: This goes back to the Pizza Hut Twitter
                                “contact us on Facebook.” We are                intern. (Editor's note: In April 2009 Pizza
                                not seeing “go to              Hut offered college students a summer
                                support.” You are seeing          internship tasked solely with monitoring
                                company, which is a change on the order of      social channels and formulating responses
                                when people started seeing URLs on ads in       according to corporate communications
                                the first place. But it happened a lot faster   guidelines. For further insight visit:
                                than it did back when Web pages started
                                coming up.                                      business/media/20twitter.html

                                I am intrigued with how companies are           GC: Like Josh said, they are trying to scale
                                applying these things in different ways.        up and it’s kind of challenging. Here is
                                We are seeing a lot of customer service         this new thing and they need to be there
                                support on Twitter. We are seeing a lot of      because that is where their customers
                                customer service support on Facebook. I’d       are, but they are not ready for it. So, their
                                like to see more customer service in other      temporary response is to have a couple of
                                social media aspects—community forums           interns take care of it.
                                and places where companies see people
                                gathering. You have to go where the             I think we are going to see a transition to
                                people are. You are seeing that to some         basically a universal queue in the contact
                                degree, but it’s hard because on some           center. You have these people who are
                                level this is streamlined and optimized, for    experienced in dealing with customers
                                lack of a better word, customer support.        and you have processes to handle those
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                                Q&A with the Editors (cont’d)

                                issues. As the technology and processes        could be a good thing. I think seeing what
                                evolve, that’s all going to wind up being      works and then deciding where to go can
                                connected. I just think it is going to take    be a huge plus.
                                some time.
                                                                               I am not a believer that Facebook is going
                                Final Thoughts                                 to be around forever. For a while, it is the
                                GC: A year from now, I think we are going      thing and then it’s gone. Friendster was
                                to be having a very similar conversation.      the thing and now it’s gone. MySpace was
                                Especially with “trustability” and what        the thing and now it’s gone. It’s not gone,
                                I mentioned on that topic. Privacy will        but it has decreased in excitement and
                                continue to be a big issue. I do think we’ll   certainly in new subscribers. Someday
                                be further along the path and comparing        Facebook will be gone too, I really believe
                                where we’ve been and where we are going        that. It’s just a matter of time. You have to
                                will be interesting.                           go where the people are now. Being able
                                                                               to allocate resources quickly and nimbly is
                                JW: I think vendors are going to be playing    not the most important thing. Seeing those
                                catch-up forever in order to keep up with      companies that are nimble and learning
                                customer needs. I think we have tipped it      not only from their customers, but also
                                the other direction where innovation is now    from their young Gen Y employees, letting
                                going to be trickling up. Not necessarily      ideas trickle up from the inside—those are
                                in a bad way, I think being a fast follower    the companies that are going to succeed.

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                                SECTION VI

                                Detailed Survey Results

                                While the survey was comprised of a           • The majority of respondents (60 percent)
                                relatively small number of questions, it        say their companies have been engaging
                                provided a good amount of insight that          customers on social channels for less
      companies                 you will see throughout this document.          than a year.
        are much                Listed below are a few of the high- level
                                pieces of information that may help           • Determining key performance
   more positive
                                you understand where the TSC/SOCAP              indicators and understanding customer
       about the                International communities are when it           expectations are the two biggest
  results of their              comes to engaging customers, from a             challenges to engaging customers on
  organizations’                service perspective, over social channels.      social channels.

  engaging with                 • The vast majority (69 percent) of those     • While Facebook is the most utilized
 customers over                   taking the survey are customer support/       social channel for customer engagement,
 social channels.                 service professionals.                        Facebook and Twitter are considered the
                                                                                most effective channels.
                                • 76 percent of those surveyed are
                                  employed at companies with more than        • While many respondents at large
                                  1,000 employees (46 percent) or less than     enterprises say social engagement
                                  50 employees (30 percent).                    hasn’t had a positive impact on customer
                                                                                support goals and objectives, they are at
                                • 12 industries were represented by             least satisfied with their company’s social
                                  respondents, with Services, Food and          initiatives to date.
                                  Communications having the most
                                  representation.                             • Small organizations appear faster to
                                                                                adopt social channels for customer
                                • The majority of respondents (66 percent)      engagement, and are more positive
                                  are at the manager or director level.         about that engagement than larger firms.

