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Implementation Plan

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Benefits of a phased implementation roadmap

A phased implementation roadmap is necessary to embed social media into the customer journey and drive customers to social channels in a scalable way. A phased implementation roadmap offers several benefits:

  • Overcome resistance to change. It helps to overcome resistance to change; it gives people an understanding and time to get used to what's coming.
  • Lessons learned. It allows for lessons learned in early phases to be incorporated in systems installed in later phases; this enables the organization’s learning process to be optimized and to ensure it learns from its past mistakes.
  • Solid foundation. It establishes a solid foundation of available project-level data prior to rolling out enterprise-level information; and creates a way to ensure scalability for further rolls outs in the future.

Service through social channels

You can set customer expectations for service over social channels by communicating:

  • Operating hours. You should communicate your operating hours and opening hours to your customers. This helps manage expectations about when a customer is able to get in touch with the organization.
  • Response times. You should also communicate your response times to customers. This sets the expectation of how long the customer should expect to wait to receive a response.
  • Terms of service. This outlines exactly what a customer should expect from a service. This is standard legal stuff, which your legal team can help you with.

Factors to inform an effective business case

It is fundamental to be able to articulate and clearly present the overall social customer service strategy to the organization in order to achieve internal alignment and adoption. This is because many individuals may have a traditional mindset and see no merit in setting up a specific operation in this area.

There are a number of factors that form an effective business case for establishing or expanding a social customer service operation:

  • Proving value. Consider a tangible value for what the team could bring to your organization.
  • Calculating ROI. Determine the level of return that the team could have.
  • Identifying competitive advantage. Determine the advantage that the team could bring to your organization.

Milestones and timelines

It is important that all teams involved come together during the social customer service strategy execution stage in order to achieve pre-defined milestones and timelines – this will ensure the strategy is holistic and has the largest ability to be successful in the organization. However, make sure it’s not a static document, but rather that the organization continually re-examines and updates the strategy to maintain relevance in the rapidly changing social media customer service landscape.

There are three big parts of the business that you have to think about from a collaboration perspective:

  • Technology. When you’re using digital social media channels for customer service, there is a huge technology implication for the business. Think about that very, very carefully.
  • Culture. What are your overall objectives from a company-culture perspective? What is it that you as a business can deliver or want to deliver? How do you do business differently and uniquely? And how do you prioritize customers within that? Maybe your culture needs to shift slightly, to be more customer-oriented.
  • Process. Processes are often a source of competitive advantage, but what is it that you do differently as a business? What is it that you’re going to have to do differently?
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Christian Polman

Christian Polman is a General Manager at Eone, Europe. He has driven digital marketing strategy through analytics and research to solve strategic and operating challenges and develop business plans for Fortune 100 brands.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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    Social Customer Service
    Christian Polman
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the concept of social customer service and highlights the social channels that are most often leveraged for this activity. It provides you with best practices you can follow to create and implement a robust social customer service strategy – and to manage it effectively. It also provides best practices for measuring customer satisfaction with the social customer service they receive, and for training social customer service agents. Finally, you learn how to build, grow, and maintain online support communities.