cardboard robot head in front of a microphone
PHOTO: palesa

We’ve all been there. Your cell phone is ringing, you answer, only to find it’s a robocall trying to sell you something you don’t want — or worse, trying to con you into making a payment to the IRS for back-taxes you do not owe.

According to First Orion, a maker of caller ID and call-blocking software, by next year, nearly half of all cell phone calls will be scam calls.

This astonishing statistic got me thinking. Two-thirds of the world’s 7.6 billion people now have a mobile phone. And increasingly when it rings with an unknown number on call display, people won’t answer. Still, people are using all those cell phones for something. And that something is usually social.

Taking the Next Step in Social Maturity

Sixty percent of social media interactions happen on a mobile device, not a computer. And that intimate channel is paving the way for a new age in customer service. Despite their apparent frequency, robocalls just don’t cut it anymore.

Welcome to the age of the individual, where the customer journey is personal and personalized. Already nine out of 10 customers want to speak with a business not on the phone, but through messaging apps. And according to a report produced by London Research in partnership with Hootsuite, 82 percent of companies say social is not just a basic communication channel, but vital for delivering exceptional customer experiences across the board.

Whatever your industry, in this new age of the individual, most of your customers and employees are already on social. The encouraging news is that almost half of all organizations are using social across their businesses, from recruitment to marketing to social selling and customer care. But the next stage in social maturity is using your social intelligence to improve business performance, from improving relationships with your customers to increasing revenue.

Related Article: 8 Ways to Justify Your Social Media Marketing Program

What a Social Organization Looks Like

A social organization is a business that utilizes social tools across their organization to provide a consistent experience for their customers and can successfully transform their social data into social intelligence. Social generates an immense amount of customer information and insight in real time. A social organization means not looking at social solely as a marketing vehicle, or a channel of customer support, but instead as an invaluable tool to be applied throughout the entire customer journey and throughout the entire organization.

Seventy-three percent of companies with social embedded into corporate cultural values feel staff are empowered to use social to improve customer experience, compared to just 24 percent of companies without social embedded into the fabric of their culture.

An essential first step to evolving your business into a true social organization is to create what I like to call a social center of excellence. Your internal social team can be the driver, looking for opportunities within the data as to where social can have a direct impact on business initiatives.

Going forward, in the age of the individual, experiences are going to be customer-led rather than brand-led. Use all available data to focus on the customer journey and their experience with your brand. Understand all your customers’ touchpoints and identify any areas of friction. Then use that insight to help shape your customer journey and business strategies going forward. Integrate that data with other platforms, specifically your marketing tools, CRM and support systems to create a 360-degree view of your customer.

The businesses I’ve seen that have had the most success with using social across their organizations have an executive sponsor on board who is able to get buy-in from the management team. To make social intelligence a reality, it’s important that the sponsor holds department leaders accountable on how social will support their goals, and can provide leaders access to the right tools and resources to track and measure results.

Finally, to make all this happen you have to spend time on training and communication. Empower your employees to use social media across all departments. Create a social media policy and training guidelines to provide support and direction.

Related Article: Cats, Racism and Other Reasons You Need a Social Media Policy

Customers Live on Social. Do You?

The reality is that organizations must go where their customers are, and while that’s on their mobile devices, it’s not by way of a robocall. It’s on social. With five billion mobile phones on the planet and 4 billion people on social media, the opportunity is there for your brand. But will it answer the (robo)call?