Today’s consumers don’t waste any time in making their bad experiences with products and services public: complaints posted on social platforms like Twitter or Facebook, and in online blogs, forums, and consumer platforms spread like wildfire and could, in fact, spell the end of a company and its products. Sales, service, and marketing departments are therefore well advised to take a closer look at these kinds of comments.
Transparency, targeted campaigns, communication with customers
The three key benefits of social media analytics:
- Transparency regarding which products and services are well received and which are not. Product developers and sales teams can use this information to quickly ascertain whether a new product or service is a hit or miss on the market. They can also identify what characteristics will help future versions of a product remain competitive. Service departments likewise receive feedback from unhappy customers that also needs to be evaluated. This goal is to minimize product deficiencies and thus avoid warranty costs. If product defects do arise, the service department can provide quick compensation in the form of service vouchers, for example.
- Marketing departments are able to launch targeted campaigns in the appropriate channels and platforms. Segmentation of target groups must, of course, be precisely defined beforehand for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) purposes. Feedback from social media is essential here, too. It still often happens that a company, public authority, or organization falls into disrepute. When it does, their marketing and PR departments have to step in and counteract this negative sentiment as quickly as possible. Reaction time is of utmost importance, because the quicker the response, the greater your chances of success.
- Talk with the customers. Communicating with customers via social media and networks is no longer just an online option – much of it is already done via mobile devices. So to assess customer mood properly, you need a solution that masters many different channels and that – depending on the product’s or company’s market presence – can handle multi-language analysis. Social media analysis methods are based on a combination of Big Data analytics, text analysis, statistics, and, of course, sales, marketing, and service applications that have always been an integral part of CRM. But comprehensive solutions like this also need to act as a vehicle for communicating with the customer community.
“Being able to analyze natural language is essential,” says Angela Mazza, Global Vice President of SAP Cloud Solutions for the EMEA and MEE regions. “Dialectal variants, abbreviations and acronyms, slang, youth language, and frequent typos are all the norm in most social media channels,” she explains. SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence, powered by SAP HANA, therefore uses a Natural Language Processing Engine (NLP) to help interpret the prevailing sentiment towards companies, products, and services more accurately. The NLP extracts and analyzes these types of language and abbreviations. “This,” says Mazza, “allows SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence to categorize those comments – such as those on Facebook or Twitter – correctly.” She cites the following example:
“The iPhone was never good” = negative comment.
“The iPhone was never better” = positive comment.
Filters and rules should be used as much as possible when monitoring social media channels, Mazza adds, otherwise your analysts will drown in the daily flood of data. There would be so much information they wouldn’t be able to recognize what information was relevant or not. To reduce complexity, she says, you need a manageable subset of data that a team of two or three people can work on. The solution’s routing function can then allocate the various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and so on) to different employees and groups.
How SAP Social Media Analytics by Netbase locates opinion leaders
Opinion leaders make up one of the most influential groups in social media. To find them, Angela Mazza recomends using SAP Social Media Analytics by Netbase: “This solution analyzes more than 100 million data sources on the Internet (such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, news sites, forums, and so on),” she explains. “Users here have the option of creating real-time dashboards based on customized searches of brands, products, and services. The solution has been kept as simple as possible so that users can create these searches and dashboards themselves.” No programming expertise is required.
SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence is SAP’s package offering of four SAP HANA-based CRM services for marketing and sales. Mazza and Thomas Ruhl, Head of Social CRM at SAP, believe one distinct advantage of the tool is its ability to link monitoring results with transaction data from the user’s ERP or CRM system. What’s more, users can determine how significant a particular contact is for their company on the basis of key figures such as sales revenue.
The SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence suite of CRM applications combines four modules:
1. SAP Social Contact Intelligence:
Within the Social Contact Intelligence workset, you can analyze data from social media and company-internal sources for real-time visibility and better understanding of your customers. It helps you identify key opinion leaders, generate new leads and opportunities, optimize customer service, and enhance your customer relationships.
2. SAP Audience Discovery and Targeting:
Marketing staff can use the Audience Discovery and Targeting workset to interact with customers and segment large volumes of customer data, which in turn enables them to design and run targeted marketing campaigns.
3. SAP Customer Value Intelligence:
SAP Customer Value Intelligence workset allows sales and marketing staff to visualize the KPIs of their customer relationships in real time, provides tailored recommendations for cross-selling, upselling, and seamless marketing campaigns for each customer.
4. SAP Account Intelligence app:
With the SAP Account Intelligence mobile application, sales staff in the field can access real-time information about their customers and customer-specific sales recommendations, create and maintain customer groups, organize customer visits more efficiently, and seize business opportunities while on the go.