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March 29, 2017

It’s Time to Grade My 2012 Predictions – Customer Service Fortune Cookies for 2012

By michaelpace on December 19, 2012

Customer Service Fortune CookiesBefore I let my crazy cousin Pacefucious make any predictions for 2013, we need to hold him accountable for his previous Confucius-like prophecies.

Complete, wild guess predictions and thoughts by my cousin Pacefucious about the trends in Customer Service for 2012.
Note: The practice of adding “in bed” may or may not work with the following fortunes.

Pacefucious said: “Transactional social customer service is like making out with pretty cousin” –   I hope my crazy cousin isn’t talking about me, but he does have a point about social customer service (somewhere in there).  I believe he is saying, you get your customer’s immediate need resolved, but you are not forming a relationship.  Once a company receives a comment or issue (positive or negative), they should realize the customer has opened up a channel that you share.  Just handling their immediate transactional need is good, following up with that customer with content that is of value to them, starts to create a relationship, and is phenomenal customer service.  More about this kind of proactive customer service see Is Your Social Customer Service Missing the “Social” Point?

Grade: B+
Rationale: Pacefucious is still ahead of his time on this prediction.  2012 did not prove to be the year that Customer Service and Support teams grabbed the social customer service brass ring.  Per @marketingprofs recent article “Top Brands Using Twitter for Customer Support”, only 23% of big brands have a dedicated Customer Service group.  Don’t even get me started on how poor the response times and service levels appeared.  You must be able to crawl before you walk, and Customer Support is still getting the basics of social media support down.  Hopefully, this prediction will improve its accuracy in 2013.

customer-service-handle-simply-measured

Pacefucious said: “Social CRM platform is silver bullet made of ice” – In 2012, SCRM (definitions) will continue to be a hot topic, but currently it is overpriced (for this economy), overpromising and being mostly sold by people who still believe in traditional sales models and have no understanding of social business.  Don’t get me or my cousin wrong, SCRM can and will be a very important tool for businesses, but I don’t think most businesses (or people running those businesses) will be ready for full blown SCRM tools.  SCRM will not help you understand social business language, develop your strategy for using social media tools or establish governance.  I would love to see more distributors or sales people of SCRM platforms get a firm understanding of social business and practices in 2012 before trying to sell their “silver bullets”.

Grade: B-

Rationale: Pacefucious was correct on the economy, but was slightly harsh on the (S)CRM industry.  Consolidation and platform integration has helped the large CRM companies broaden their product suite, but also brought in more people who understand social business and the needs of their customers.  While Pacefucious’ prediction wasn’t his best, the industry is moving in the right direction.

Pacefucious said: “Benchmark data and metrics make your service taste like cheap Chinese food” – – I always get a little worried when people ask me if I have any benchmark data on customer service or contact center metrics.  I will try to provide what I think a particular industry considers benchmark data (example:  X% of calls answered in X seconds), but that is really just averages.  If you are interested in average customer service, which pretty much sucks, benchmark data and metrics is perfect for you.  If you are interested in providing outstanding service, go understand what your customer finds important or critical to quality, and deliver that and more.

Grade: You tell me

Rationale: How has any benchmark data helped you deliver awe-inspiring service?  It usually gives you a number or metric that makes sense to do better.  Be a differentiator, not a trend follower.

Pacefucious said: “Your customers will be your most valuable customer service agents” – I still find it puzzling that so many customer service organizations do not utilize communities to help solve their customers questions or problems.  Some customer service organizations do not even have relationships with the people in their organization who manage their communities.  I am not sure I have ever even been to a customer service conference where community management was a topic.  Your customers, especially your advocates and superusers, have (collectively) considerably more knowledge than your support agents; why not let them help your customers too?  I am not advocating for the end of phone or chat service (maybe email  – see below), but having a shared community and knowledge base that can be added to and used by your customers is both incredibly efficient and can provide awesome service.

