CX in Social Media: Meet your customers where they are

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Over the past decade, social media became a primary way for consumers to connect with large-scale businesses. It offers public transparency to customers which empowers their voices, and it gives companies an opportunity to build trust among their followers.

In this episode, B2B tech influencer and content creator Evan Kirstel shares his insights on how some companies use social media to its full potential and how others use it in ways that could harm their brand identity.

Ready to rethink what’s possible in CX? Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

You're listening to. Dare to Reimagine, a podcast for CX innovators, brought to you by Five9. Each episode will bring you bold new ideas from the innovators who are transforming customer experience and changing the way businesses connect with customers. We dream big, we don't hold back and we dare to reimagine the customer experience. Ready? Let's get started. Welcome to this episode of the Dare to Reimagine podcast. My name is Genefa Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer at Five9 and your host for today. So today's topic social as a form of support. Now we aren't talking support like I use social sometimes to calm my mind after a crazy day and then get lost in twitter or Tiktok-verse, because you know, that is a type of support, But social as a means to provide a better customer experience and support your customers when they have problems or simply when they want to engage. So, to unpack this topic and more, please welcome Evan Kirstel, B2B thought leader, content creator, top technology influencer. Evan, thank you for joining the Dare to Reimagine podcast! Well thanks for daring to have me. I hope not to be too controversial. I love some controversy. We love some controversy on the podcast, Evan. I say bring it on! I will bring the heat, as they say. Lovely, I love it, I love it and it is much anticipated. Speaking of social it is a much anticipated moment on social media, on Twitter, when you get to find out how close you are in the "Evan Circle." It is a great day on a Friday when you're looking at the... circle of... the... I know I need to do better if I'm if I'm not in that circle of trust. Okay, right, so let's get to our topic at hand, Evan. Today we're gonna be focusing specifically on the use of social media yet and obviously we couldn't...

...think of a better person to help us explore this topic. So, Evan, as someone who is on social media pretty much around the clock, it's pretty amazing. You are..very sad...very sad... No, no, it means that you're in-touch, you're in-tune, you got it, you know what's going on. You're good at multitasking. So you are obviously an advocate of social channels as a way of supporting customer experience, and you recently tweeted about a major company say no name, who is removing twitter as a support channel. So why don't you tell us a little bit about that scenario and what you shared and give us your point of view on that? Well, yes, the Netflix, as we know, is under some pressure to say the least, and obviously in cost-cutting mode. That's been in the press, nothing unexpected there. What was kind of unexpected was their announcement that they're eliminating their customer service handle on twitter, which for people like me and probably you and most people who tweet while they're watching TV of all things, and watching Netflix, is kind of an unusual practice. And you know, I tweeted that out and it generated a lot of controversy and commentary from the twitter verse. And Wow, what a great topic, because we're all using social channels and messaging channels for customer service and support, and what a way to kind of, frankly annoy, your customers to cut off a preferred or favored means of communication these days where we're talking about Omni channel and every channel all the time, and all of a sudden companies like Netflix, hopefully not many others, are starting to give fewer options for customer service. So very unusual move and who knows what the actual driver was behind that. Maybe they were overwhelmed by tweets and DMs, maybe it was just a cost cutting move. But in my opinion,...

...you know, customer service on social is not a simple cost center, it is a revenue center. I mean you can sell, you can upsell, you can build relationships with customers, so very, very high and deep. Yeah, and I think that point that you made about the cost center to Revenue Center, I mean I think we can talk about that where, especially when we talk about the CCaaS world, the contact center world, people often saw the contact center as a cost center. It was a necessary evil in some respects and people thought of it and it really is. It is a value center, it's a revenue center. It's how you can engage with your customers and people in the contact center, just like people who are looking at those social feeds, they get the real the real customer experience right, not the not the NPS, you know, or the survey after you've had a great interaction, but I think they get the real side of the customer, like how the customer is feeling at sometimes their worst moment and sometimes their happiest. moment, so to me, I agree with you. I think it's a great source of getting real information. So how should companies think about social channels as support? Who do you think is doing it well? I mean some of the best customer service experiences I've had are through these messaging channels, you know, asynchronous, where I don't have to wait on the phone and speak to a live person, where it's contextual. You know, maybe it's in app. So if I'm, you know, on Door Dash and there's been a problem with my order, within the app, I reach an agent through a Chat Bot or through a direct message experience and it saves the context of the of the communication versus entering passwords and pin codes and customer I D numbers and getting transferred around in a in a legacy contact center environment. So context is everything these days. And you know, if I'm booking my experience on...