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                                Question Summary
                                with Segment Impressions

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                                What is your industry?
                                                                                         6–12 months                              1–2 years                        More than 2 years

                                                        35   34                                                                                                   Company size
                                                                                                                                                                         50 employees or less
                                                                                                                                                                         51–100 employees
                                                                                                                                                                         101–500 employees
                                                                                                                                                                         501–1000 employees
                                                        25                                                                                                               1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents

                                                        20                                                            19                                                                                   20

                                                        15                                                                                                                        14
                                                        10               9

                                                                                                            2                                  2            1           1                        1
                                                             Ser        Ret      Ma          Hea           Fina       Foo        Com        Aer          Agr           Tran        Com         Fab           Oth
                                                                vice       ail     nuf           lthc           nce      da          put        osp           icul          spo          mu         ric a        er
                                                                    s                 actu           are                    nd           er a       ace            ture         rtat        nica          nd
                                                                                          ring                                 Tob            nd         and                         ion         tion        App
                                                                                                                                   acc           Ele           Aut                                    s          are
                                                                                                                                       o             ctro           om                                               l
                                                                                                                                                          nics          otiv

                                Overall Impressions                                                                           various sizes. This will make for interesting
                                The 118 respondents represent a wide                                                          comparisons now and going forward,
                                array of industries. Some are very lightly                                                    i.e., Industry versus Industry as well as
                                represented, such as Fabric/Apparel and                                                       Large vs. Small enterprise within a given
                                Transportation. But they provide valuable                                                     industry. We will take a special look at
                                insight into how companies in these                                                           Retail vs. Manufacturing to see how these
                                industries are utilizing social tools and                                                     two industries compare and contrast using
                                strategies to engage customers from a                                                         social channels to support customers. We
                                support perspective.                                                                          will also take a closer look at responses
                                                                                                                              from the Services industry and see how
                                Others, like Services, Food,                                                                  large and small organizations in that sector
                                Communications, etc., have a good                                                             are adopting social tools to engage with
                                number of respondents from companies of                                                       their customers.

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                                                                                                                  Company size
                                                                                81                                     50 employees or less
                                                                                                                       51–100 employees
                                                                                                                       101–500 employees
                                                                                                                       501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                       1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents





                                                             Customer Service                 Sales                         Marketing


                                The overwhelming majority of survey                           towards the marketing and promotional
                                respondents identified themselves as                          functions. But, because many sales
                                having a role in customer service/support.                    and marketing (especially marketing)
                                This provides a better understanding than                     professionals participated in the survey, it
                                many similar surveys provide of the view                      presents a good opportunity to compare
                                from the customer service function of a                       their opinions on customer engagement
                                company’s efforts with social tools and                       via social channels.
                                strategies. Other surveys tend to skew

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                                                                                                                              Company size

                                                        60                                                                         50 employees or less
                                                                                                                                   51–100 employees
                                                                                                                                   101–500 employees
                                                                                                                        50         501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                                   1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents



                                                        20                                                                                   19
                                                        10                             10

                                                             C-Level        VP Level        Director Level    Manager Level        Other


                                Management and director-level employees                           for customer support at the companies
                                make up the vast majority of people                               participating in the survey.
                                included in the survey. These are the
                                executives that typically create and                              Additionally, with all 13 C-level participants
                                manage the strategies implemented                                 coming from companies with 50 or
                                for handling customer support, case                               fewer employees, we’re able to gain
                                management, contact center and other                              valuable insight from the top of smaller
                                forms of customer service engagement.                             organizations regarding their views of
                                With this level of participation from these                       “social” and its role in engaging and
                                employee levels, we can get a good                                supporting their customer bases.
                                handle on the state of social engagement

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                                Length of Company’s Involvement in Customer
                                Service Engagement via Social Channels

                                                                                                                         Company size
                                                                                                                              50 employees or less
                                                                          37                                                  51–100 employees
                                                                                                                              101–500 employees
                                                                                             34                               501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                              1000 employees or more

                                Number of Respondents



                                                             0–6 months        6–12 months                  1–2 years                More than 2 years

