Adotas Weighs In On My Moments of Trust - Mobile/Social Findings

““Perhaps we’ve become so used to crap customer service that a tale of excellent treatment is rare, even surprising — it’s actually news,” Gavin Dunaway writes in an Adotas article covering my Moments of Trust mobile/social findings.

Gavin relays my experiences with Comcast and a restaurant in Seattle and suggests that Klout equals clout.

The full article is below with the link here http://www.adotas.com/2011/06/consumer-democracy-now-hipcrickets-hasen-talks-social-media-crm-in-the-smartphone-era/ 

ADOTAS – If social media is the customer relationship management tool of the early 21st century, then smartphones and mobile devices that connect to the Internet are its portable extensions. Imagine a vacuum cleaner with a hose add-on for those hard-to-reach spots, except this hose can be carried with you everywhere to pick up whatever dirt and debris you come across.

Except (to stretch this metaphor a little further) American consumers aren’t sucking up the dirt, or rather bad customer service or brand experiences, and sharing it on social media as much as they are spreading their positive experiences.

It may fly in the face with the common wisdom that humans harp on the negative, but a new survey commissioned by Jeff Hasen, CMO of mobile marketer Hipcricket, found that while 40% of consumers with smartphones or Internet-enabled mobile devices have used them to spread word to their social networks about an in-store experience, 46% of them reported a positive one versus 40% that cited a negative one.

“Perhaps we’ve become so used to crap customer service that a tale of excellent treatment is rare, even surprising — it’s actually news,” I comment to Hasen, who is in NYC to debut his figures at the 140 Characters conference. “I mean, that’s pretty cynical, but these are cynical times.”

According to Hasen’s findings, 18% used Facebook to report on consumer service experiences in real-time, while 8% used Twitter and 32% used text messaging. In addition, 34% of all survey respondents said they had seen a customer experience posted on their social networks and 48% said they would be influenced by such a post.

The smartphone revolution combined with the power of social media may strike fear in the hearts of people in retail and other service-oriented ventures. No longer does the consumer need to wait to get home to write a scathing blog post or email a brand’s – by that time, the angry consumer may have cooled off. But mobile devices hooked up to the web offer real-time venting regarding customer service. Talk to the manager? Why don’t we talk to the Internet instead?

But the devices also provide opportunities for brands to shine in the customer service department. You could argue that mobile social media coerces better — or maybe appropriate — customer service, but consumer willingness (you could even say initiative) to spread positive experiences presents an earned marketing situation.

Hasen frames it this way — he was trying to sign up for an extras package from a certain cable company infamous for its lackluster customer service but had missed the cutoff date of a super deal by one day. Even though he’d been a loyal customer for years, the phone help refused to throw him a bone.

So Hasen took to Twitter and other social media outlets to complain, and what do you know — a short time later a major higher-up in the cable company’s marketing department actually gets him the subscription package at no charge.

One reason Hasen received such stellar service via social media is that with more than 1,700 followers on Twitter, he’s got some influence. He mentions he was recently on a conference panel where the social media manager of a major brand admitted that his company examines the number of followers a complainant has on Twitter before deciding whether to respond.

But that method is for the big brands, and he suggested that even they don’t think it’s the most effective.

“Can you imagine giving a hotel concierge your Twitter handle so he or she can decide what level of service to give you?” he asks rhetorically. “A help desk asking what your Klout score is?”

Consider this — around the same time, he patroned a fine dining establishment (no chain) near his Seattle home known for its Alaskan Halibut. In the region, the style is to undercook the fish, but Hasen wanted it medium well. When he received a medium rare filet, he expressed his displeasure — the restaurant did not put the fish back on the grill, but cooked him a new one and then comped him for the dish.

Sure, that’s a great way for a small business to get repeat business (and Hasen says he returned the next month), but in the age of social media and the instant sharing of experiences, it’s a smooth move for instant earned marketing. The restaurant had no idea how many followers Hasen on Twitter (strangely, they didn’t ask for his Twitter handle next to his signature on the check). The old adage that you never know who is going to walk in has never been truer, just add “you never know how much social media influence that person has” to the end.

“Customer service should be democratic,” Hasen says ”With social media-enabled mobile devices, the consumer has more of a voice in the service industry. The smartphone is a megaphone.”

At the same time, brands can’t be deaf to the social conversation — 35% of the consumers surveyed said they would want to hear from a brand after a negative incident. Only 10% of those who had posted about a customer service experience received feedback from the brand mentioned.

Founded in 2004, Hipcricket is a relative veteran in the field of mobile marketing, having recently powered its 100,000th brand campaign. Earlier this year the company released version 7.0 of its cloud-based mobile marketing and advertising platform HIP, with new features such as integration with Facebook Pages and the SmartXchange conversational SMS tool.

