James Kobielus and Natalie Petouhoff presented at a breakout session on social media as a method for gaining visibility into your customer service processes: customers will react on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, review and community sites, and blogs if they have either a good or bad customer service experience. I’m not sure that this fits into the classic definition of BAM, but it does provide insight into how well you’re working with your customers.
They referred to the “witness factor” that social media has on business transformation: if people within the company know that they are being watched and commented upon, they often change their behavior in order to make those comments more favorable. Social media provides one window for a company into their customers’ impressions of the company and products; since people are much more likely to comment if they have a bad experience than a good one, those are overwhelmingly negative, but still represent valid complaints.
One problem with many current BAM applications is that they’re trapped within a BPMS framework, and are focused primarily on the data and events generated by that BPMS. Instead, we need to move towards a more comprehensive monitoring environment that can accept information from a number of different sources, including social media channels. Just think of tweets as events that can feed into a monitoring dashboard, allowing a customer service representative to review and respond to those in the context of any other customer-related events and information. Kobielus mentioned that there is little integration of social media into traditional BAM tools, but I think that we’ll see this sort of functionality being offered by other tools, such as more forward-thinking CRM.
This seemed to be a bit of a disjointed presentation, with social media on one side and BAM on the other, but there are ways to bring this together: in advance of this session, I started a discussion with my fellow Enterprise Irregulars about Twitter being used for customer engagement (not just one-way PR blasts), which has resulted in a fascinating stream of messages that weave around these same issues. After I’ve had a chance to digest those a bit more, and think about how this impacts on business processes, I’ll bring some of those ideas forward.