Table of contents
About the talk
With attention spans dwindling, it has become more difficult to gain attention and engage with customers. As these trends continue, it will become even harder to compete for attention, and stay relevant, let alone engaging. Create a blueprint for:
Shaping your content for different platforms and audiences to increase engagement
Leveraging video, text, and podcasts to engage customers
Incorporating brand tone of voice in your strategy when leveraging AI on social media
Experimenting to disrupt the status quo and stand out and engage with your core customers
Gain a better understanding of how to leverage social media in your digital CX initiatives
01:20 Jerri Helms
02:58 Megan Merrick
05:20 Decision making
09:40 Comparing experience
14:20 Nuances of optimization and processes
16:30 Experience in communicating
18:30 About decision
22:50 Mechanic of trust
24:50 About customers wishes
27:15 Cooperating. Strategy.
28:36 Building. Strategy
erri leads a Marketing Operations team that exists to come alongside publishing & marketing teams to provide strategic guidance on digital marketing efforts towards the achievement of business objectives. Some of those areas of support include: digital marketing & advertising strategy, analytics/KPI analysis, SEO strategy, meta data optimization, content marketing, e-commerce program development, eMail marketing, Amazon SEO, Amazon PPC and social media management.View the profile
Customer-obsessed executive and key-note speaker with over five years of experience building customer experience teams and business processes from the ground up, including pioneering artificial intelligence, live chat, community and reputation management, social messaging, and culture programs for Customer Experience and Marketing Teams. She thrives on building unique engagement opportunities to surprise and delight customers with a focus on customer satisfaction and self-service.View the profile
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We have another. Information. Informative panel discussion, please help me. Welcome Cheri Helms. Senior director of digital marketing initiatives and marketing operations at Harper Collins publishing and Megan Merrick online engagement manager. Freshly and me, Dennis wakabayashi as your friendly neighborhood moderator. Hello. Ladies. Hello, how are you? Doing well. Thanks. How are you? Great conversation. Today is One second, the role of social media in building and maintaining effective, digital CX programs. And so,
but when we spoke earlier on prep, I just felt like your backgrounds. And the way you hold your old is was so, in interesting. I do want to start with just getting a little background on, on, on, how do you tame into this industry and how you Rose to the place where you are, where engagement is such an important part of your job, but I think you've also made it engagement important to a lot of other people's jobs. So so Jerry, why don't we start with you start with me? Okay. Well,
I guess it interesting Lee, the way I ended up in this room. Just sheer determination, really just being a learner all the time and never thinking that, you know, enough and always kind of diving in, didn't try to say, what's that? Next thing, what's coming down, the road, how we going to work that in? You know, what's important to our consumers and where we supposed to be more time, and are we in the right place? And and then really taking a look at it? From all of that information. What's our current
working environment? Are we structured, you know, in the right way to meet this demands or, or, or meet these particular needs. So That's that's kind of how I got to where I am with the role. I meant. I know we're going to talk a little bit more about that specifically, but just in the general level, that's it. And it making, tell us how you got here. I mean, I what I have always find Pastor you the stories of Where it All Began, for me. It began with my grandmother, having a challenge at a restaurant where I ran the CRM program and boys, I have to fix it after
that. So, like yeah, so I was hired at freshly as a live chat agent back in 2016 and so really coming in as on the ground, you know, the lowest entry-level role as an agent in being able to work with customers really gave me that that ground-level perspectives that as I've grown in the organized. Station. And I've been so thankful for all the opportunities that I've received. I've been able to hold on to that where when my, my agents are my supervisors or the leaders on my team, come to me with some type of problem or piece of feedback. Not only can I see
that from a leadership level but I can see it from the agent level because I know what it's like to be on the other end of that feedback. And so I really have I've been every level in the organization. I was an agent, senior agent, specialist now, I'm a manager. And so I know how it feels to be in sort of every level on my team and I can almost preempt issues whether that's a customer issue where I can see an agent potentially going down the wrong path with someone or handling an issue or looking into an issue that perhaps not the most effective way. But
also I can preamps when one of my team members is close to burn out or Just close to needing a day off and being able to resonate with that and understand. I think it's time for you to take a break. Do you want to use some PTO and tell me if I become a leader interview of the scale that idea of empathy and in really, every touch point or interaction that freshly has with our customers. Honestly, I love that. You started out on the front lines with customers, you build that empathy. And then you just have to drive to push this empathy out, as a
leader. And what's interesting just as I listened to you, is sure you do your job. Sure. You, you, you never need to get things done, but I can tell that you own this personal, sensitivity to your other colleagues and and that's such a great culture food, you know, and and I think that's Gary, which is a highly Collaborative culture of empathy and is also stealing throughout the organization a little bit about how how empathy plays a role in the decision-making at fabricon.