...on Travelocity, why not give me that customer experience in app or on my preferred channel? I mean I do. I'm on WhatsApp a lot, as is most of the world. WhatsApp is now a customer service channel. I message. Apple has opened that up as a customer service channel. So the companies that understand their customers and the context in which they're seeking service, who I think, are really really winning. Yeah, and I think you know I mean some people might say how it's a generational thing as well. You know, you're going to go get support on text message versus email, versus calling, and of course there are generational differences. But I think the point that you mentioned about context is really really critical, because knowing what your customer is doing, when they're doing it, why they might need support. There is still nothing worse than, whether you're doing on a chat, a text message or a voice call, having to re-emphasize what you've just spent ten minutes doing in order to get the support that you need. So tell us a little bit about you know, one thing is generational. One thing it's also obviously the pandemic. It's still top of mind for many. But how have you seen businesses operate and maintain their customer experience as they've come out of the pandemic right as they've hopefully learned from some of the changes that the pandemic taught us? What have you seen companies doing? Why, I think the key has been real time. People have lost their their patience with waiting and their tolerance levels are way down. There's a bit of a mental health crisis under way in many ways, which doesn't help when people are angry about service or support, and so we need to take all this into account. We live in this accelerated economy and so, you know, I remember one of the earliest implementations of delivery service was Domino's, where, you know,...

...you could order your pizza via text message or a Emoji or on your xbox, you know, and you get instant status updates as to how the pizza was being cooked, where it was in the process, how far the delivery driver is, and that really turned Domino's from a pizza company into a tech company. Oh no, I completely agree. I swear. When we ordered dominoes, I'm on that app refreshing every two minutes like and I'm like Hey, I'm like, don't, don't fake me out here, people, and the thing is is, like they could. I mean I'm sure they probably do, actually. They probably look at like how long on average does it take to cook the pizza, deliver the pizza, etcetera, etcetera, and then they can, you know, just give you the status bar. But it's it's comforting. It's comforting to go onto that app and to know that your pizza is in the oven or your pizza has left, left the shop, but it's on its way to you. I find comfort in that. Yeah, it's sort of like customer delight. You know, things that are fun and surprising. Apple is another one. I mean we all talk about the amazing service and support from Apple, but it's real. I recently ordered a bunch of the tracker devices, you know, for my move and literally from order it was a two hour delivery to my doorstep. So two hours from placing the order. A local store happened to be thirty minutes away and it was delivered to my door completely seamless and I was like surprised and just like wow, delighted I didn't have to wait overnight. I was actually packing, so I really needed those air tags to put in in in a bunch of boxes that we were moving. And so big tech has this capability that they leverage, whether it's Google or Apple or or others, and customers have now become accustomed to these amazing experiences. So if you're not Apple or Google, how can you emulate or some you know what they're doing to really...

...delight your customers. If you're just your average insurance company or a bank. Well, there's a lot of tech available from some company on this podcast, I believe, that can enable you to build these amazing workflows and communication processes. And I think, you know, when it comes to social as well, we think of like twitter and we think of people being able to go on twitter and say hey, I've got a problem right you see, you know, if you look at twitter, you see all the time where, especially airlines, everyone loves to tweet about the airlines and you know, airlines being delayed or not getting the ticket or not getting the support. But I think support can also mean such a broad variety of things. So, for example, like using tiktok to educate a micro learning. What are some of your thoughts on that, and have you seen any companies doing that? Well, twitter's a great example. I mean under the new leadership, all the drama with Elon Musk aside, they've really upped their game on the business to business that kind of service front. You can post your company hours on the site. There's a twitter for business kind of service model. You can have out of office on your DMs. They've actually brought back the A P I so I can have things like chat bots within my DM, automated responses, that kind of thing, and it's really a recognition that, okay, maybe the consumer market is kind of peaked, but there's this whole world of service and business to business and that's an opportunity beyond just advertising, but from a service, support, outreach marketing standpoint, there's just so much opportunity and that requires opening up, creating APIs, partnerships and new features that enable that kind of engagement. It's nice, right. It's nice that they can have...I think they should have... that separation between, like you know, almost on one side, I do want one feed, I see everything. That's great, but then also having that separation between how they run the business side of twitter and how they run...

...the b2c side of twitter, right the consumer side of twitter, and I think that's something as well as marketers are support people, as people trying to deliver a great customer experience. Thinking about that, I'm thinking about how you can leverage the business side of twitter. Is actually a really interesting paradigm because people just think of it in their day to day lives and they don't realize that twitter offers a lot of these services and capabilities that could help them. That includes e commerce and shopping. I mean the big opportunity now is to sell your product on social media, either with an influencer directly from your side, whether your instagram, facebook, twitter or Tiktok. You know, the social selling or commerce is the next big opportunity on on platforms and that requires service and support and customer engagement, and all the platforms are opening up to to realize that now and they're essentially the new market place there that they're becoming the new Ebay, the new uh, you know, Amazon, the new e commerce players. So it's an exciting time to be in the social business space. So what are some of your tips and tricks, Best Practices, advice for those out there who are like, okay, all right, maybe I've tried it and I want to go back to it. Maybe I've never tried it and I'd like to try it. What are some of your best pieces of advice, maybe top two or three, that you would say to people out there listening and thinking about social as that new right to market for them or new way to engage better with their customers. I would take Five9 as a great example of doing great best practices on social Oh, boy, thank you. Well, I'm not just being sycophantic here. I've I've watched you guys, and you're not just taking a twenty-year- old intern and assigning them the social channel and thinking, okay, we've got social cover. You have all your employees, as far as I can tell,...