                                                                                              Time period

                                The majority of those surveyed reported                           engaged for less than a year, while 7 of 18
                                that their companies have only started                            companies with more than 50 employees
                                engaging customers via social channels                            said the same.
                                over the past year. Interestingly, 31 of
                                the 54 respondents from companies                                 Comparing the retail and manufacturing
                                with more than 1,000 employees fit this                           industries, 7 of 9 retail respondents and 9
                                category, while 19 of 35 respondents from                         of 13 manufacturing respondents said they
                                companies with 50 or fewer employees                              have been engaged with customers on
                                also became involved with “social” in that                        social channels for less than a year.
                                time frame.
                                                                                                  Overall, from a support perspective, it
                                Looking only at the respondents who                               appears that many companies are still
                                reported being in the services industry, 8                        relatively new to engaging customers in
                                of 16 respondents from companies with                             social arenas.
                                50 or fewer employees said they’d been

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                                                         6–12 months       1–2 years   More than 2 years

                           35                                                                                         100
                           30                                                                                                                      34
                           25                                                                                         30
                                                                                                                                  2                                26
                           20                                                                                                                                       5
                                                                                                                                  6                                                      22
                           15                                                                                         20                           6                5         1
                           10                                                                                                                      4

                            5                                                                                         10          18
                                                                                                                                                                   16                     2

                                Number of Employees Engaging
                            0                                                                                                                                                             8


                                Customers on Social Channels
                                                                                                                              0–6 months      6–12 months       1–2 years         More than 2 years


                                                        80                                                                                                      Company size
                                                                                                      73                                                                    50 employees or less
                                                                                                                                                                            51–100 employees
                                                                                                                                                                            101–500 employees
                                                                                                                                                                            501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                                                                            1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents



                                                                                                                      9                            7                               6
                                                                       0                      1–5              6–10                        11–20                   21–50                              Over 50

                                                                                                                Number of employees

                                What stands out when looking at this                                                        three companies with fewer than 50
                                area is that three times as many large                                                      employees that have at least six people
                                enterprises (over 1,000 employees) had                                                      engaged—and two have at least 11 people
                                no employees engaging customers                                                             engaged. So companies with no more
                                than companies with fewer than 50                                                           than 50 employees, with at least 11 using
                                employees—12 to 4. This is significant,                                                     social channels to communicate with
                                as only 20 more employees from large                                                        customers, account for at least 20 percent
                                enterprises took the survey than from                                                       of employees.
                                small companies. And while there are two
                                companies of more than 1,000 employees                                                      Overall, it appears that smaller companies
                                with more than 50 employees engaged,                                                        surveyed here are engaging customers via
                                that accounts for a very low percentage                                                     social at higher rates relative to the number
                                of companies. Conversely, there are                                                         of employees than larger enterprises.

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                                Financial Investment


                                                                                                                                Company size
                                                                                                                                        50 employees or less
                                                                             85                                                         51–100 employees
                                                           80                                                                           101–500 employees
                                                                                                                                        501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                                        1000 employees or more
                                  Number of Respondents




                                                                                                                                    6                              7
                                                                less than $50K         $50K–$100K                     $100K–$250K                     Over $250K

                                                                                                    Amount invested

                                While 55 percent of respondents from                                 Even in a relatively small sample size,
                                companies with over 1,000 employees                                  three out of 13 manufacturing industry
                                spent less than $50,000 on their social                              respondents said they invested more than
                                initiatives, 18 percent spent more than                              $50,000—with one of them investing more
                                $100,000. Of that number spending                                    than $250,000. Retail also bucked the
                                over $100,000, half are spending more                                spending trend, with two of nine spending
                                than $250,000—or 9 percent of the total                              over $50,000, and one company investing
                                respondents from large enterprises.                                  over $100,000.
                                Surprisingly, there are even two companies
                                with fewer than 50 employees who have
                                spent more than $250,000, with another
                                spending more than $100,000.