Yeah. Sure. So I think you made some really great point to and and I'll tell you paying attention to our people and knowing when they're close to burnout marketers today, where they are and what's going on in their particular roles, but it's really, we've been highly focused on culture of innovation and, you know, being empathetic to what our business units need their challenges. What do we need to do? And as a result of it? I know we've created sort of central marketing
Center of Excellence at the company that can kind of serve to come in and help Shore up games where they maybe they're really good with Facebook. But, you know, they need a little help over here with Pinterest and SEO with Pinterest and and things like that or maybe with keyword research or how to write for online optimization or things like that. And by having sort of this centralized agency, our company invested in creating this department and bringing it, and a team of experts and lots of different areas, which I have the privilege and honor to lead that
apartment and and just see how that has kept the Independent nature of a specific publishing group and the expertise of that publishing group there. But allowing sort of that agency feel to come alongside and Shore them up, where they may need assistance or Shore them up, where they need a little more education and help them to expand. And make sure that the marketing strategy and applications and things that they're doing online are really reaching to the capacity that it needs to. And as a result of that department
growing now, we've got research and corporate analytics under the department and interesting to you just last week we decided there's a whole nother new team, a whole nother new Innovative Department, that's going to be tacked, onto us from things that we've identified just that our business really needed that we may have not been completely optimize on that. You know, I showed his head during the world's, right? Just to see our business actually come alongside and really make the investment in innovating and moving forward and giving
resources to people to get their job done. Well makes life better for everybody and makes it a better working environment for people and makes them feel supported and appreciated and given resources that they desperately need to get their job done. I love that Megan is not in your head because you really took it to this place of employee experience being part of the customer experience, which is Central to a lot of conversations. I think in 2020. We saw customer care run to the front lines, to tackle customer
issues, many times, that didn't even belong to them, that they would feel called. And somebody would say, where is my package that I was supposed to hear from you and they had to figure out where that package was, even though they didn't ship it. So that we saw that happened, you both working these environments of of empowerment and Innovation and empathy. I like when you started to talk about the social content because I think I'd be curious. What are the top five channels are kind of content that each of you produced and and I'd be interested.
The pros and cons of why they're different or similar. Megan, why don't you tell us? Awesome. Yeah, in terms of of channels, my team specifically with Social customer support. What we're really engaged with is Community Management, as well as helping push acquisition through our advertising networks on social and the other big piece is so from messaging. So being able to engage with our customers regardless of why they're interacting with us, whether you're someone who's part of our community and you're a freshly fan and you just want
to show us love we want to be able to show you that love back. But if you're someone who's perhaps not a customer yet, you're interacting on one of her ads. Perhaps you have questions for us or you're trying to to feel like you can trust this product that you saw on Instagram while you were scrolling through and it's our job to make you feel like, yes, you can trust us to make your food to you which can also feel And then the last leg of it is. So from messaging and being able to support our customers, if you had a problem with your delivery, like you said
before, if your package didn't come, you, you may want to engage with us on social media because that's a channel that you was a consumer trust. And so, yes, we're there for you on Facebook, Messenger will chat with. You will be able to look up your order and we can assist you in. So those are those are some of the channels that I oversee and then the other big thing that I look at is automation. So when it comes to chatbots messenger Bots, how will you say I to interact with our customers. I think there's also a piece of empathy that lives in that because Bots has historically been
looked at as something that has no ability to empathize with the thoughts as sorry to you. You're kind of like Really? You're a bot. You didn't even help, and so being able to make Bots more human, but also Humane being able to engage with the customer and have them trust is Automation and show value in those channels. I feel like you said about Bridging the human in the digital. That's so important. I also want to just commend you on using multiple channels, to surround a customer with care and sales. We have to do
bowl and I like how you used the integration of the channels to, to connect and engage more with those customers. Jerry. What are you guys doing over Harper Collins? Yeah, so interesting Lee like I listen to Hell Megan's are and you know, every business looked at their channels probably a little bit differently. So I apologize in advance. If the way I look at this is different than everybody else but different types of consumer customer channels, we have our internal customer channels, which is our marketing teams and and
all of that. And and then we have our Are sort of customer of you know, our owners are ownership and the broader teams because we don't operate independently as harpercollins. Anyway, we have other business units with Wall Street Journal and things like that where we try to collaborate. And and, and look at that as a channel to sew with in every area that we have their their social pieces, right? So there's does social, there's a corporate social, the brand socials and then we have offer social.