...are really activated. You've got yourself from the CMO and CEO Rowan, are super super users right down to every individual, most individual employees, and you're treating it as a water cooler. You know, you're engaging, answering questions, reaching out and it's really stream of consciousness too. You're not just doing your press releases and you know, the main day to day stuff. You're really doing very engaging content, audio content, video content, deep dives on the technical side, and that's a real win. A lot of companies view social as just a box they need to check, not as a way to really engage customers and partners and analysts and journalists and media and all those, you know, investors congress on the results. You know that are all constituencies on on social it's not just kind of a one unit directual fire hose that you push content out. Social has to be authentic. I think if it's going to work and if it's going to work for for companies, it has to be authentic, it has to be real. You have to take that into consideration and, like you say, it's not just about checking a box and saying, oh, hey, yeah, we replied to that, or we put a post out today when we did a launch or a press release exactly like you said. That's why people, I think, go to social because it is more real than some of maybe the other channels that they feel are available to them. So that's my key piece of advice that comes off of what you've said, is be real and authentic when you're doing social and have a program. And you know people like engaging with people, with with you, and you know, brands, it's fine having brand content and brand messaging, but the real fun stuff on social, regardless of platforms, is human to human, your person to person, and that's why, you know, Elon has a hundred million followers and Tesla has, you know, tens of millions, because you know people attract inordinate amount of tension versus brands and engagement and visibility and putting your people out there is, as you...

...know, there's on one hand there's a risk, but it's also just a tremendous opportunity and it can be so much more fun and interesting and personally you get to know that the individuals right you get to know how they think, how they might respond to things. I think that's part of the fun of social as well. You can learn so much about your customers, your employees and how to create that CX and EX harmony, if you will. So, before we do the wrap-up, I want to ask you, Evan, your tip of the week. What's your tip of the week? I always ask guests what's the tip of the week? It could be a book, it could be a quote, it could be a factor, stat... What's your tip of the week? I say to really go and learn how to amp up your profiles on social. So many people have a very ad hoc or uninteresting profile and actually really interesting people go to Linkedin, you know, add featured content to pin a tweet, have an interesting background, choose a color scheme, add some hashtags. Your social profile, whether you're an executive of or work in a company, is your window to the world, and not just for job and personal prestige, but visibility. You know, highlight your interests, your professional skills and really make your linked in profile more than just something that looks like a resume. You know, make it reflect you as an individual holistically, professionally and personally, your interests, your abilities and skills. And if you invest ten, twenty, half an hour in doing that, I think over time you'll really see a big payback. I like that, ask...ask yourself the question. When was the last time I updated my LinkedIn? When did I look at it and say, Hey, is it interesting? Right, use social to stand out, I think, from providing customer support and we all want things that are personalized. So make it personal. I think that's a great tip. It's a good reminder. So what I've taken away, and hopefully what some of our listeners have taken away, a couple of things that stood out to me. Real time, right, so social can help you be real time, get real time insight into your...

...customers, what matters to them, what doesn't matter to them. Asynchronous communication is key, right, contextual communication is key, and social as the new marketplace. Just think about it. Social is so much more than the characters in twitter or a linkedin update or post. Social is so much more and I think people need to go and explore the opportunities that it can present for their brands, for their customer support and for their customer and employee engagement. I like it. Fantastic, you know, and in this time of cost cutting and downturns, we started with with Netflix. You know, social is a quote unquote free way to gain media, to gain customers, to find opportunities to listen, to learn, to educate, and companies who have been thinking a lot of money into paid and advertising and all kinds of business and marketing expenses could do a lot at quote unquote no cost by investing time and the R O I is clearly there. So just go ahead and do it. Go take a look at it, broaden your horizons and think about how social can help you. Evan, an absolute pleasure. Thank you for being with us, thank you for sharing your thoughts, thank you to everyone for listening and until the next time, let's all dare to reimagine. Dare to reimagine customer experience with Five9. For over twenty years, Five9, who has been helping companies worldwide charter path to a reimagined C X. Learn more at five nine dot com. That's F I V E the number nine dot com you've been listening to. Dare to reimagine a podcast for C X innovators, brought to you by five nine. To make sure you never miss an episode, be sure to follow the show in your favorite podcast player. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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