Grade: A-

Rationale: A collective “AAAAHHHHH” is being shouted by community managers around the world.  In 2012, the value of the community manager, their platforms, and the discipline of community management was beginning to be realized.  Communities deliver more content for SEO, helps retain customers, educate prospects and new customers to gain the fullest out of your product, and provides your organization immense scale.  The awareness, desire, and knowledge of communities still has tremendous opportunity within the Customer Support world, but innovative leaders are catching on fast.

Pacefucious said: “Email customer service sucks, your lucky numbers are 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42” – Again, don’t get my cousin wrong, email doesn’t suck, but customer service through email is RARELY good, and almost always includes extra work for your customers.  Let’s take a typical email situation: question to company (waits), reply and clarification from company, customer clarifies (waits), company provides standard message to solve problem, customer needs more specific information, blah, blah, blah, blah etc… Now email can be valuable to a company as an off-business hour service, and possibly outsourced, but why even provide the subpar experience?

Grade: Not Rated

Rationale: Well, it really wasn’t a prediction, more of a customer service fact.  Pacefu also did not guess the $500M Megaball numbers very well.

Pacefucious said: “Be social and transparent organization or soon no organization” – The companies that will succeed in 2012 and beyond will leverage social business principles internally and externally.  It has already been proven during our recent recession; those companies that embraced social marketing and the use of social tools internally have performed significantly better.  Those companies now also have an almost insurmountable time advantage over those companies who have not embraced the social organization.  As I wrote earlier this year, I believe the social organization will be the most important advancement for business in the next 5 years – The Next Innovation in Social will come from … HR

Grade: A

Rationale: “…become a Social Business or die”, I don’t know if that was a mantra from 2012, but I did read it somewhere.  While I agree, social business will be the next big business innovation, you probably won’t die.  Traditional work organizational models have siloed departments, working on their individual goals to hopefully achieve a greater sum for the sake of acquiring and retaining customers.  This model, generally, approaches internal and external customers as someone to talk at or to be spoken to.  People, whether internal to your organization or external, are tired of being spoken to.  Social Business is inclusive, collaborative and open.  I believe people and relationships are every company’s most important and underutilized asset.  We now have the technological ability to act/work/socialize/create relationships like we do in “real life”.  By leveraging the relationships, new technology, and process, we can unleash the ultimate power – PEOPLE.

Big Prediction misses:
•    Power of Visual Media (Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ changes, Facebook changes, etc…)
•    Location Based Services pivot (less gamification, more exploration)
•    Community funding – Kickstarter
•    Mobile payments
•    Mayan calendar

So, what does your fortune cookie say? (Don’t forget to add “in bed” afterwards)

Any other big prediction misses?
Pacefucious is only available via smoke signal or albatross mail, you can contact me with thoughts.

Image via Clutchcook

Live Google+ Debate: Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

By michaelpace on October 15, 2012

Contact Center DebateRecently, I participated in an live Google+ debate hosted by Software Advice that asked, “Will Technology Kill the Call Center?” The research firm basically wanted to investigate trends in consumer contact channel utilization, technology and the impact of these trends on the future call center.

The event featured a panel of experts that answered scripted questions, before the discussion was opened to the audience. The prepared queries included:

1.    How have you seen consumer contact channel utilization change in the last decade?
2.    What role has technology played in this change?
3.    How do you see technology impacting the way customers contact a company in the future, and the kind of service they receive?
4.    Will technology eventually render call centers irrelevant?

Click on the video below to watch the entire recorded debate hosted by the talented Ashley Furniss.

I was able to send comments directly to the panel during the live event. One of the speakers, IntelliResponse Vice President of Marketing Mike Hennessy, made a statement that questioned the value of social media for customer service. He argued that according to analysis he’s seen about social customer service, the return on investment for time spent is not there. I disagreed:

Here are some other key takeaways from the responses.

Become Truly Multi Channel
All of the speakers agreed that consumers are embracing newer contact channels, such as virtual agents and self service, at a pace never seen before in the contact center world.

This doesn’t mean customers are choosing these new channels instead of voice. Rather, they are using self service, FAQs, mobile and other channels in addition to the telephone.

