The Dysfunctional Social Paradigm

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Voice of the Customer
Customer Experience
It seems that marketing folks are torn.

It seems that marketing folks are torn. In most organizations marketing "owns" social media monitoring and welcomes the opportunity it provides to interact with customers, but they don't want to get pigeon-holed into become the monitoring group, according to Chris Cottle, executive vice president of marketing and products at Allegiance. Cottle called this situation the dysfunctional social paradigm.After a road trip visiting marketers and voice of the customer (VOC) executives, Cottle shared that observation with me during a conversation about VOC trends. Cottle noted that although many of the marketers he spoke with are getting the budget they need for social media monitoring, what they really want to focus on is "creating an actionable response strategy."

"It's not useful or scalable to respond to every comment," he said. So, some organizations are turning to or creating a voice of the customer group to handle social media monitoring as part of their overall VOC strategy. Ultimately, Cottle said, "social VOC will end up the in the VOC or customer experience group."

Cottle also noted that the focus on creating a workable social response plan goes hand-in-hand with a shift happening in VOC. Cottle said he's seeing marketers and VOC leaders obsessing less about collection--how much information to gather via which channels--and increasingly concerned with analysis and integration; that is, combining VOC and operational data to tell the whole story. "They're inventing better ways to get more insight from their data," he said, adding that VOC leaders are feeling more empowered as a result of delivering insight that drives business performance improvements.

"Eventually," Cottle posited, "VOC leaders will create an epicenter of customer insight that senior executives will routinely go to for information they need to make better informed decisions."

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