Why brands need to engage with customers post purchase in real-time.

Consumers utilise social networks increasingly throughout their purchase journey while they demonstrate an interest, consideration or intention to actually buy a product. Mostly these interactions or ‘moments’ happen on a mobile device, wherever the consumer just happens to be; while the thought pops into their head. They research via reading reviews online, comparing price or customer service; they share information with their friends and ask their feedback.

Increasingly it has been recognised they continue with these ‘moments’ after they have made a purchase. They talk about the purchase experience, the quality of the product they received – and they do so both positively and negatively. Brands are aware of this and actively seek to reach out to their new or existing customers post purchase to ensure they are looked after and responded to appropriately.

Twitter announced yesterday at its Flight Developer Conference a range of new features to help businesses run their customer services efforts on the service; emphasising how major brands see customer care on social as increasingly important. Businesses will be able to link a customers Twitter account or phone number to their own CRM channel with customer information. The announcement yesterday demonstrated this working with the Oracle CRM Enterprise solution; allowing a customer service rep to see all information linked in one view. Once linked then the interaction between a brand and a customer on Twitter can be logged enabling the business to provide a more proactive service across the multiple customer service reps the customer might have to engage with. For instance the service rep could view all purchase history and offer more specific and direct advice to resolve an issue – something Twitter calls “single-Tweet resolutions”.

An important distinction here that needs to be considered for any major brand is that not all of the post purchase ‘moments’ happening across a social network actually include a direct link to one of their social accounts. If a user doesn’t direct a social message at an account owned by the brand or business then its unlikely they will know about it until some time later. A consumer could be making a positive or negative comment online about their post purchase experience and no customer service is being received as it can’t be identified.

On our evidence there are many post purchase comments being made on social networks that mention the brand or product but do not include a direct link to the customer care team. This is why we segmented post purchase ‘chatter’ as a specific classification in our ‘Path to Purchase’ product. We can find in real-time a consumer making a positive, negative or neutral post purchase observation about something they spent money on. If customer service on social is truly important to major brands like Hilton then they need access to all the post purchase data happening on social networks; and they need that in real time.

To illustrate this we observed the following post purchase Tweet relating to the telco sector:

“absolutely in love with my new samsung galaxy s3. such a dope phone !”

This user sent this out to their friends and direct messaged to 3 others; I assume Samsung would love to know that this consumer loves their product; but more than that they have made a ‘recommendation / endorsement’ to what could be 3 new sales prospects for Samsung. If the brand could react in real-time with an offer / advertisement or customer care message how more in love with Samsung would this consumer be?

On the flip side we observed the following Tweet made by a user; this related to data we are using to train our clever little machines for the travel sector:

“Staying at the “HOTEL NAME” – room is dirty – staff rude”

We removed the hotel name but it is a major global brand; the customer is having a bad experience – they haven’t sent their message out to the brands Twitter account; but have mentioned the name. We find this message in real-time using our patent pending machine learning product “Path 2 Purchase” – this brand could have routed the message direct to customer care and responded in seconds. They could neutralise the situation and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one if they wanted to. Real-time across all data, not just those sent by a consumer direct to the brand needs to be seen and acted on; with "Path 2 Purchase" our partners can.

For more information on “Path 2 Purchase” or any of our specific products for “Path 2 Post Purchase” that we are creating industry specific versions for please contact Andrew Watson, VP Strategic Alliances, Andrew@chatterbox.co or visit our web site www.chatterbox.co