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February 2013

Social BI tools can help companies improve customer experience

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Customer service has always been a top priority for companies, and that hasn’t changed with the invention of many new technologies. However, if a recent Oracle study is any indication, many businesses are struggling to leverage innovations like social media to their advantage. 

“This report demonstrates that organizations around the globe and across many industries are beginning to understand the real business impact of not offering great customer experiences, but are facing execution challenges,” said David Vap, group vice president at Oracle.

According to the survey of more than 1,300 worldwide executives, providing quality customer experience is a top-three priority for 93 percent of companies, particularly since respondents believe that poor service could lead to 20 percent annual losses. In addition, 81 percent of executives said they feel social networking sites will be vital customer experience tools in the future. 

“By empowering customers and employees, breaking down organizational silos, and implementing flexible processes and technology tools, organizations can deliver personalized, seamless customer service through the entire experience lifecycle,” Vap said.

However, the survey indicated that many companies are struggling to implement effective social media strategies. In fact, only 35 percent of respondents said their organizations use these websites as sales channels or customer service mediums. 

Social BI can help
Social customer relationship management (CRM) systems are rapidly gaining popularity, as businesses try to take advantage of the vast amounts of free information available on social networking sites – particularly because many of them are now integrated with business intelligence (BI) applications. As a result, social data analysis tools are becoming extremely common in the corporate world.

In a recent blog for Enterprise Apps Today, Benjamin Lederer, senior product manager at Sage ACT!, discussed the ways social CRM can improve sales, marketing and customer service processes. Through data analysis of different subsets of information – including purchases, inquiries and complaints – companies can get an accurate reading into which products are popular and trending upward, and what might be causing problems. These accurate forecasts can go a long way toward improving the overall customer experience. 

At the same time, social BI tools can do far more than analyzing trends within the company. In a recent blog for Business 2 Community, Angela Hausman, marketing professor at Howard University, wrote that organizations can also use these applications to track interactions on external social media sites. This can be especially beneficial if a company wants to analyze the potential success of a new product. 

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