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                                              80         6–12 months     1–2 years       More than 2 years

                           35                                                                                              100

                           30                                                                                                                            34
                           25                                                                                                 30
                                                                                                                                         2                                26
                           20                                                                                                                                              5
                                                                                                                                         6                                                      22
                                              40                                                                              20
                                                                                                                                                          6                5         1

                           10                                                                                                                             4

                            5                                                                                                 10         18

                                                                                                                                                                          16                     2

                                What percentage of customer service requests is
                            0                                                                                                                                                                    8


                                initiated/resolved via social networks?
                                                                                                                                     0–6 months      6–12 months       1–2 years         More than 2 years


                                                                                                                                                                       Company size
                                                                                                                                                                                   50 employees or less
                                                                              85                                                                                                   51–100 employees

                                                         80                                                                                                                        101–500 employees
                                                                                                                                                                                   501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                                                                                   1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents




                                                                                                         10                                                                                                        12
                                                                                                                              5                               4                             2
                                                                       0–5%                    6–10%                 11–15%                       16–20%                    21–25%                           Over 25%

                                                                                                               Percentage of customer service requests

                                The vast majority of respondents say their                                                         than 1,000 employees said 25 percent or
                                companies’ interactions with customers                                                             more of their customer service interactions
                                come mostly from channels other than                                                               took place over social channels. Also,
                                social. And while the majority of businesses                                                       looking at retail versus manufacturing
                                with fewer than 50 employees fit that                                                              again, retail respondents appear to
                                category (18 out of 35), a significant                                                             engage more frequently on social channels
                                group of those businesses (10 out of 35)                                                           than manufacturing respondents, with
                                say 25 percent of their customer support                                                           two respondents saying at least 16%
                                interactions are over social channels.                                                             of their companies’ customer support
                                                                                                                                   interactions take place on social channels.
                                As a comparison, only two of 54                                                                    Manufacturing had only one respondent
                                respondents from enterprises with more                                                             making it into the “6-10%” category.

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                                Which social networks does your company
                                engage customers on from a customer
                                service perspective?                   1

                                                                                                                       Company size
                                                                       91                                                   50 employees or less
                                                                                                                            51–100 employees
                                                           80                             78                                101–500 employees
                                                                                                                            501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                            1000 employees or more
                                  Number of Respondents



                                                           20                                                                 19

                                                                Facebook        Twitter        Company-owned     Industry-specific                 Other
                                                                                                social network       network

                                                                                                Social network

                                While the above answers to the “percent                         Company-owned social sites also seem to
                                interaction” question show low levels                           be fairly popular at both ends of the size
                                of engagement compared to traditional                           spectrum. Roughly a third of all enterprises
                                communication channels, companies of                            with more than 1,000 employees use their
                                all sizes, across industries, are using the                     company social site to engage, while about
                                best-known social channels to connect with                      30 percent of companies with 50 or fewer
                                customers. The majority of respondents                          employees also engage on company-owned
                                say their companies use Facebook and                            sites.
                                Twitter to engage customers. Many of
                                them are also using general sites other                         Looking at the service industry respondents,
                                than those two, indicated by the large                          large and small companies largely mirror the
                                number who selected “Other.” A popular                          overall survey results. But comparing retail and
                                business social site like LinkedIn may be                       manufacturing industries, it appears that of
                                well represented in that number, as well as                     respondents at manufacturing companies—
                                other general networking sites.                                 while engaging on Facebook and Twitter—
                                                                                                nearly 25 percent cite industry-specific sites as
                                                                                                a place to engage their customers.
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                                On which social network do customers most
                                often engage with you for service inquiries?

                                                        60          59
                                                                                                                Company size
                                                                                                                      50 employees or less
                                                                                                                      51–100 employees
                                                                                                                      101–500 employees
                                                                                                                      501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                      1000 employees or more
                                                                                       38                                                            38
                                Number of Respondents





                                                             Facebook        Twitter          Company        Industry-specific               Other
                                                                                              social site          site

