Conversocial Launches Crowds to Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Customer Support
Enterprise social customer service platform provider Conversocial has introduced a "community as a service" application designed to connect customers with support needs to other customers that can help them resolve common issues. Through Conversocial Crowds, brands can leverage the manpower of customers that are informed and passionate about the brand and its products to provide fast responses and effective service.
"No one knows a brand better than its customers. They're often the most knowledgeable people when it comes to understanding the problems or questions that come up, and it's a really amazing thing for companies to be able to put the knowledge of some customers towards helping other customers," Joshua March, CEO of Conversocial, says.
Peer-to-peer support communities are not a new phenomenon, but according to a recent study commissioned by Conversocial, nearly half of 18- to 30-year-old consumers prefer social media to traditional support forums when it comes to getting support from fellow customers. The problem with traditional forums is that finding or getting a response still takes too long, so customers have increasingly turned to social media, especially Twitter, for more real-time support.
Conversocial's Crowds app was developed to meet this growing demand for social media support. The aim, March says, was to "take support to the next level by expanding the social platform past just direct contact with the brand to include the peer-to-peer environment as well."
The Crowds solution gives brand ambassadors—customers that a company has previously identified or selected—access to posts or messages from customers that are seeking service through social media, namely Twitter. Conversocial scours Twitter's firehose to identify customer comments, questions, or complaints using keywords, mentions, and hashtags, though March explains that it's not necessary for a customer to mention or tag the company using "@" or "#." "The keywords work to trigger the solution, and customers don't have to officially tag a company to get noticed," March says. Once a comment is identified, it's matched with an ambassador based on his or her expertise.
And there's something in it for the ambassadors as well. The experts earn points, track their performance on leaderboards, and receive rewards from the brands they serve. "The purpose is to build collaboration between customers and brands and keep the conversation going," March says. "Companies want their customers to feel like they can get their questions answered at any time through the channel that they prefer," he adds.
There is also a full integration between the Crowds app and the existing Conversocial platform, so a company's customer service representatives can consistently track the conversations and intervene or escalate the support interaction whenever it's necessary. Still, the goal is to empower customers to help each other.
"Consumers already use social media to crowdsource knowledge about products and services and find support answers. And businesses need to take advantage of this social trust economy in order to improve the customer experience and better understand customer behavior," Aphrodite Brinsmead, senior analyst at Ovum, said in a company statement.
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