In response, companies need to do more than just make these channels available. They should leverage each to better serve the customer. For example, can you tell what a customer was looking at in your FAQs before they called your 1-800 number? Do you know if they interacted with a virtual agent? Having these answers can bring context and personalization to the live response experience. This increases efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Accommodate the Customer’s Contact Channel Choice
Technology advancements have had a huge impact on the way organizations interact with customers. Advancements such as intelligent virtual agents and self service can finally devlier on the promises from five and six years ago.

These contact channel improvements have leveled the playing field as far as user experience. The customer is now empowered to choose the communication channel they want, when they want. It’s up to the company to “right channel” their business–to determine which channels are most important to its customers and invest in those technologies.

Ready Your Agents for the Reborn Contact Center
All of the speakers agreed that customer contact preference is shifting away from voice. But this won’t kill the call center because it’s already dead.

The concept of a call center comprising phone agents has evolved into a contact center comprising ”command teams” who manage customer interactions through multiple channels. That’s because today’s consumer demands instant gratification, and the reborn center is expected to support those demands, whether they come through Twitter, live chat or a phone call.

 

Social’s First Real Customer Service Centric Platform? Product Review: Social Dynamx

By michaelpace on May 13, 2012

“No social enterprise transformation strategy can succeed unless Customer Service plays a central role.” said Michael Maoz, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst for Customer Strategies research at Gartner.  “Current structures are inadequate. The challenge for senior management is to engineer the necessary processes and technology changes that will allow customer service to evolve to embrace social trends.  New concepts of recruitment, measurement and outcomes are necessary to allow for the increased agent participation in social media.  When this happens, and the right supporting technology is deployed, businesses will see increased customer engagement and higher overall customer success.” 

Damn, I could not have said that better.  Being one of a relative few social customer service practitioners, who has built a high quality, scalable social customer support team, I have been perplexed over the past two years as to why customer support/service/retention/success has been the afterthought of the social media platform market.  After all, doesn’t the terminology “customer engagement” imply there is life after they have been acquired?  In my own humble opinion, most of engagement is post acquisition.  Everyone knows customer retention is multiple times more cost effective than acquisition.  And I do not believe Marketing will ever be able to scale efficiently to provide the intimacy social customer service requires.  However, the social platform market is flooded with Marketing-centric products or “oh yeah, we need to cover social” CRM bolt-ons.  This is why I was incredibly interested in a new company called Social Dynamx and their recently released purpose built social customer service platform.

I learned of Social Dynamx from friend Heather Strout, Customer Insights Manager, and was asked to provide my feedback after meeting some team members and a demo.  Here are my thoughts*:

Company Leadership:

If you read my posts, you know the value that I place on culture.  I consider culture as the most important tacit or non-tacit asset in every organization.  Before meeting with Social Dynamx team, I was very impressed with the backgrounds of their leadership.  Their backgrounds are a strong mix of customer service, call center, social strategy and execution, community and technology.  If you are going to design a tool with the customer service agent in mind, you need to be able to understand the complexities of a representative.  They have a new workflow, marketing initiative, incentive, exception, and policy to remember each day.  Their workstations are typically covered in post-it notes and processes, and are expected to get it right every time.  This is not an easy job.  Similarly, I have often used the analogy of understanding social to learning to riding a bike.  You can read all the books and blogs on how to ride a bike or social, but until you get your butt on the seat or actively, consistently engage on social networks, you will not get it.  Social Dynamx’s leadership structure, experience and competencies comes through the product. (Leadership is never strictly held in C-level positions)

This cross functional knowledge also is provided at implementation.  While it’s a cloud based product, each company should customize to teach your system what to look for.  The last thing a customer service stakeholder wants to hear is sales people drown on about all the things it can do for you, when they have no idea how customer service or a call center works.  Social Dynamx background and experience provides both social and service understanding.

