Case Study: Retail
Delivering EPIC social engagement and in-channel customer care
Harnessing people, processes, partnerships, and AI to efficiently manage millions of owned and earned mentions
The client is a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of department and grocery stores.
This international retailer receives more than 6–10 million social media mentions a year, and this volume is up 20% year over year. The reality is not all of the mentions require a response from the brand. For example, some customers simply tweet about having visited the store. The business challenge comes down to limited resources. With such large volume, how do you filter through the noise to find the actionable posts?
Part of the volume stemmed from 5,000 local store pages, where customers were demanding an answer to their question or a resolution to their poor shopping experience. The client wanted their customers’ experience on Facebook to mirror the friendliness of their neighborhood store.
The client was detecting a rise in negative sentiment and social media incidents that were negatively affecting the company’s online reputation.
Existing social media efforts were fragmented across the client’s internal teams, and customer care issues were not optimized for resolution. The prior vendor would simply send the customer to an 800 number or an online form, causing a high-effort and negative customer experience.
HGS teamed up with a leading social enterprise platform as well as with the client’s existing PR agency to provide the ultimate end-to-end social engagement solution. Together the three companies brought the right people, expertise, process, AI, automation, and analytics to address all of the obstacles the client was encountering on social media.
We hired a team of 60 (with a projected ramp to 90) brand ambassadors who possessed the right skills and talents to effectively engage customers on social media. We put them through an extensive three-week training program covering topics such as understanding the top contact drivers, how to follow the rules of engagement manual, writing using the brand and local tone voice, spotting a crisis, engaging with influencers, and more. Additionally, we brought on two leaders who possess more than 10 years of social media experience with Fortune 100 brands to help design, run, and operate the program.
Our team put together a Social Customer Care Playbook. The Playbook includes rules of engagement and best practices, process and workflow, quality, case management and design, reporting and KPIs, ideal agent profile, and training program. Our Playbook mandated that all customer interactions be resolved in-channel, reducing expensive call volume into the contact center. Agents respond with creativity and wit to ensure responses generate likes, shares, comments, and retweets.
By partnering with a best-in-class social engagement platform, we employed artificial intelligence to filter out non-actionable posts, leaving only engage-worthy messages. This tool leverages rules-based routing and automation to help prioritize each post based on context and keywords and route to the right social care agents or internal teams, whether that’s customer care, marketing, or PR.
Leveraging the expertise of a PR agency, HGS helps protect the brand from any type of viral post crisis, while also amplifying the positive buzz by tapping into influencers and celebrities.
Using analytics and a structured tagging system, we decode the voice of the customer (VOC) and inform the enterprise on competitors and trends to help make operational business decisions. When a marketing campaign is launched, we track the (VOC) in reference to the campaign and work in close coordination with the client’s digital and marketing teams to track progress and effectiveness.
HGS applied its proven Engage, Protect, Inform, and Create (EPIC) formula to take back the control of this retailer’s online reputation. HGS treats this retailer’s social media program as a sophisticated, legitimate customer care program. The results speak for themselves.
$1.4Mcost savings from automated tagging structure
22%more responses than prior vendor
3X as many posts touched, tagged, and reviewed as prior vendor, including owned and earned content
$8Mcost savings by filtering 8.5X the number of non-actionable posts via enhanced AI
19.2Mlikes, shares and comments from our responses
<30 minresponse time, well under the goal of 2 hours
24 social channels, 11 messaging channels, and millions of forums, blogs, and review sites now monitored