Social Media for Business Should Mean Something

by Tina Peppers - President & Founder - Domina Technology Solutions on February 24, 2010 · 0 comments

I am so glad that Tina Peppers took on this subject. Many of you will say “We can’t give our insurance client’s access to their information for security reasons”. If the banks and credit card companies can give us secure information why can’t the insurance industry? Think about it.

It’s 2010 and your business has a company web site, Twitter account, and Facebook page, but are you helping the consumer? Giving more content is just that …”Talk is cheap”. The question is how could this help my business and my customers; is my business social media presence helping me connect with my consumers; what is the value to the consumer?

Web and Social Media presence from a consumer perspective is about self-service.

Remember back when the ATM was introduced? It broke a long-standing paradigm that banking transactions must be transacted within the four walls of the grand institution. 25 years later, we cannot even think about life before ATMs. Banking in the four walls of the institution is reserved for special transactions, not depositing or withdrawing money.

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As consumers, our expectations have changed over the years. We want to transact business on our time schedule. Self-service is present everywhere. Banks embraced self-service with ATM’s and on-line banking. Renting a DVD, go visit a RedBox anytime and rent the DVD for $1 with no human interaction. What about insurance?

Not all products and service can be made available via self-service channels, but some products and services are made to self-service. I reviewed local agency websites and found little self-service. I could make a quote request; someone would call me back within 1 business day. I could request a certificate of insurance, the certificate would be sent to me via email within 1 business day. The consumer experience is frustration. It is important for us to look at our offerings through consumers’ eyes.

Web self-service is widely used in CRM (customer relationship management). CSS (customer self service) is when you allow the customer to access information and perform routine tasks over the Internet without having interaction with a representative. It offers 24-hour support and immediate access without having to wait for a phone call, email, or some follow-up.

A good start on that path is what I saw in DELL Facebook page. You land on their Design Studio, where you can select the laptop and customize the colors. The consumer is engaged.

What would you like to let your client do for themselves? What are the possibilities?

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