Trend-wise, Hasen notes that Hipcricket is seeing fewer one-off mobile campaigns and more long-term brand partnerships, which he sees as a signal that mobile has cemented its spot in the digital marketing arena.

“It’s not the year of mobile,” he explains. “This is the year brands choose their mobile partners.”

My Take On The Mobile Marketing Forum

We heard that mobile should be “iPod simple.”

What about conferences such as the Mobile Marketing Association’s Mobile Marketing Forum that was held last week in New York?

The MMA mixed so-called “101” content with more advanced discussions, satisfying many and leaving others with the feeling that they had heard the points earlier and often.

Like the Tribune telling us that consumers have mobile devices and we need to follow them there. You think?

It was Lou Paskalis, vice president of global media, content development and mobile marketing at American Express, who made the “iPod simple” remark.

Mr. Paskalis had other great points, including the continued need to evangelize in-house, to build applications to provide “value and utility and to re-establish the mission that customers have already come to expect from your brand.”

There was new and compelling information from Live Nation president Russell Wallach who gave data to back up the claim that mobile is the “perfect storm” for concerts.

Mr. Wallach said that mobile is the glue for commerce, content and community at the venue. The numbers to back it up? Mobile interaction at concerts: 47 percent text or email, 66 percent take photos and 32 percent update Facebook.

Other memorable moments?

• The research from Adobe Omniture that says that 79 percent of iPad owners spend 30 minutes a day or more reading news.

• The conversation from our industry’s privacy experts saying that we must learn how to protect the individual’s privacy to gain his or her trust, confidence and permission to engage.

• The advice from Citysearch to build simple apps – there is that word again – and to nail a few useful things. 

• The statement from Alexander Mars, CEO of mobile agency Phonevalley, saying that the claim that any year before this one was the year of mobile is “bulls--t.”

Which brings us back to the question of whether mobile conferences should be an “introduction to the medium” or more sophisticated and full of case studies that include learnings and repeatable actions.

A Gartner executive said during the show that mobile ads are expected to generate around $3.3 billion worldwide this year. That is real growth.

Still, according to a May survey by King Fish Media and reported by eMarketer, only one third of marketers have a mobile strategy.

A quarter of respondents said that mobile advertising was not meeting expectations. Remarkably and regrettably, 34 percent had not measured a mobile program that they had run.

This is the current state of mobile – some have been in and are realizing the medium’s potential. Others are newbies and in need of baby steps. Still more will come in either willingly or not – more than six in 10 North American marketers plan to have a mobile strategy within the next year.

Mobile veterans will need to pack patience along with their charging cords and latest gadgets.

(Article first appeared on Mobile Marketer -- http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/10254.html)

Additional Moments of Trust Survey Coverage

The subject of nearly 100 tweets, my Moments of Trust survey is making its way onto marketing and mobile sites worldwide.

On Mobilegroove, Peggy Anne Salz, a well-regarded mobile industry expert and commentator, called it “must-read analysis that should spark marketers to listen in and answer back.“ http://www.mobilegroove.com/watch-out-listen-in-connected-consumers-can-damage-your-brand/.

(Full disclosure: as many of you know, I write a weekly column on Mobilegroove)

Peggy’s take on the results:

“Connect the dots, and there is an opportunity (even a requirement) for brands to listen in to what people are saying about their retail experiences and — more importantly — respond. No doubt this approach would go a long way toward solving issues before they balloon into full-scale social media meltdowns.”

The study is also featured on Technorati http://technorati.com/business/advertising/article/mobile-phones-become-megaphones-in-intersection/ and IMedia Connection http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/blog/2011/06/19/megaphone-effect-as-consumers-use-mobile-and-social-in-moments-of-trust/.

The Specialness of Jeff Pulver and his 140 Characters Conference

From a podium recently, I heard someone lament the fact that his email address was announced to a crowd of about 800.

The show wasn’t the 140 Characters Conference http://nyc2011.140conf.com/ and the speaker wasn’t Jeff Pulver, who not only gives his contact information, he gives his soul – and countless hugs in a community that is quite extraordinary and grows everyday.

Having followed the community from afar (not recommended, by the way), I was introduced to Jeff by my friend Hank Wasiak (@hankwasiak), who has passion, friendship and inclusiveness in common with Jeff.

As a result of Hank’s recommendation, Jeff asked me to speak at the recently held conference at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. But this post isn’t about me (if you choose to, you can view my talk here /jeffhasen/video-of-my-140-characters-conference-talk-on.)

Regrettably, other commitments kept me from hearing and seeing some of the presentations over the two days, but what I experienced was unique, touching, and inspiring.

Jeff is a master curator so mentioning just a few of the talks doesn’t do the event or the community members justice.

