Webinar Q+A “Customer Experience Development”

Thanks again for the great participation in today’s webinar “Social Media – A new Customer Experience Model”.
Here are the answers to the questions from all participants:

Q: It’s important to be able to respond quickly, honestly and openly in SM environments. Is this affected by the SM team acting as a service entity? Does this slow down the process and make you appear less transparent?
A: It may slow down the process by only a few minutes. The processes you institute are similar to support escalation processes. The ST will escalate findings to the respective people. The advantage for the customer is to get to the right person right away. But don’t think too much in complicated service escalation. The trick is to create a social escalation process.

Q: Do you offer special classes for sales teams or marketing teams, or only leadership classes?
A: We plan functional specific classes in fall – but recommend those only for businesses that have already a strategy.

Q: What are the social media maturity levels in the various geographies around the world?
A: There are several studies in the Internet. The net of it is that developed countries are almost equal in maturity. There is no big difference between the US, Brazil, UK, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Poland… The much bigger concern is the cultural differences that lead to different behaviors and even different use of tools. India for instance uses Orkut much more than facebook, Germany still uses nick names more than real names, Sweden is way more adoptive than the US…

Q: Are you planning an East Coast location for the Academy?
All classes are Online. But we are going local for various reasons. We started in Australia and currently run the first leadership class there. We start in the UK in September and plan other countries. But all classes remain to be online.

Q: How many students are typically in a class?
A: The first classes grew from 7 to 15 and we accept 25 as max. There is a lot of interaction and collaboration so we have to cap it.

Q: The Consulting services you offer, who are the consultants?
A: The Academy Certified Consultants are the ones we involve and recommend. The number is growing every quarter. Very large projects I lead myself and work with the graduates or other members of the faculty.

Q: Do you have a case study where the business is very confidential – like medical doctors?
A: Let me say this: We should not get slaves of an attractive development and try to squeeze every business into the social web. Think about it this way: If there are people out there discussing a certain product, service or technology, you should be part of that conversation. If not – than just don’t. Computers are in every household but we still cook great dinner without it ;-)

Q: Should SMM strategy be different for Small Office or Home Office than what you presented today – which is more adapted for biggest companies – having their brand known on the market ?
A: Social Media strategies are no different for smaller than for bigger companies. Our focus on bigger companies is because they are typically leading a market and the smaller companies are followers. But there is ZERO difference. The scope is different but everything we teach, from assessment through strategy to execution can be applied to a 5 people startup and to a multi billion $ global enterprise. Why? Because the customer may be the same person in either case.

Q: Very interesting, do you offer a class specifically to customer experience management?
A: I believe a successful customer experience strategy can only work in concert with an over all strategy. So the Leadership Class at the end does that.

Q: Can we hire you to work with our management team?
A: Yes, but not before 2010

Q: Do you plan to do off line / classroom classes?
A: There are no plans to do that. Social media is all about online engagement and we practice that from the second session on. Our curriculum is build in a way that it wouldn’t even work off line because of all the information to digest and exercises to perform.

Q: Do you offer company discounts?
A: Yes we will for more than 5 attendees

Q: Is there any deadline for registration?
A: Not really. But we have over 500 prospects and only 25 seats each class. So the morning class will be booked pretty soon. The next class will start January 2010.

Q: Do you provide some guidance what to check when hiring a consultant?
A: We have an open wiki where both, consultants and customers helped building a catalog of questions:
This Link

Q: Can I become a trainer at the SMA?
A: Generally speaking yes. We offer all graduates to teach either their own or part of the core classes. Laureen Earnest and John Todor will offer their own classes in fall this year.

Q: Can we switch between evening and morning classes?
A: We ask you not to. We are doing a lot of group exercises and that would not work if you switch. Only if you have to miss a session, then you can.

Q: Do you offer company specific classes?
A: Yes we do.

Q: Do you hire?
A: No we don’t. All instructors and faculty are active practitioners of the social web with their own business and every day experience in the real world.

Q: Not sure I trust any certification. What do you certify?
A: I fully understand the concern. Here is what we certify and why we believe it is important: This Link

Q: Do you provide your consultants with leads and business opportunities?
A: Don’t put this into considerations. View the education as a foundation for your business and don’t rely on others, neither the Academy nor anybody else promising you business. I suggest you chat with former students about that.

Q: (Summarized) several questions about registration, entrance exam requirements…
A: Please visit the website for more details:
Leadership Class details: This Link
Requirements and entrance exam: This Link
Class registration: This Link
European classes: This Link

Q: Can we get the presentation?
A: Yes. you will find it here on the blog.


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