For vendors, social networking is a blessing and a curse. It provides an unprecedented opportunity for direct communication with customers -- but it also enables angry customers to broadcast their dissatisfaction to the world. To monitor social media communication related to Nokia products and services and resolve customer problems, Nokia Care North America uses several key analysis and engagement tools.
Sean Valderas, social media manager of Nokia Care North America, says consumer social media has changed the way his company interacts with customers. "Social media has enabled real time reactive and proactive engagement with the Nokia care issues being discussed in the social sphere. Social is breaking down the communication barrier between the consumers that are experiencing issues in the field and our key internal experts that can create and communicate solutions," he said.
Valderas says Nokia has several goals driving its social media customer service strategy. First of all, the company wants to proactively engage consumers through social media channels to sustain ongoing conversations about customer service issues, whether that involves devices or services. Nokia also wants to be "a trusted source of information for Nokia users." That means it's imperative to give useful and accurate advice without being overly intrusive.
Finally, the company hopes to educate its customers about new features and updates to Nokia devices -- as well as escalate problems to the appropriate internal experts when needed.
Those are lofty goals. But for Valderas, the focus is on solving problems before they get out of control and result in negative customer experiences. The problem for companies like Nokia is that social networks give the unhappy customer a bullhorn to express displeasure to the world. One way to quell that is to deliver useful content to customers through social channels.
"Being that our role is as customer support, our content creation is centered on product and application tips which proactively address the most frequent types of questions that our followers have. We also leverage the expertise of our followers through Nokia Care contests to help generate unique tips and tricks that we publish. This helps drive both engagement and reach for the content we publish," he explained.
To help monitor the networks, Nokia Customer Care uses a variety of tools including Spredfast, a social customer relationship management tool designed for tracking the engagement, reach, and activity of social customer care initiatives. Engagement is just one part of the equation, however.
That's why Nokia Customer Care also uses sentiment analysis tools from Radian6 (now part of Saleforce.com) and Social Mention to help track the general mood surrounding Nokia products on social networks. Combined, these tools enable Nokia to identify problems before they get out of control and affect brand perception.
Valderas says it's imperative for companies to be monitoring social networks and engaging customers. "From a customer care perspective, I believe it's a natural evolution to be engaged in social, as this is where a growing number of our customers are looking to for solutions to the issues they face every day," he said.