Converting customers who love your product or service into brand advocates who drive word of mouth is one of the Holy Grails of marketing. And, like the Holy Grail, there are lots of ways to get there. This week, customer experience technology firm 7 announced a suite of applications designed to leverage social sharing for that quest.
Sharing is key to brand advocacy, since a significant number of purchasers will talk about a great new buy, the info they’ve found about a product, or, on the negative side, about bad experiences. The new 7 Social suite is designed to utilize that sharing impulse by incentivizing users to become, in essence, a sales force -- and by using predictive analysis to decide which users are the best bets for specific kinds of sharing.
Four Flavors of Sharing
The suite offers four flavors of sharing -- sharing a purchase after checkout, sharing products while browsing product pages, sharing promotions, and sharing a successful customer service interaction. In each case and at the appropriate moment, a user is presented with a small window in a layer over the main screen, offering the opportunity to engage in one of those sharing modes.
An experience-sharing overlay from 7 Social
It’s the online equivalent of being in a brick-and-mortar store and excitedly calling up someone on your cell phone as you’re walking out with a great buy. To boost the incentive, the purchase sharing mode provides promotional offers, such as getting a discount off your next purchase when your friend buys from that company, plus the friend gets a discount.
A purchase-sharing overlay screen
Kathy Juve, 7 CMO, told CMSWire that the “core of our technology is an ability to leverage data that’s relevant to customer service,” such as purchase history in a CRM or aggregate patterns of customers in similar situations. 7, she pointed out, has built several of its products around its central data platform, and this is their first excursion into social.
Your Sharing Score
Although almost everyone offers some ability to share your buying victories with links to social sites, 7 said that one of its unique assets is predictive analysis based on that data, with users being scored for what VP of Product Marketing Brooks Crichlow called “the propensity to share.”
That score, utilized for real-time decision-making by the 7 system and defined by customer incentives set up by the business, is built on such data as past social sharing behavior, Klout scores, real-time behavior, likelihood to share positively and other parameters. The user doesn’t need to be an existing customer, and can be either anonymous or registered during the session. A/B testing is available, and 7 said their fee is “often outcome-based.”
VP of Product Marketing Brooks Crichlow added that the new suite is focused specifically on “someone who is passionate about your products” and will convey that passion to their friends, because “nothing is more influential than hearing from someone you trust.”