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Ray Wang on social CRM metrics

Ray Wang, CEO and principal analyst with Constellation Research, discusses metrics in social CRM with News Director Barney Beal, in the latest installment of our CRM metrics series. Ray shares his thoughts on the problems with ROI, defining influence and finding the right measurements for a social CRM initiative.

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Ray Wang on social CRM metrics

Barney Beal: Can you tell us what some of the metrics you're seeing that companies are using to effectively measure these data?

Ray Wang: Definitely. So, when we're looking at metrics and metricistic success, the thing that you don't want to do is jump straight to ROI. When we're talking about metrics, we're talking about engagement metrics. How many people are involved, how many people are contributing, what levels and what types of contributions are going on? This trails out to all the other CRM metrics that you would have, which then tie back to people's customer sat scores, what people are doing.

If you like net promoter scores, I'm not a fan of net promoter scores, but if you're moving MPS, if you're moving dollar value per transaction, if you're improving frequency of transactions, if you're improving up-sell/cross sell metrics. Those are typically things that we're seeing. On service levels, it's of course, are you getting first call, first web, first contact resolution? So, the traditional metrics apply, the question is what is the social channel doing to move the needle on those metrics?

Barney Beal: How are you seeing these titles tuned together, is it simply through the customer record?

Ray Wang: You're getting some lineage history, so if people have really good customer data and customer data management, they’re are able to track lineage and the sources of those records. Sometimes, and some of these things are going to be unstructured, did I get it from sentiment analysis? Did I get it from a Twitter stream? Is it a blog comment that 's letting out on my page? Is it just a phone interaction that occurred that I wasn't capturing before? Which one of those are more valuable? I've got to rank them, I've got to rate them, I've got to figure out which source is more accurate, and that becomes important. So, the multi-channel aspect is happening right now.

Barney Beal: You mentioned don't jump right into ROI, are there some other kind of areas or relations for the board looking at, as they undertake these kind of programs?

Ray Wang: The reason I say don't jump to ROI is because the CFOs, and the people who are looking at those kind of direct metrics, you want them to discover which metrics are more important to them. If you're moving the needle in profitability, or you're moving the needle in efficiency, the trick is to actually lay out the metrics for other people to construct the ROI, because if you jump straight to ROI the question then becomes,  "Is that believable? Is that the right ROI?" The trick is not to do it.

When we coach and counsel people to work with CFOs who do board presentations, lay out the metrics let people piece out the ROI on their own.

Barney Beal: What about influence? Have you found an effective measurement of influence yet or is that still a Holy Grail?

Ray Wang: Influence is still in the black arts, I would say. What you're seeing on clouds, cloud scores are interesting, you can use that as one form. There's another one I'm slipping my mind at the moment on. Most of these actually require refinement. The question is what do you think is more influential- is it follower account? No, is it quality of interactions? Maybe. Are they recommending you more than others, or are they recommending a competitors products more than others, that might drive into that. I think these are complex algorithms that are getting hemmed by industry.

Barney Beal: Ultimately you'd like to tie that to customer value as well right?

Ray Wang: You do. Let's start with the basic thing, everyone who is starting to do metrics, put another column in your field, and I'm getting geeky, but, add something for Twitter. It's a simple thing. This doesn't require any technology. Every phone interaction, every web interaction, every e-mail interaction, ask for a Twitter handle. You'll need it later, and we can go figure it out. Start with that at least. Most people can't even tell if someone yelling at you on Twitter is your customer.

Barney Beal: Good advice, thanks very much Ray.

Ray Wang: Thanks a lot.

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