December 23, 2013 | Written by: Mohsin Syed
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Recently I visited a customer who handles customer calls for many leading consumer packaged goods brands. They indicated to me that more and more people are providing feedback on products using social media. Previously, the primary source for getting customer feedback was allowing customers to call telephone operators in call centers. This trend is now changing very rapidly and social media is becoming the primary source for customer feedback.
In a traditional customer feedback environment, it would be one-to-one communication and a company would be able to proactively resolve the issue.
With social media becoming the default feedback environment, you have one-to-many communication. Normally from that point on it will become many-to-many communication, and something could end up as a viral issue. A company might not find out about it until it has gone viral and then they must reactively solve the issue.
Take an example of an antenna issue in one of the leading brand’s cell phones a couple of years back. When the product was released, the company was not aware of the issue and not many people called the company about it. Instead, the consumers went to social media like Facebook and Twitter and started complaining. This started to gain traction in news media and blogs, and before the company could completely assess the situation and rectify the issue, it became a full-blown problem. Even the people who did not own the product were aware of the problem. Finally, the company rectified the issue by sending each user a fix through software and hardware changes in the product. This caused a loss of millions of dollars and a hit to the company’s reputation.
The big question is how to identify such an issue before it goes viral and prevent it from happening in the future.
This issue can be resolved by IBM Social Media Analytics Software as a Service. Once a model is created in the application, it will identify issues that are being discussed in social media related to a theme, like cell phone, and in the case of the example above, with antenna as one of the items trending in the Evolving Topics charts with negative sentiment. This will help the company identify issues at the onset.
With technologies like IBM Social Media Analytics SaaS, businesses can keep one step ahead of situations like these and resolve them before they make a major impact to the bottom line.
If you liked this blog post or want to discuss more on this topic, you can contact me on Twitter @mohsinusyed, or comment below.