Short after Frank Eliason left Comcast, rumors had it that Scott Monty is leaving Ford. But it was just a rumor – I simply asked him. Regardless, both Frank and Scott have been cheer leaders for social media but more importantly cheer leaders for better customer experience for their respective companies. Also – both were probably more popular and more widely known than even their respective CEOs.
In both cases the brand association between team mate and company demonstrated a great deal of success. Scott made Ford more popular than all advertising campaigns together – but also Scott became more popular as a customer care person than most customer care persons in small companies. Symbiosis – is probably the most accurate term for this.
But where to go from here? Businesses need to make all team mates Scotts and Franks. Every customer facing person in an organization need to have relationships to their clients like those two. In other words companies need to make all team mates “Franks and Scotts”. A company can’t just rely on one or two celebrities and become dependent of their image. Businesses need to develop a what we call a “Balanced Brand Approach”. Instead of being afraid of a dependency and not engaging at all – business leaders need to leverage the social engagement and just put more of their staff to the front. Those people don’t “waste time with social media” they actually allocate time to “engage with more customers”.
The Social Media Academy created two special trainings to realize exactly that. A leadership class to educate sales, product management, support, service, marketing and other department leaders on how to develop a strategy, a plan and escalation process and other frameworks to deal with the customer facing engagement. And a team class to teach the team mates to leverage the maze of social media tools and platforms relevant to the respective business and become Scotts and Franks ;)
One of the biggest problems larger firms have is to teach thousands of team mates. The brand specific ondemand classes are self paced so that thousands of team mates can learn at the same time – yet in different locations and different time zones. A special worldwide support program was created by the Academy to sopport the self paced learner by reviewing their exercises and be available for questions.
Customer Experience Management
The ultimate goal for a well run organization is to provide a leading customer experience. Social media seemed to become a cornerstone to achieve this goal. The combination of culture development, team education and robust methods, models and frameworks on top of a social media platform showed the most stunning results and Ford, Comcast, WholeFoods, Virgin, Zappos, Starbucks, Pepsi and a rapidly growing number of other enterprises are proof for that success model.