So interesting Lee like acts a lot like consumer packaged Goods in the way that you do, you might have Procter & Gamble, has your Gram, but you've got all these different lines underneath it and for us it's harpercollins that there's all these different publishing groups underneath that. And then each one of those have their own authors and Brands and socials and things like that, that have to be done as well as what we do with it. How does that flow out to eat Commerce? And how is SEO, helping the authors versus the brand? Purses, how do we prevent cannibalization? Like, there's all
these different ways that I could go after that, but let me leave because you're right? Your, your, your order of magnitude is Giant. And so, what I think, correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that the way you tackle, that is by automation standardization to 2 to portray as many standards across as many lines of business as possible with it. Creativity being the the differential there, but standardization, see if I could be important to you. Are you standardizing on a particular platform that publishes or do you have a standardized process by which you saw one brand problem?
And then Repeat it over the other lines of business. No, not necessarily, you know, I think if you're talking about the way we might do a social audit or the way, we might Implement a bot or the way, we might Implement a process for metadata optimization, for e-commerce then, yes, but as far as you do, Standardized process for how we post or how we create content or how we do SEO research, that may not be the same for every single individual publishing vertical because
a family of products and services and they had Acquired and then eventually standardization starts, they hold, but I loved your your point about internal Communications because that is an audience and engaging them is crucial because I can tell both of you are beacons of transformation and translation of communicating your message. You're clearly carving a path. What do we do at Sea xers to find our way within our organization and create influence? How do you create influence internally? Yeah, absolutely. That's it's
it's tough. I would say that for me, the big thing when leading and the big thing. I've always tried her, I always try to do as an agent, is to be able to explain that why behind every decision that is made or every sort of path forward. So when it comes to today, when it comes to launching the channel, launching a bot, launching a camp in, why are we using AI? Why are we trying to deflect conversations? What is this channel? Is going to offer our customers that live chat or phone does not and then being able to
build trust with the agents. So then being able to to buy into what we're doing and I think that when an agent knows the why you don't have to necessarily tell your customers because the agents will tell them for you. And so it's a matter of showing now, Telling we're not yelling at our customers about. Oh, we're launching this this new bought. Our customers are going to interact with it and by providing value in the fact that it exists. Our customers with trusted agents, being able to trust that it exists for a reason, they'll be
able to support our customers as well. And so scaling empathy by showing that we care. And I think that's as hard cuz you can't offer a tional eyes, your culture of of empty and end part of that too, is probably the way your company was born at the time. It would take a man to being a lot of digital at tools, existed to create engagement. I think what your face is the inverse problem. There's so many different looks and panties and facets to what Gerry what you're doing. You rely on a lot of data to give you visibility and help you make decisions
around performance because we are these our business is so we want empathy to be at the center. But Jerry told us a little bit about how you look at the data, it from that high up. And how do you get it and pinpoint on it for decision-making? So, that's a really great question because again, each publishing unit having its own goals, having its own, you know, this is what it is, if they're trying to do. We we find yourself trying trying to have to pass in the in the department that I run and that is having a
respect and empathy for that particular publishing. Divisions, what are they trying to accomplish? What is it that they need? And then looking at maybe are standardized kti's but what are those standardized? Those those additional metrics for them? So you can be watching and monitoring excetera and and the way that we have that, so they're set up and it's working really well for us is that we set up those dashboards for every single polishing vertical that then rolls up into a master one for the company. And I have individual people
who are specialists in those areas that are watching that date on Sam. You know, what the average cost of sale is going up in this particular area over here. Maybe I need to reach out to that team and see how I can see how I can help them. And that campaign for making adjustments to copy on a landing page, whatever that may be or if you don't like e words that were tracking that we want to be ranking for for this particular. They're starting to fall. So what's going on? You do online or in the marketplace excetera in the way that people are searching for this? Or why
aren't we breaking for this and then going and driving a little bit. So that's really it's kind of taking the broad. He knows data approach, but also making sure somebody's taking the time to look at what's important and then go back out of line with the range of what we think is normal the dashboard. Go to that to use. Do you do did your bill account at a blow? Or do you have some faves? Well, well, we will use a lot at your table. I love your table by our table. We we do have some things in
Tableau. Our research team really likes Tableau for some of that but are tables kind of my team's go-to. Plus. We do have our data science teams has Bill, some custom dashboards for us not to get too nerdy. On this little Fireside, cat, panel discussion, but I was, I was I was amazed that airtable existed and how easy it is to configure to connect your your resources, or your operational activities with your customer activities. It takes a lot of data input, but it truly was one of the
first Software platform that allows you to essentially operationalize and then also predict with a single tool. So while waiting on people too. So it's okay. So scaly engagement and relevancy and content all the way to the customer and a huge organization that Jerry's working on. But I drive. And Brittany has crazy. Guys are coming out of the gate strong. You're in your take the World by storm. You have empathy at the Port of your business. Can you tell us What, what is the, what is, how do you grow trust?
