Moxie Software: tipping point for social CRM – Gareth Pitts
Social media is changing the way that business is being done. The reason for this is that the technology (for example, Facebook and Twitter) that consumers use personally has rapidly evolved, and they expect the same communication channels when dealing with an organisation. No one can deny the unstoppable rise of social media networks. For many, these networks are a foundation of their personal lives, but their capacity to enrich customer relationships is something that, so far, has gone unrecognised in financial services.
"Students coming out of university 20 years ago were using the latest communication technology - email," says Gareth Pitts, technical director for EMEA at Moxie Software. "Now it's all about social media. Banks need to understand that social media is starting to affect everyone's lives and that they can greatly enhance their reputation for customer service by leveraging multichannel communication.
"Banks are seen as institutions that are rigid and inflexible, but with social media, they could build a reputation for providing a bespoke customer experience."
As other industries make huge strides in social customer relationship management (CRM) by using social networks to create personalised customer services, banks are starting to pay attention to social CRM and the customer experience it can create.
"2012 was the year that companies dabbled with social CRM," says Pitts. "They tried it to see if it had any effect and their customers reacted positively, so 2013 will see its large-scale implementation."
Comprehensive communication from Moxie
Moxie Software is a customer-centric, enterprise social software company that provides a single suite for organisations to connect employees, customers and partners in a collaborative environment. Its Spaces by Moxie applications power more than three billion social transactions a year for leading financial services organisations. Its role is to make sure organisations hear their customers' voices, and can respond quickly and effectively through the customer's channel of choice in order to build loyalty.
"You can get some benefits by just dipping your toe in, but bigger companies have been slower to react than their customers," says Pitts. "For younger people, social media is part and parcel of their lives. They are more familiar with it than most institutions, which are now playing catch-up.
"There is also an element of much older people using it, and wanting to communicate with a company over other channels such as email and live chat to get immediate answers, which means that organisations have to create a multichannel strategy that caters to the different customer demographics through the channel of their choice.
"The tipping point will come when companies can use social CRM to offer a bespoke customer service to suit different demographics. Moxie Software is one of the few companies with the overall package to deliver social CRM to customers. We act as an enabler, allowing for the integration of other software to create the overall experience. Companies have only scratched the surface of what 'social' might do for them. Ultimately, it could be as radical a change as email, which is now mainstream."
Social CRM is the next logical step in the evolution of customer communications, and banks now have sufficient incentive to invest in it. But the success of social CRM depends heavily on the ability of employees, enterprises and customers getting the right answer at the right time. The rise of social networks in an era of instant gratification means that demanding customers want the ability to quickly create and access collective knowledge from their peers.
This is social knowledge - the ability to curate crowd-sourced answers, capturing knowledge more efficiently and making it available for employees, customers and partners to deliver excellent customer experiences.
"Social knowledge is integral to a financial institution's social CRM strategy," explains Pitts. "It is about being willing to engage with customers over the channels they choose, and providing them with the right answers, in the format they like, which typically comes from a repository of knowledge created by social interactions, whether its between customers, a customer and the enterprise, or between employees. That is especially important in financial services.
"If customers change to a different channel to interact with a bank, then they expect it to pick up their information without having to repeat it and they expect the answer immediately. That is where we come in, pioneering the first social knowledge solution in the marketplace.
"Some financial institutions are moving into this space aggressively and we are helping them to get ahead of the curve. They use our services to bring all of their channels together and to enable a 360° flow of information, from customer to enterprise to employee and back to the customer. What is now a trickle will become an avalanche in 2013, as banks start to look across all channels, including social media, to deliver excellent customer experiences and create long-term competitive advantage."