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Social media can reshape customer engagement strategies

Anuradha Shukla | June 3, 2011
Findings from SAS-sponsored report ‘Re-envisioning Customer Value’.

Rise of social media has driven companies to reevaluate the way they determine customer value, according to a SAS-sponsored report.

Re-envisioning Customer Value, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, indicates that popularity of social media can reshape customer engagement strategies.

Businesses require more than measures of customer value that focus solely on transaction activity because it shows only a fraction of an individual's behaviour and potential value.

According to business analytics specialist SAS, today, businesses need a technology that can maximise social media efforts.

"Many organisations are questioning how they account for value," said Jonathan Hornby, marketing director at SAS. "Instead of focusing on revenue or profit associated with an individual's or household's transactions, organisations are now starting to think about the value of influence and collaboration - particularly given the growth of social media."

Strong position of customers

Customers are in a stronger position today as anyone can voice opinion through social media that enables near-real-time responses.

Businesses now hire staff to monitor and respond to virtually everything because of the increase in volumes of activity. They also do not want to risk having inconsistent responses or have staff that does not know how to risk mitigation.

Correct handling of interactions can help increase the business and improve both customer experience and relevance.

"Calculating influence based on how many Twitter followers someone has, or friends on Facebook or re-tweets is only the beginning," advises Hornby. "What you are really after is an understanding of how many people took action based on a recommendation or negative posting from a customer."

SAS notes that businesses can use SAS Social Media Analytics to identify connections that exist among online consumers and how much conversation flows between an individual and his/her network.

SAS claims that it can also identify if existing customers' behaviours are influenced or impacted by the sudden velocity of online conversations.

"Technology has surpassed what was previously thought possible," said Hornby. "SAS Conversation Center, a module of SAS Social Media Analytics, can use all the variables we have discussed here to prioritise and direct conversations to the most appropriate member of staff - in real time - creating a better experience for customers and a brighter future for the organisation." 


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