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The old adage, “Happy customers tell three people, and unhappy customers tell ten,” has become very outdated, with unhappy customers complaining to millions via Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. As the airlines learned this year, one negative customer experience can not only go viral on social, it can wind up as the headline of the five o’clock news. And don’t think this can’t happen to technology support as well. We’ve seen videos of repairmen sleeping in a customer’s living room, and heard recordings of support technicians who lost their temper, all broadcast to the world via social media.

Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Your Brand Reputation on Social Media

It is incredibly important to monitor what customers are saying about your products, your services, and your brand, via social media. Trust us—even if you aren’t listening, your prospects, Wall Street, industry analysts, the media, and all of your competitors are certainly monitoring every comment about you. Not only do companies need to do a better job of social listening, they also need to begin identifying which customers are major social influencers of your brand, whether positive or negative. Once identified, you can design specific campaigns to influence these highly social customers to better represent your technology to the market.

About TSIA’s Social Engagement Rating for B2B Companies

According to TSIA’s 2017 Social Support Survey, 58% of B2B companies are doing some sort of social listening, primarily monitoring for product problems. Members have been asking for approaches to do more detailed listening, including identifying social promoters and detractors. In response, TSIA has developed a new social metrics program, the Social Engagement Rating, designed for use by B2B firms. Here are the elements of TSIA’s B2B Social Engagement Rating:

  • Identify trackable social activities. TSIA recommends tracking both low engagement activities (forum threads viewed, clicking “like” or “thumbs up” on an article or thread, retweeting) and high engagement activities (new forum threads posted, answers created for an open forum thread). Depending on your existing social programs, you may have many activities to include, or you may be limited to a few that are easy to track. The list of trackable social activities can grow as your program matures.
  • Assign a positive or negative value to each activity. As a starting point, we recommend a scoring of “1” or “-1” for standard activities, a “5” or “-5” for activities that were more highly negative or positive, and a “10” or “-10” for activities that were extremely negative or positive.
  • Create a scorecard. Pull all the activities for a customer for a specific time period, apply the appropriate positive or negative values, and total the score. Starting with your most active social customers, this approach will give you an excellent insight into the potential each customer has of impacting your brand.

Depending on what social listening tools you have, much of this process can be automated. But even without a “best of breed” listening platform, companies can identify the social activities that are easiest to access and begin manually calculating scores for socially prolific customers. By factoring the Social Engagement Rating into account plans and quarterly business reviews, you can begin to better leverage your highly positive social customers (perhaps to assist with renewals, and doing customer reference calls), and hopefully influence your most negative social customers.

Learn More About What TSIA’s Social Engagement Rating Can Do for Your Company

For more information on the TSIA Social Engagement Rating, here’s a link to download the free research report, “TSIA B2B Social Engagement Rating,” with additional details and examples. You can also view this three-hour Virtual Summit, “Transforming the Customer Experience with Social Support,” which includes a presentation on the Social Engagment Rating.

As always, thanks for your ongoing support of TSIA research, and thanks for reading!

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John Ragsdale

About Author John Ragsdale

John Ragsdale is a distinguished researcher and the vice president of technology ecosystems for TSIA. His area of expertise is in creating strategies for improving the service operations and overall customer experience by leveraging innovative technology. John works closely with TSIA’s partner ecosystem, identifying leading and emerging technology vendors whose products help solve the key business challenges faced by TSIA members. He is also author of the book, Lessons Unlearned, which chronicles his 25-year career inside the customer service industry.

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