Know Your Customer: Social Dynamx Agent Priority

In my presentation for Customer Service leaders, the 5 Steps to Set Up a Social Customer Service Team, the first step of the Customer Conversation is always Know Your Customer. Social Dynamx provides a clean view of your customer’s major social networks,customer support/peer-to-peer forums and blogs, and an assessment of the priority based on their proprietary model scoring model.  This priority should help your agents and management staffs understand the social impact a customer may have on your business.  Of course, influence is contextual, and while someone may have a large following in technology, it may not pertain to your knitting business (for example).  However, you never know how many of those tech folks like to throw a quilt together in their spare time.  For future versions, I would love to see a more integrated view of YOUR customer’s value or customer lifetime value.  You need to understand both social impact and the specific value this customer represents to your company.

The conversation thread feature is perfect and rarely seen in anything on the market today.

Time to get Real:

Three major aspects I wanted to make sure I received an understanding of was:

Are there differentiated views for agents and management? Yes (see pics)

How can I measure my agents? Yes, there are out of the box metrics for measuring SLA’s (service level agreements) and customizable fields.  We discussed the future need for management to be able to quality monitor their associates, and is a critical aspect towards agent measurement.  There is, however, a nice connection to your knowledge base to more quickly answer questions.

I probably not buying a whole new CRM (especially in this economy), does this work with my existing account or issue management tool? It’s cloud based, so no servers to maintain on site, and is an open architecture to integrate with major CRM tools.  Obviously, considering this was a demo, I was not able to witness how their systems integrate with CRM platforms.  This is a perfect opportunity to bring in your network support team to understand the implications. 

As a Customer Service leader, I am thrilled to see a company think “customer support” first, and I believe Social Dynamx has developed the solid, very customer centric social customer platform.  I love their approach, starting with understanding the customer through implementation.  Considering this is a newly released public product, they have a high majority of the critical business requirements covered.  (Product has been in place in a number of enterprise organizations, however, it has not been available to the general service public.)  I believe the biggest challenge will be the businesses they work with, as there is still a huge, glass barrier of customer service leaders actually taking hold of the customer service reigns, and driving their social business.  You can learn more about Social Dynamx here.

*I am not associated with Social Dynamx in any material manner other than my friend relationship with Heather Strout, and received no compensation for providing a review.  All commentary contained within is strictly my own perception and thoughts.  So if you are a hater, you know what you can do.

Social Dynamx Agent RoleSocial Dynamx Supervisor Trends

 

How to Set Up a Social Customer Service Team

By michaelpace on January 25, 2012

Again this week I am attending and speaking at a Customer Service / Contact Center conference, and I am seeing lots of talk of companies interested in social media, but very few acting on it.  I can understand the trepidation to jump in, and I am concerned for my horizontal (customer service).  The value of a social organization is so incredibly powerful, and by not participating you are missing more than just a new channel.  Over the last year and a half, I have presented the following presentation to help get folks started using social for Customer Service.

 

The Five Steps to Set Up a Social Customer Service Team

Now you don’t get the benefit of my performance, but I will try to provide a high level summary.

Starting with WHY:

  • Its how people are talking and sharing
  • Peer sharing is overwhelming more trusted than traditional marketing
  • Don’t believe me, go watch your kids

5 Steps to Success

  1. Get Yourself Involved
  • Get to know LinkedIn, Facebook (for business), Twitter, Blogs & other resources
  • Its like learning to ride a bike, you cannot do it by reading a book or watching

2.  Know Your Business

  • Overall strategy and objectives (social media is not an objective, its a tool)
  • Know your customers – what’s important, where are they, industry best practices
  • Get others involved

3.  Listen to your customers

  • Monitoring
  • Understand their language

4.  The Customer Conversation

  • Service Level Agreements for great social support
  • Know the voice of your brand
  • A conversation is two way, build a relationship rather than complete a transaction

5.  Capture Info and Catalog

  • Keep it simple at first
  • Don’t worry about operational metrics yet

Objectives and Metrics

  • Depending on your social maturity, balance business metrics and your learning agenda
  • Engagement = Customer Acquisition x Retention x Average Revenue x Profitability
  • Positive and negative sentiment impact customer acquisition and retention
  • Educate your customers – the more they trust and understand, the more they will spend
  • Social costs per channel can be 1/6 of other channels (phone)

Hiring and People

  • You need a different type of agent to handle social media conversations
  • Basic qualifications and responsibilities

If you have questions or would like to talk more about the presentation, comment or send me a note on LinkedIn, Twitter or email.