But here’s some of what I’ll remember:

The Ladies of Lupus on Twitter who eloquently and passionately told us of the struggles with the disease, but also the power of one person reaching out to another in the middle of the night just to say on Twitter, “I’m here for you”.

Then there is Alon Nir, the funny and caring Israeli who receives prayers via @thekotel on Twitter from all over the world and for no cost places them between the stones of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. http://www.tweetyourprayers.info/.

“Who needs a business plan?” Alon asked from the stage. “Just don’t monetize.”

Instead, he said, “create meaning and affect change.”

Over the two days, I heard of the real-time web’s effect on struggling villages, the people rising up in Tunisia and Cairo, and of the changes to news coverage and what Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) called the 14,400-second news cycle.

To sum up the experience, I’ll remember a particular tweet that Alon shared.

“Selfless deeds inspire me,” she wrote. “Now I’m in a soup kitchen helping and so is my boyfriend.”

Words, thanks to Jeff Pulver, to not only remember but to live by.

Media Weighs In on Moments of Trust Survey Results

Mobile Marketer and sister online publication Mobile Commerce Daily covered the Moments of Trust survey findings. Reporter Rimma Kats asked me where I see the megaphone effect going in the next year.

“For 2012, I foresee richer and faster Moments of Trust experiences being sent to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other channels,” I told her. “Devices are more capable – more photos are taken now by phone than dedicated camera and video usage on mobile is on the rise.

Rimma’s take on the results are included in her story - http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2011/06/17/consumers-increasingly-use-mobile-to-voice-in-store-experiences-survey

My Proprietary Research On Influence of Mobile and Social on "Moments of Trust"

Mobile devices have become megaphones for a large portion of users with more than 40 percent telling those in their social networks about negative or positive experiences with brands, according to new research I commissioned and unveil today at Jeff Pulver’s stirring 140 Characters Conference http://nyc2011.140conf.com/.

In a representative national survey of feature phone and smartphone owners, 46 percent reported that they communicated with friends, family and their social network following a positive in-store experience. In addition, 40 percent say they used their phone in a retail location to detail a negative interaction.

For more than 10 years, I have been a frequent analyst and commentator on what I call  “Moments of Trust”, consumer touch points with brands that influence trial, sales and loyalty. Mobile certainly now factors into the dynamic.

Of those who used their devices to communicate brand experiences, 18 percent used Facebook; 8 percent employed Twitter; and 32 percent communicated via text message.

In other findings: 

·      10 percent said that they had heard from a brand following a post about a retail interaction

·      35 percent said they would want to hear from a store or brand after a negative experience

·      34 percent said they had seen a post from someone in their network

·      48 percent said they would be influenced by a post

What does this all mean? 

In my view, nothing has changed while everything has changed. Since day one of commerce, it has been critical to serve the customer. That is, of course, still true today. What is dramatically different is the consumer’s ability to broadcast his or her experiences and to influence consideration and purchase patterns.

"Kinecting" With Microsoft

Steve Clayton is the first to tell you that he is Microsoft’s director of storytelling, not director of spin.

I was struck by Steve’s candor during a 30-minute presentation at an IABC Seattle meeting.

He said his job is often to convince people that Microsoft isn’t “boring”.

And that his job would become irrelevant if everyone understood Microsoft – and that he doesn’t see that happening.

And that the Xbox controller is a "barrier". Conversely "by waving at a TV with Kinnect, one billion more people can experience technology".

"Kinecting" With Microsoft
"Kinecting" With Microsoft

As background, Steve works with teams across Microsoft to highlight work of product groups, Microsoft Research, incubation teams and individuals–all with the aim of providing an insider’s view of Microsoft and showing people what’s next in technology.

Steve spends time with the company’s developers, researchers, ethnographers, sociologists, cinematographers–and even race-car drivers–and highlights their work through speaking engagements and the Next at Microsoft website. http://blogs.technet.com/b/next/

One of Steve’s main assignments is to provide daily content for the site, which he says has seen days with 100,000 page views.

Of course, he isn’t going direct to the masses.

To provide the biggest impact, Steve is attempting to sway 50 bloggers and media members “because they can influence 50 million or 500 million”.

Steve is on Twitter @stevecla.

Revisiting Seattle Social Media Club Talk on Combining Mobile & Social

If you judge engagement purely on the number of tweets, the recent discussion of social and mobile at a Seattle Social Media Club event was a success.

I was honored to share the stage with Dan Anderson, Emerging Media Manager for T-Mobile USA (@dananderson); Paul Booth, Digital Marketing Manager, Web and Mobile, for the North America subsidiary of Microsoft (@paulboo); and Wyatt Lewin, Online Communities Coordinator at HTC (@wylew).

Much of the talk is captured here.