All entries tagged with “social media”

Going the Extra Mile: Face Time that Pays Off

After returning from a successful business networking event and receiving positive feedback from attendees, I realize that there is a significant return on investment when sales professionals dedicate face-to-face time to a prospective buyer. This spawned some personal research into the science of face-to-face communication versus electronic and telecommunication. What I found, though - is that when the two powerful methods combine - sales sky rocket.

Companies are spending

Following an initial decrease in spending during the recession, corporate travel and expenses have increased by 58 percent over the past three years, with Oxford Economics USA reporting that each dollar invested into travel generates a sales return of $10 to $14.99. No pun intended, but I’d say that’s worth going the extra mile! While traveling for business pays off, face-to-face meetings are a key component of this business success.

With recent developments in technology and highly personalized telecommunication software, why are top-producing, Fortune 500 companies investing a combined $181 billion into travel and expenses this year? Because, according to the Harvard Business Review89% of business travelers report face-to-face meetings are essential for “sealing the deal.” While pinging e-mails back and forth may develop a working relationship, a face-to-face meeting allows for the broadest form of communication, encompassing nonverbal cues, candor and body language.

Why the meeting is worth the plane ticket

James Borg, the author of Body Languagesays that 93 percent of human communication consists of para-linguistic cues, leaving only seven percent up to actual verbal conversations. Opposed to virtual communication, face-to-face contact facilitates the transfer of tacit knowledge, an understanding that can only be experienced by being present. A physical meeting is more effective, allowing the speaker to draw immediate feedback and tailor an interaction based on a nonverbal response, allowing optimal results in a sales environment.

The old adage, time is money stands true here. 81 percent of sales executives believe that traveling to meet a prospective client in person builds value into their meeting. Forbes conducted a survey of 760 business executives on this subject, of which 85 percent said that face-to-face meetings, many of which involve travel, build stronger, more meaningful business relationships, scoring well for persuasion, leadership and engagement. Similarly, 18 percent report losing business because they were unable to travel to meet a client.

Yin & Yang: Closing the Marketing Circle

Networking events are natural lead generators – drawing a pool of industry peers physically to one venue. Even with this opportunity for brand building, customer engagement and customer training, executives and marketers rely on technology to develop business relationships beyond the physical. A global survey by Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts reveals that 53 percent of business executives believe that connecting with a business associate on social media can help develop a stronger and more trusted relationship.

The strongest ROI will be reached when face-to-face interactions are aided by technological engagements. Research by Marketo reports that while marketers are investing in computer-mediated-communication (CMC), or virtual communication like webinars, to stay connected, they are failing to complete the circle: using powerful engagement solutions before, during and after a meeting. By connecting physically and then filling the void with electronic correspondence, real relationships will generate record-high sales.

10 Ways Social Media Can Improve Change Management

The Pulse of Social Media

Change is coming for the customer service world. A recent study found 50 percent of consumers prefer using social media to reach their service provider than calling a contact center. Long gone are the social media skeptics as large, growing companies turn to these outlets for customer engagement, lead generation and brand development.

Amdocs found using social media as a platform for customer service is beneficial for multiple reasons: one, it cuts down on call center costs, and two, it improves the customer experience by boosting engagement. Emerging software connects customers’ social media identities to their profiles stored in the customer relationship management (CRM) system. Using and managing the data from social media outreach, companies are able to analyze trends and media shouts, identifying and resolving problems in just moments.

Contact Center software like Five9 is constantly introducing new technology that includes social media integration and social engagement tools. To prove that social media is here to stay – Five9’s Summer Release 2014 raised $73 million.

In a study by BI Intelligence, they found that social activity is the top internet activity. This means that Americans spend more time on social media than any other major internet activity – including email. Of that time, 60% of social media is accessed on smartphones and tablets, not desktop computers. Of the social media networks, Facebook attracts roughly seven times the engagement that Twitter does, meaning that user interaction on Facebook is more influential.

Here are some key facts regarding social media in the customer service world and correlating tips to improve the consumer experience:

  • Speedy Response: 52 % of consumers expect a response within 30 minutes of their social media contact, but only 24 % of service providers say they respond within that timeframe.
  • Invest in a CRM system with innovative social media software: 64 % of customers say they would be willing to share their social identity with their service provider, in return for better service and 48 % would like to receive relevant, personalized offers from their service provider via social media.
  • Link customers to their virtual identity: There’s still plenty of room for improvement in the social media world – 93 % of service providers say they cannot identify customers from their social media profiles and 64 % of service providers do not store social media interactions in their CRM database.

“When people take to Twitter or Facebook to ask questions, or worse yet, complain about their service provider, that’s an opportunity the service provider can take to proactively resolve that customer’s issue – if they know that customer’s real identity.”
- Rebecca Prudhomme, VP Product and Solution Marketing at Amdocs

For more information on customer service via social networks, check out the infographic below.


Click to Enlarge Image

The Industries With the Most Customer Complaints — Brought To You By

When (Corporate) Social Media Goes Horribly Wrong




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