Presented at:

IQPC‘s Call Center Summit (Orlando) – January 2011

ICMI‘s ACCE(New Orleans) – June 2011

Contact Center Association Fall Event (Phoenix) – October 2011

ICMI‘s Call Center Demo (Dallas) – October 2011

TSIA’s Technology Services World (Las Vegas) – October 2011 *voted Top 10 presentations by attendees*

How to Set Up a Social Customer Service Team - The Customer Conversation

 

Customer Service Fortune Cookies for 2012

By michaelpace on January 3, 2012Customer Service Fortune Cookies

Complete, wild guess predictions and thoughts by my cousin Pacefucious about the trends in Customer Service for 2012.

Note: The practice of adding “in bed” may or may not work with the following fortunes.

Pacefucious say: “Transactional social customer service is like making out with pretty cousin”

I hope my crazy cousin isn’t talking about me, but he does have a point about social customer service (somewhere in there).  I believe he is saying, you get your immediate need resolved, but you are not forming a relationship.  Once a company receives a comment or issue (positive or negative), they should realize the customer has opened up a channel that you share.  Just handling their immediate transactional need is good, following up with that customer with content that is of value to them, starts to create a relationship, and is phenomenal customer service.  More about this kind of proactive customer service see Is Your Social Customer Service Missing the “Social” Point?

Pacefucious say: “Social CRM platform is silver bullet made of ice”

In 2012, SCRM (definitions) will continue to be a hot topic, but currently it is overpriced (for this economy), overpromising and being mostly sold by people who still believe in traditional sales models and have no understanding of social business.  Don’t get me or my cousin wrong, SCRM can and will be a very important tool for businesses, but I don’t think most businesses (or people running those businesses) will be ready for full blown SCRM tools.  SCRM will not help you understand social business language, develop your strategy for using social media tools or establish governance.  I would love to see more distributors or sales people of SCRM platforms get a firm understanding of social business and practices in 2012 before trying to sell their “silver bullets”.

Pacefucious say: “Benchmark data and metrics make your service taste like cheap Chinese food”

I always get a little worried when people ask me if I have any benchmark data on customer service or contact center metrics.  I will try to provide what I think a particular industry considers benchmark data (example:  X% of calls answered in X seconds), but is really just averages.  If you are interested in average customer service, which pretty much sucks, benchmark data and metrics is perfect for you.  If you are interested in providing outstanding service, go understand what your customer finds important or critical to quality, and deliver that and more.

Pacefucious say: “Your customers will be your most valuable customer service agents”

I still find it puzzling that so many customer service organizations do not utilize communities to help solve their customers questions or problems.  Some customer service organizations do not even have relationships with the people in their organization who manage their communities.  I am not sure I have ever even been to a customer service conference where community management was a topic.  Your customers, especially your advocates and superusers, have (collectively) considerably more knowledge than your support agents; why not let them help your customers too?  I am not advocating for the end of phone or chat service (maybe email  – see below), but having a shared community and knowledge base that can be added to and used by your customers is both incredibly efficient and can provide awesome service.

Pacefucious say: “Email customer service sucks, your lucky numbers are 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42”

Again, don’t get my cousin wrong, email doesn’t suck, but customer service through email is RARELY good, and almost always includes extra work for your customers.  Let’s take a typical email situation: question to company (waits), reply and clarification from company, customer clarifies (waits), company provides standard message to solve problem, customer needs more specific information, blah, blah, blah, blah etc… Now email can be valuable to a company as an off-business hour service, and possibly outsourced, but why even provide the subpar experience?