So you have this empathy, how do you grow trust through the entire organization? And then after the customer, your ear at the center that how do you, what are the mechanics? Like, I buy my leader. I'm watching this conversation. Like I want to do that. I would have to, I would have to bring it back to that. That why? I think that empathy fuels trust you, you can't trust someone if you don't feel like there is invested as you are. I need to feel like as a consumer, that the brand is just as a cage with my experience as I am. And so,
By providing that why showing your customers that why will be able to to buy into what you're doing, trust that you will help them and trust that by buying into the organization are buying into the product. It's a journey that you go on together as opposed to just I'm receiving a product every single week or so collaboration. Wow, okay. So here's your vision. Your your business was so inspired in at a time where all of these things were relevant and you're using these Communication channel to engage internally and
externally. How do you, how do you know, how do you know what the customer wants in terms of what next? Because I think if you're alive agent Care Center, you can get a pulse on what's happening today like that. But but, you know, there's things that are happening, like a pandemic, that you just don't see on the horizon. What do you do for work? Yeah. Absolutely. I think that the business needs to be agile and I think CX especially needs to be agile. You can't get too
comfortable. It's funny cuz I was just talking to another leader. The other day about anytime I start to feel comfortable. I know something is coming because you can't, you can't, it's things will never become too long. Yeah, well, it could be something positive. It doesn't have to be negative. It could be, you know, this onslaught of a new product or a new brands or anyting. That could really be positive for the customers. But I would say that being able to get
data and cross-reference it and that's been one of the biggest things for us. These past years, being able to understand the sentiment of what our customers are saying on social. Because for a long time, we were engaging with our customers, we were messaging with them. We were supporting them, but then once that conversation ended, it just existed. There was no type of feedback on it. And so now we're being able to create this 360 view of the customer almost wear regardless of if you message. Yes, I'm so sure. You lied chatter, you call us. We're able to to have
that full picture of you and understand what you're talking to us about. And then being able to cross-reference. What people are saying on different channels? What's important to them? And what is taking up a lot of the space in our contacts? And okay, I do with all of it. The question I have is knowing your customer when you have the customer record, building forgot to profile, getting smart about attaching the uniform. In Jays case multiple different brands that could be be coordinated or or product lines in your case Megan.
What about ratings and reviews? Because I got it feel like there's a killer out there for both of you. That is its own monster. How do you tackle that? How do we tackle ratings and reviews that strategy for books as you can possibly imagine, right? So that's that's part of the job of our online optimization managers to be consistently watching. Reviews are saying about books online, seeing consumer reviews, responding to those consumer reviews when they see them on Amazon that are Goodreads or wherever
that is because that impacts Amazon's reading of you and the serving of your product based upon help with your customer services in responding to people who do have, you know, if they do have a negative experience, you don't. So yeah, those things are critical not only from a consumer standpoint, but also from what are the things that consumers are staying in those reviews that maybe should be in our products copy or keywords that we should be going after in our social media. Ads are Google ads or somewhere else that were using that and leveraging. The intelligence from what the
consumers are staying back into a marketing campaign,. He raised in response to the ratings of you think cuz I I bet you there's a little take there but what I always find interesting is I talk to him all the time and I'm always kind of keeping an awareness as you can see, who's paying attention to those ratings and reviews. And who isn't because the customers will tell you so far in advance before it hits the customer care center. Someone is screaming about it on rating somewhere but here's a little, like, when I start to look at building
a strategy, I immediately go to the ratings or reviews of the competitors because it it tells you exactly what products says are, are working or not Megan. How do you guys have a ratings and reviews? Yeah, so I think there's there's two parts to it. The first is, like Jerry said, you have to be responding to them. You have to be reading them. You have to be taking those insights and doing something with them. And then the other pieces, you actually have to seek out that feedback, because you're going to see that there are certain types of customers will leave reviews, their customers who
just have online presence whether that's positive or negative, if they have an online presence, if they enjoy reviewing products, they will review you. But then there's also in the case where, if your, customers with your brand they may seek out the opportunity to leave that feedback because they want their voice heard. And so it's important that you you almost survey people to be able to get a wide range of feedback. And I think we see that in other areas like NPS RC sat in for us. We we try to take those inside to look at them. The same way as social being able to tie them to a
customer. Text and the sentiment understand he wording. How we can use those analytics, to better the product you for sharing your insights in your experiences with us. Congratulations on. Scaling up, empathy, and being agents of transformation at your organization's. It was a pleasure to have you today. Thank you.
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