                                                                                            Social network

                                While all areas are fairly well represented                    main engagement network, only about a
                                here, Facebook was cited much more than                        third of smaller businesses cited it. In fact,
                                any other site as the most frequently used                     Twitter and “other” both received more
                                social channel. And while Twitter is usually                   votes than Facebook.
                                mentioned along with Facebook in just
                                about any article or study on social media,                    According to Anita Campbell, a small-
                                this survey found Twitter was tied with                        business expert and publisher of Small
                                “other” for frequency of engagement. It                        Business Trends, this is not a surprise—
                                would be interesting to see how many of                        particularly for business-to-business (B2B)
                                those “others” would include LinkedIn.                         companies. She says, “I think Facebook is
                                                                                               a much better platform for B2C businesses
                                Although it appears that Facebook is                           than B2B businesses. That’s because of
                                the most-used social channel by those                          the informal nature of Facebook, and the
                                surveyed overall, it is not as popular for the                 fact that it brings together the personal
                                companies with fewer than 50 employees.                        and business sides of a person.” A lot of
                                While approximately 60 percent of large                        Facebook users use it to catch up on news
                                enterprises surveyed said Facebook is the                      among far-flung family members and to
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                                On which social network do customers most
                                often engage with you for service inquiries?
                                share photos. B2C content, contests and        doesn’t feel as natural. For instance, if a
                                offers seem to fit in well with that kind of   law firm is putting on a free seminar for
                                activity.                                      business owners, it doesn’t feel as natural
                                                                               to see references to that on Facebook
                                With B2B businesses, it’s harder to            profiles, as it would to see information
                                seamlessly blend into the personal             about the latest fashions or vacation travel
                                interaction that Facebook users seek. It’s     information.

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                                Which social network has proven to be the most
                                effective channel to engage customers from a
                                customer service perspective?

                                                                                                        Company size
                                                                    45                 44                    50 employees or less
                                                                                                             51–100 employees

                                                        40                                                   101–500 employees
                                                                                                             501–1000 employees
                                                                                                             1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents



                                                        10                                                                          9

                                                             Facebook        Twitter          Company               Industry-specific   Other
                                                                                              social site                 site

                                                                                            Social network

                                Facebook and Twitter are much closer                           social channels for effectiveness, smaller
                                in terms of effectiveness, with “other”                        companies appear to find other channels
                                not terribly far behind. This, in itself, is                   almost as effective. Twitter, “other,”
                                interesting as Facebook seems to be                            Facebook and even their own company
                                used much more frequently than Twitter,                        sites all seem to have good support for
                                but they are basically even from an                            being efficient.
                                effectiveness perspective. This would
                                lead me to guess that the customers may                        As for retail and manufacturing
                                find they prefer engaging on Facebook,                         respondents, manufacturing employees
                                even though from a company perspective                         find Facebook, Twitter, company sites
                                Twitter may be just as effective for getting                   and industry-specific sites close to equal
                                requests initiated or resolved.                                in effectiveness; retail skews slightly to
                                                                                               Facebook, Twitter and company sites for
                                While larger enterprises seem to cite                          effectiveness.
                                Facebook and Twitter as their main

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                                How have social networks impacted overall
                                customer service goals and objectives?

                                                        50                                                                    Company size
                                                                                                                                   50 employees or less
                                                                                                                                   51–100 employees

                                                        40                                                             42          101–500 employees
                                                                                                                                   501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                                   1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents




                                                                                                                                          3                    3
                                                              Very              Positive       Slight         No noticeable    Slightly               Very
                                                             positive                         positive        improvement     negative              negative


                                Smaller companies are much more positive                                 noticeable improvement or saw negative
                                about the results of their organizations’                                results from social initiatives.
                                engaging with customers over social
                                channels. Nearly 69 percent of those                                     In the service sector, large companies
                                surveyed from companies with fewer                                       seemed to be more pleased with the
                                than 50 employees said they were “Very                                   results from social activities than the overall
                                pleased” or “Pleased” with the results                                   group. Just over 60 percent of large service
                                thus far. Conversely, just over 50 percent                               enterprises say they were pleased or very
                                of those from companies with more                                        pleased with results so far.
                                than 1,000 employees said they saw no

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                                Is your social media/social networking fully
                                integrated into traditional customer service
                                problem resolution processes?

                                                                Company size
                                                                     50 employees or less
                                                                     51–100 employees
                                                                     101–500 employees                                                         82
                                                                     501–1000 employees
                                                                     1000 employees or more
                                  Number of Respondents


                                                           40                                    36


                                                                                     Yes                                          No

                                                                                                      Fully integrated?