Pacefucious say: “Be social and transparent organization or soon no organization”

The companies that will succeed in 2012 and beyond will leverage social business principles internally and externally.  It has already been proven during our recent recession; those companies that embraced social marketing and the use of social tools internally have performed significantly better.  Those companies now also have an almost insurmountable time advantage over those companies who have not embraced the social organization.  As I wrote earlier last year, I believe the social organization will be the most important advancement for business in the next 5 years – The Next Innovation in Social will come from … HR

So, what does your fortune cookie say? (Don’t forget to add “in bed” afterwards)

Pacefucious is only available via smoke signal or albatross mail; you can contact me with thoughts.

 

Image via Clutchcook

 

 

Social Star Wars Saga Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

By michaelpace on November 10, 2011

Pre-prequel: With the recent release of the Star Wars saga on Blu-ray, I feel compelled to finally put together my official Social Star Wars Blog Saga. Enjoy all of you fantastic nerds.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

I love what I do.  I [attempt to] thrill customers who choose “alternative” channels to receive their customer service or voice their opinions.  By alternative, I mean non-typical call center service; I lead Knowledge Management, Social and Community Support, and Process Management/Service Recovery teams.  I also have the good fortune to serve on the Board of Directors for the North East Contact Center Forum, and occasionally speak at conferences.   For the past 22 months, I have straddled the space between the Customer Service/Experience and the Social Business/Media worlds, and have had the opportunity to meet incredible people from both sides, but rarely do they meet in the middle.  Social “Media” is hot in the Call Center/Customer Service arena right now, but for the audience of this post (see above) I have some strong words for you:

Stop trying to operationalize Social Customer Service (for now)

Stop asking these questions:

–          What kind of SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) do we need?

–          How many people should we staff this with?

–          How can we calculate workforce management requirements?

–          How do I monitor quality?

–          How can tools (SCRM) answer the previous questions?

–          ETC…

If you are in the industry that provides these answers, stop answering the questions.

You cannot operationalize something you do not understand.  You may know how to swing a hammer, but that doesn’t make you a carpenter; it only makes you dangerous.   You need to understand the why and how of social business/media/tools before you get to the what.  Social business is very different than traditional linear business practices, there are multiple layers (called relationships).

Start asking these types of questions:

–          How can my team and I get involved in social business/media?

–          What communities or other conversation areas should we listen to and participate in?

–          Where are my customers talking now?  Where will they be?

–          What are some great resources for my team to find more information about this subject?

–          How do I conduct low-risk experiments?

–          How do I involve others departments in these initiatives?

–          ETC…

Once you understand the art of social business, you can start understanding the science (or start operationalizing your social presence).  Spend a couple months understanding the answers to the second set of questions.  You will know when you are ready, trust me, my “aha” moment hit me over the head like the hammer I was discussing earlier.  There are plenty of resources out there for help, build relationships with them, and you are always more than welcome to ping me.

So, what kind of questions do you find yourself asking (and answering) – Operational or Involvement related?

P.S. I do know operationalizing is not really a word, but you know what I mean.

P.S.S.  Great video for all leaders and readers on starting with Why from TED.

http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

Revenge of the Sith - Social Star Wars

Stop operationalizing Social Customer Service (for now)

By michaelpace on May 8, 2011

go directly to jail

 

Audience for this post: Customer Service Leaders, Call Center Leaders, Partners/Vendors, SCRM peeps, Social Media Consultants

Not for: People who understand social business, social tools, and practice more than just daily

 

I love what I do.  I [attempt to] thrill customers who choose “alternative” channels to receive their customer service or voice their opinions.  By alternative, I mean non-typical call center service; I lead Knowledge Management, Social and Community Support, and Process Management/Service Recovery teams.  I also have the good fortune to serve on the Board of Directors for the North East Contact Center Forum, and occasionally speak at conferences.   For the 15 months, I have straddled the space between the Customer Service/Experience and the Social Business/Media worlds, and have had the opportunity to meet incredible people from both sides, but rarely do they meet in the middle.  Social “Media” is hot in the Call Center/Customer Service arena right now, but for the audience of this post (see above) I have some strong words for you:

Stop trying to operationalize Social Customer Service (for now)

Stop asking these questions:

–          What kind of SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) do we need?

