White Paper - Integrating Social Media into E-Commerce Management

When Your Dissatisfied Customers Can Reach an Audience of Millions in Seconds, It’s Time to Think Beyond Monitoring

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Customer service is increasingly being shifted from people to technology. According to a May 2012 ComScore survey “Online Shopping Customer Experience Study,” approximately 75 million people buy goods online over the course of a business quarter, spending over $43 Billion in just the 2nd quarter of 2012. However, these users have high expectations. Forty percent of consumers will wait no more than 3 seconds for a page to begin loading before they abandon a website. Additionally, while less than 2% of customers who experience an issue with completing a transaction will report it to your organization, an estimated 17% will post a comment on their preferred social media platform. In an era where technology is the new customer service representative, and where customers can communicate their dissatisfaction to an audience of millions in mere seconds, online retailers must rethink how they are managing their technology.

    Consider the following scenarios:

  • Joan has spent hours researching a purchase and has identified your business as having the best pricing. She adds the item to her shopping cart and proceeds through the checkout process. Just after entering her credit card information and clicking submit, she receives a server error. Frustrated, she posts a rant on Facebook that quickly goes viral.
  • Greg activated the auto-pay feature to save time and make sure he has constant access to a subscription SaaS offering. Unfortuantely, the feature failed to execute and Greg was locked out of the service for failure to pay. Instead of calling customer service, he spends his time composing a #Fail tweet that gets retweeted over 5,000 times in just the first hour.
  • To support a holiday campaign promoting gift cards, additional web servers are brought online at a cloud provider. The campaign is wildly successful. Unfortunately, due to security and regulatory concerns, the central database for gift cards was retained inhouse, ultimately becoming a performance bottleneck resulting in many visitors being unable to purchase gift cards and posting their frustrations on Facebook.

These scenarios highlight two fundamental changes in the industry. First, the rise of social media and the always-on consumer means that organizations can no longer afford to wait days to formulate and execute a response. Secondly, that response must be an integrated effort from Marketing, PR and IT to solve technology problems that are impacting customer sentiment, and communicate the improved state to consumers rapidly.

This White Paper will describe a methodology for establishing a Customer Service Index for Online Commerce, blending a mix of data from technology, business KPI’s and customer insights to provide organizations engaged in online commerce the means of ensuring that their technology is delivering superior customer service. It will also describe how real-time analysis can help an organization’s IT, Marketing and Public Relations teams to take an integrated approach to respond to issues at the speeds required by today’s social media connected customer base.