Chances are that if your organization is involved in social customer engagement that it can be grouped into one of four scenarios. But what are these scenarios and what exactly do they mean?

Based on work that we have been doing with clients (and some research), the Chess and Metz team have put together what we believe to be the four social customer engagement scenarios. These scenarios are going to be discussed in greater depth in Adam’s upcoming book on the Social Customer which is due out in the middle of next year. 

We tried to keep the visual simple to understand and welcome any feedback to improve it in any way. This means feel free to critique it and tear it to shreds! The goal for any organization is to get to scenario 4. It’s important to note however that just because your organization is in scenario 4 doesn't mean that you've reached the pinnacle of social customer strategy. This model is purely focused on social customer engagement.

Typically these scenarios are discussed with clients and are accompanied with a roadmap on how to move from one scenario to the next. We have found that developing this as a part of a social customer engagement assessment is effective and well received. 

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Here's an overview of the four scenarios, some of the text can be found above in the image:

1. No Engagement

Typically organizations in this scenario may be actively educating themselves and/or learning about social customer engagement. We typically see pockets of social experimentation on a select group of channels but there is no process or infrastructure of any kind that is in place to support any type of a social customer strategy. 

No model or strategic framework exists in this scenario. Some organizations may just be in the listening/monitoring stages collecting feedback and research to help plan their social customer engagement strategy.

2. Partial Engagement

This is a tricky spot to be in but it’s still farther along than scenario 1. Typically in this scenario, departments within organizations have a hard time agreeing on the value and the desired business outcomes of social customer engagement. Turf wars usually arise here as well as departments try to control this initiative to serve their own agendas. 

At this stage an organization is most likely using multiple or disjointed CRM/technology solutions.  Engagement with the customer may be a bit more active but the infrastructure and strategy framework still does not exist here. 

3. Modeled Engagement

The organization has developed and is implementing a strategic model for customer engagement. Typically we see this as a cross-functional effort, this is a big hurdle to overcome as most organizations immediately defer to their marketing and/or PR teams the second they hear the word “social.” 

End-to-end customer experience management processes are in place as are some data sets on the social customer. 

At this stage the infrastructure for social customer engagement is almost fully developed. We start to see more data integration and process development here.

4. Social customer engagement

Typically if an organization is in scenario four it’s because it met three criteria of a social object which are:

  1. Near real-time response to the social customer on the social web -- notice that this is not channel specific such as Twitter and/or Facebook .
  2. Synthesis and integration of customer community data and interactions through Social CRM
  3. A strategic engagement model around the social customer exists

Organizations in this scenario have a very solid understanding of the social customer and the mutually beneficial business value that this engagement brings (as well as being able to show and measure what that value is).  

So there you have it!  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Keep in mind that these scenarios aren't meant to be exhaustive and of course there may be some things that are not included or covered in as much detail.

The goal here is to have someone see the image and clearly understand what scenario they are in and why, from a high level. Once the organization understands this, then more in-depth discussions can be had.

Now the floor is yours, questions/comments/critiques/problems with the concept/visual?