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Amidst the hustle and bustle of preparing for the upcoming SAP Retail Forum North America, I had some time to chat with Shelley Schwartz, Senior Solution Engineer for SAP Retail, about the SAP OnDemand Social Customer Engagement Solution.  Here’s what she had to say about the solution:

For retailers, there is an incredible amount of interest around social media, and there should be. People look to their friends, family members and key community influencers on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, for product recommendations. In fact, 1 in 5 people turn to Facebook to research a product before making a purchase (Digital Trends). There are also about 340 million shopping-oriented tweets every day, globally, that mention specific products or brands (Business Insider).  Customers out there are constantly talking about brands on social media, and they also have high expectations for retailers to pay attention. For retailers who are not listening to their customers on social media, they are missing out on a major opportunity, because social media has the potential to become a retailer’s organic loyalty program.

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Perhaps you have already hired a couple college interns to run your Facebook page and Twitter feed. This is a great start, but monitoring social media can be like drinking from a firehouse (besides, who can sift through 340 million shopping-related tweets a day?).  Therefore, it is necessary to utilize powerful tools to achieve the two keys to social media success: to listen to the social media conversation around your brand and to operationalize, based on the findings from your listening reports.

Listen

Retailers need a tool that can enable them to listen, monitor and understand the social media conversations around their brand.  NetBase, a SAP solution partner and cloud-based social media monitoring tool, can do just that. It was developed in conjunction with 5 of the top 10 CPG companies, and as a result, is perfect for monitoring online brand mentions.  In addition, NetBase has Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is crucial for sentiment analysis.  NLP allows NetBase to determine the big difference between a tweet that says, “The iPhone has never been good” (negative mention) versus “The iPhone has never been this good” (positive mention), because it processes the way humans normally speak.  Furthermore, NetBase allows companies to identify key brand influencers with the most social media clout. NetBase allows companies to achieve the listening part of social media success.

Operationalize

After you accomplish the listening portion, it is then necessary for companies to take their learnings and operationalize them—basically turning them into action items. SAP OnDemand Social Customer Engagement is a cloud-based CRM solution that can transform your social media channels into a powerful customer service channels.  Once NetBase has identified a negative social media comment, OnDemand Social Customer Engagement can escalate the complaint and provide all the elements of a customer service desk to your social channels.  For example, if a user tweets a complaint, the solution can know who the customer is (pull up his/her purchase history, personal info, etc) and route the individual to the correct customer service representative to resolve the issue. In addition, the solution can understand the level of influence the social media user has, based on the NetBase influencer ranking, to direct him/her to either a higher or lower authority. Of course, you can also use the solution to thank a customer who has made a positive social media comment or recommended your product to his/her online friends and followers; you can use the solution to give a discount code or a special gift to the customer show your appreciation.  The OnDemand Social Customer Engagement solution is great for gaining positive karma for retailers!

NetBase and SAP OnDemand Social Customer Engagement can offer a brand protection opportunity for your company like never before.  Shelley will be demo-ing both the NetBase and the SAP OnDemand Social Customer Engagement Solution at SAP Retail Forum North America in Dallas, TX next week.  Be sure to check it out in the Innovation Pavilion!

For more information about the SAP Retail Forum North America, click here.

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