How did the Social Dynamx business concept originate?
Mike Betzer, CEO of Social Dynamx: Customer service is undergoing a huge transformation. Traditionally, consumers picked up the phone to dial an 800-number and talk to an agent. Technology and demographic shifts have upended that model. Today, socially savvy consumers are broadcasting complaints, questions and (hopefully) praise using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
There are 152 million Facebook users in the U.S, nearly half of the population, and just 17 percent of companies polled have a formal process for responding to customer complaints on the social network, despite two-thirds having a presence. That's like ignoring a ringing phone or letting an email go unanswered.
I experienced it working at large contact center and CRM vendors like Siebel, Oracle and Convergys. Literally, one day we woke up and thought, the rules have changed for customer service. What worked the last 20 years will not suffice for the next 20 or even two years. (Chief Operating Officer) Jan Ryan and I each sold our respective companies in the mid-2000s to Oracle and were ready to try something that married customer service, software-as-a-service and social media channels for large organizations.
What is Social Dynamx doing to stand out in the customer service field?
Traditionally, the first department that ventured into a formalized social media strategy was marketing. They invested in an application geared toward measuring brand sentiment, brand mentions and how those mentions were trending. Many large companies have tried to force fit those same tools into the customer service departments, usually unsuccessfully.
Marketing and customer service are two completely different business units with different success metrics, and they need different applications. Marketing looks for trends and sentiment over time, while customer service is about having one-to-one conversations in real time and immediately solving a customer issue.
Social Dynamx exists in this subtle but key distinction. We are geared toward large enterprises that are having difficulty automating and prioritizing the sheer volume of social interactions needing triage.
How does the service work?
Customer care teams log into our application via a secure website like they would sign onto Gmail. We are completely cloud-based with no software to install. We charge per user per month.
When the user logs in, they immediately see a real-time queue of posts from social media channels that mention their company or any other keywords they have set up. The agent then claims the post and begins to solve the issue. We have proprietary algorithms and intelligence running in the background that makes sure the right post gets the right agent.
We also tailor the user experience based on three roles: agent, manager and supervisor -- which is another key selling point for us.
What kind of businesses are eligible to use the service?
Large brands and the enterprise are looking at the bottom line: keeping customers happy and growing margins. The community managers and customer service agents are handling tens of thousands of social media posts daily, and our solution can help businesses with that high volume to prioritize and respond to customers and users in a timely manner.
When you look at traditional customer service interactions via the phone, it can cost anywhere from $10 to $35 per call. Our product gets that cost down to under $3 per interaction.
How do you see Social Dynamx growing in the future?
From a macro-level view: The distinction between what is social media and what is not is blurring. Companies are embedding Facebook, Twitter and sharing as a core part of their content. As the line between social media and traditional media blurs, you will see more people ditch traditional service channels and embrace alternative forms of outreach. I honestly believe in five years, social media will be considered a traditional customer service channel.
The demographic shifts are in our favor. The under-35 crowd does not want to speak to anyone. They want to post, tweet or share a comment, wait a few minutes and see how the community responds. Our platform is well positioned to take advantage of that groundswell.
From a micro-level view: We are evaluating Series A funding and are about to move into larger offices to handle our growth. We have a busy summer ahead.
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