By Mary Tucker
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
My company doesn’t have a social media strategy. And we are overwhelmed with growth (best problem to have!) having increased our topline revenue by 24% in only our first year of operation, with another 30% increase on track in 2016.
My company doesn’t have a social media strategy. And in an industry where employee engagement is low and attrition is high, my company suffered a minor 10% attrition in 2015 – and we learned some lessons from that 10%!
Our remaining team consistently brings new ideas to better serve our clients, their patients and each other.
What’s going on here?
I proudly pronounce from time to time I was an early adopter of LinkedIn. Early in 2003, I was living and working in Atlanta, GA and a friend and colleague sent me a note with a link to join because somehow he knew so and so who started this “company” and “its really cool – so just do it.” I recall doing as I was told (I trusted my friend and colleague) and once on the site recall thinking how much easier it could make recruiting and vetting potential employees! What a great idea - I needed to spread the good word! And so I started sending notes to more friends and colleagues stating “a friend of mine knows so and so who started this company and it’s really cool……” And these folks signed up and my network grew.
Jump to 2016 and only 1 of our employees has a LinkedIn profile, and it’s not up to date.
When I was dragged onto Facebook in 2009, I recall delighting in finding old friends I hadn’t seen in years and reconnecting in a way that satisfied my human need for community without actually having to leave my sofa! Like a never ending cocktail party, I could choose which conversations to engage in and when to leave without having to suffer through long goodbyes and accusations of being a party pooper.
50% of our team has abandoned Facebook altogether with the remaining 50% stating “I’m not really into it so much anymore.”
Twitter remains a mystery to me despite my having an account – a point of view shared by nearly everyone on my team. We often laugh together at the idea that communication can be summed up as a “tweet” – as though we are all a flock of birds flying in formation, shouting instructions at each other through hashtags.
Social Service Myth
In September 2015, Marketwire published a study conducted by Mattersight* whose two key findings were:
- Only one percent of millennials want to contact a company via social media for service issues;
- More than half of millennials prefer to call a company for customer service, yet 85 percent report experiencing a negative person-to-person service interaction in the past year.
The study goes on to summarize that “millennials crave emotional connections from their communications. Whether at work or in a social setting, with friends or with brands, millennials prefer direct human interactions that are based on respect -- and their expectations are rising every day.”
My company experiences this phenomenon every day as phone calls to our Patient Interaction Center continues to increase with each iteration of digital solution in care, optimized to simplify the patient experience. Sometimes – most times – a patient just wants to hear a kind and caring voice assuring them the awful disease they think they have after exhaustively researching their symptoms on WebMD is very likely NOT what they’re suffering from but hey “why don’t you come and let’s get you checked out.”
Rethink Social as “Access to Kindness”
Armed now with personal experience validated by data we decided to focus our Brand position entirely on our culture and let social media take care of itself – as and IF it makes sense to our culture. We are dedicated to continuously increasing team empowerment through continuous training and knowledge management; we define our Brand through our “E’s of Use” – Empathy, Engagement and Efficiency – as our tongue in cheek nod to technology while celebrating the best of human to human contact; we drive the message that social engagement is ONLY valuable when in support of enlightenment and perpetuating good will toward each other. We apply these ideals internally as well as in service to our clients. We embrace conflict without falling victim to it – as so often happens on Social Media.
Social Media for the purpose of collecting followers or “likes” is meaningless – and your audience knows it. Using Social Media to simplify connecting to an empathic human being whose sole purpose is to serve – powerful.
Mary Tucker has over eighteen years experience successfully launching, leading and transforming award winning multi-channel consumer interaction centers. Her primary focus is delighting customers.
Before launching UPIC Health, she was Director, National Contact Centers and Patient Experience Consultant for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Previous positions include Director - Global Consumer Experience, Philips Consumer Lifestyle and Vice President, Computer Generated Solutions, Inc.
She was recently named a 2015 Brava! Award Winner by Smart CEO Magazine.
Mary Tucker, Chief Executive Officer & Founder UPIC Health, will be moderating Strategic Thinkers Only: A Forum for Seasoned Customer Contact Executives
at our 12th Annual Customer Contact 2016, East: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange. Click here to register or learn more: www.frost.com/ccs