                                Twenty-four percent of employees from                                    have already fully integrated “social” into
                                large enterprises said their companies                                   customer service processes. Thirty-nine
                                have already fully integrated social media/                              percent of those who are not fully
                                networks into their customer service                                     integrated say they will be within a year,
                                processes. This compares with 43 percent                                 while 29 percent say their companies have
                                of the small business respondents who say                                no plans to do so.
                                they've already integrated “social” into
                                customer service processes. That's a sizeable                            At the enterprise level, with the complexi-
                                difference, which may be due to more                                     ties involved in integrating internal
                                complex processes and integration needs for                              processes with external social connections,
                                the large enterprises. It could also point to a                          it’s noteworthy that more (39 percent)
                                difference in defining what “fully integrated”                           respondents said their companies would
                                means to large and small organizations.                                  integrate within a year—as opposed to the
                                                                                                         respondents whose companies have no
                                As mentioned above, 24 percent of                                        plans to integrate social (29 percent). It will
                                respondents from enterprises with more                                   be interesting to see how those numbers
                                than 1,000 employees said their companies                                trend over time.
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                                 What have been the biggest challenges to
                                 engaging customers on social networks?

                                                                                                                 Company size
                                                                                                                      50 employees or less
                                                                                                                      51–100 employees

                                                                                                                      101–500 employees
                                                                                                                      501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                      1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents


                                                                  37                                                35

                                                             Management   Technology      Determining       Determining         Getting employee     Understanding
                                                               buy-in                        KPIs               ROI                   buy-in     customer expectations

                                                                                             Biggest challenge

                                 Companies with more than 1,000                                    An interesting contrast develops between
                                 employees cited three main challenges                             the retail and manufacturing industries
                                 when engaging customers on social                                 here. More than half the manufacturing
                                 networks. First, obtaining management                             respondents cited customer expectations,
                                 buy-in was chosen by 40 percent of those                          technology and management buy-in as big
                                 respondents. But the two answers selected                         challenges to the success of implementing
                                 most were determining appropriate                                 social engagement with customers. While
                                 key performance indicators/metrics (51                            technology did not appear to be a major
                                 percent) and understanding customer                               challenge overall, it seems to be a main
                                 expectations (49 percent). And while                              concern to manufacturing employees,
                                 understanding customer expectations was                           as it was cited second only to managing
                                 the most cited challenge at companies                             customer expectations.
                                 with fewer than 50 employees (at 60
                                 percent), developing key performance                              These areas appear important, but not
                                 indicators and metrics fell way down in                           nearly as much to the retailers. The main
                                 importance, to 15 percent.                                        challenge cited by retailers was identifying
                                                                                                   key performance indicators.
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                                 Overall, how satisfied are you with your
                                 company’s effort to effectively engage
                                 customers on social networks from a
                                 customer service perspective?

                                                                                                                                 Company size
                                                                                               44                                     50 employees or less
                                                                                                                                      51–100 employees
                                                                                                                                      101–500 employees
                                                                                                                                      501–1000 employees
                                                                                                                                      1000 employees or more
                                Number of Respondents



                                                        20                                                                                                     9

                                                              Very satisfied       Satisfied               Neutral          Disappointed         Very disappointed

                                                                                                    Level of satisfaction

                                 While large enterprises represented in this                               are making to engage with customers
                                 survey were not sold on the idea that social                              via social channels. Roughly half those
                                 engagement from a customer service                                        companies were “Satisfied” or “Very
                                 perspective had helped their companies                                    Satisfied” with efforts so far, with only
                                 meet certain goals, they seemed more                                      approximately 20 percent admitted being
                                 positive about the efforts their companies                                “Disappointed” or “Very Disappointed.”

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                                Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP International)
                                This study and survey were produced collaboratively with the Society of Consumer
                                Affairs Professionals (SOCAP International). SOCAP International is a member-driven
                                organization committed to promoting customer care and customer engagement as
                                a competitive advantage in business by providing educational tools and professional
                                resources to drive business transformation within their companies.

                                For more information visit:

                                The Social Customer
                                The leading web destination for customer engagement professionals to connect with
                                trusted influencers in the CRM/SCRM space. Owned and operated by Social Media
                                Today LLC, with the mission of helping global organizations create purpose-built
                                B2B social communities designed to achieve specific, measurable corporate goals by
                                engaging exactly with their customers and prospects.

                                For more information visit:

                                SAP is the world's leading provider of business software, offering applications and
                                services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become
                                best-run businesses. With more than 102,500 customers in over 120 countries, the
                                company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and
                                NYSE, under the symbol "SAP."

                                For more information visit:

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