–          How many people should we staff this with?

–          How can we calculate workforce management requirements?

–          How do I monitor quality?

–          How can tools (SCRM) answer the previous questions?

–          ETC…

If you are in the industry that provides these answers, stop answering the questions.

You cannot operationalize something you do not understand.  You may know how to swing a hammer, but that doesn’t make you a carpenter; it only makes you dangerous.   You need to understand the why and how of social business/media/tools before you get to the what.  Social business is very different than traditional linear business practices, there are multiple layers (called relationships).

Start asking these types of questions:

–          How can my team and I get involved in social business/media?

–          What communities or other conversation areas should we listen to and participate in?

–          Where are my customers talking now?  Where will they be?

–          What are some great resources for my team to find more information about this subject?

–          How do I conduct low-risk experiments?

–          How do I involve others departments in these initiatives?

–          ETC…

Once you understand the art of social business, you can start understanding the science (or start operationalizing your social presence).  Spend a couple months understanding the answers to the second set of questions.  You will know when you are ready, trust me, my “aha” moment hit me over the head like the hammer I was discussing earlier.  There are plenty of resources out there for help, build relationships with them, and you are always more than welcome to ping me.

 

So, what kind of questions do you find yourself asking (and answering) – Operational or Involvement related?

P.S.  For those folks who this post was not intended for, we need to clear and develop the paths for operationalizing social business (NOW).

P.S.S. I do know operationalizing is not really a word, but you know what I mean.

P.S.S.S.  Great video for all leaders and readers on starting with Why from TED.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

 

Is your Social Media strategy RACI?

By michaelpace on May 10, 2011

EllenI just did a Google search on the phrase “Who owns social media within organizations,” and was returned 3,160,000 results. Now I doubt there are more than 3 million different ways or opinions for a company to organize around social media, but it is obviously a hot topic. I also believe how companies organize and operationalize social business and tools will be the most important topic in social media over the next 2 to 3 years. While I have a number of opinions about social media “ownership”, this post is about how to create operating agreements across your company, regardless of what model you have chosen, to ensure a well managed process.

Popular examples of social media organizational models via Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group.

Getting RACI!

In any well managed process, people need to understand who is doing what, and RACI is a fantastic tool to get everyone on the same page. RACI is a Business Process Management tool that clarifies everyone’s role in a process (in this case, execution of a social media strategy). RACI is an acronym for:

RACI Chart

Creation of a RACI matrix has a number of benefits for any process:

  • Encourages teamwork by setting boundaries of responsibility
  • Pushes you to think of who else in the organization needs to be consulted about this function/decision/action
  • Reduces risk of actions “falling through the cracks”
  • Saves time by reducing overlap and need for mass consensus
  • Allows associates to exercise their own responsible freedom/empowerment & increase personal satisfaction

How to build a RACI matrix/chart:

  1. Start with a template
  2. Define your main areas of function, decision and/or action (what activities, decisions, major tasks will be completed in the process)
  3. Determine who are all the possible players or participants
  4. Label the matrix boxes with the appropriate R, A, C or I

Tips:

  • Only 1 person should be (A)ccountable per activity
  • Decision authority must accompany (A)ccountable
  • Minimize Your (C)onsults & (I)nforms
  • Place (R)esponsible for those who are physically performing the action

 

Performer Role Chart

Every organization’s RACI chart is going to be different based on strategy, personal competencies, organizational set up, technology knowledge and a number of other factors. Don’t over think it. Again, its about building operating agreements. Once you have the agreements, the execution of the RACI decisions is relatively easy. I would suggest reviewing and updating every 6 months with key stakeholders.

The first wave of social media was about the tools and the marketing, the next phases will be about it’s process and how you operationalize within your organization. Go buy a process manager a cup of coffee, you are going to need him or her to be successful for many years to come.