Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

3:50 —’s Erin McDaniel introduces Nissan’s Senior Manager of Customer Experience, Anne McGraw.

3:51 — Anne: Our social media lives in our customer experience department.

3:53 — In 2012, our tipping point was when a daddy blogger went on a Twitter rampage. No one was listening to him at that time because monitoring social media wasn’t a big priority then. That’s when Nissan realized they needed to take action.

3:54 — Their social media workflow was so large and complicated back then that it took forever to find and respond to those social media mentions.

3:55 — The information ecosystem is so large that it’s difficult to keep track of all the conversations taking place. We started publishing a weekly “executive” dashboard of monitoring reports. It contains specific issues/topic ad hoc reports and focuses on end-user feedback and conversations.

3:56 — Anne: It helps us separate marketing buzz vs. social intelligence. All departments are coming to us (the social team) with requests for what customers are saying about our products on social media.

3:58 — We used Radian6 to create buzz volume vs. VOC reports. The problem is that a lot of these buzz reports were out of context and didn’t reflect the actual brand perception.

4:00 — So now, instead, we create weekly social VOC concerns reports. We want the data we share with others to provide detail and context for what we are hearing on social.

4:01 — In the beginning, the listening report included customer concerns on social media. Our engineers requested customers’ contact information so that they can connect and resolve the issues. The social support starts the tracking.

4:02 — Anne: Our current real-life process: When the product issue is mentioned via social, they research the issue to see if others mentioned this problem too. Then they profile and tag that issue, and do an internal investigation to help solve the problem.

4:03 — We’ve created an integrated, closed-loop process. Communication and People. Period.

4:04 — The reactive nature of social media: customer has an issue, customer calls corporate, and finally takes to social media to complain. Our social media team needs to fix the issue right away, otherwise it will escalate quickly. It’s hard to scale such a responsive process.

4:05 — We use the social media visibility aspect to our benefit to solve issues quicker.

4:06 — Anne: Our social media organization has evolved greatly: Listening and engaging, assisting and driving change. We believe that embracing and driving change is our mission on the social media team.

4:09 — Our challenge is breaking down the silos: Deciding who owns the online customer conversations. We don’t want the company talking about social media as a separate entity. We are trying to harness these social conversations and make sure the entire corporation is on board, including marketing, PR, customer service, and research departments.


Q: How do you quantify your complaints?

A: Even if it’s only one or two complaints, it’s still a big deal because of the megaphone-nature of social media. It could potentially grow into a larger complaint involving more customers if we don’t try and solve it right away.

Q: How long does it take you to identify, respond, and fix an issue for a customer complaint?

A: It depends on the issue, but we usually try to solve and respond within a day or two, depending on the size of the issue.

Q: How do you get customers to stop talking about the issue on social media after you’ve acknowledged or solved it?

A: We always try to immediately take the conversation offline so that we can have a private conversation with the customer. We used to go back to tell our audience that the issue has been solved, but we found that no one actually cares. As long as we respond in a timely matter to the customers, they are satisfied.

Q: What kind of volume do you see, and how do you dig out those issues?

A: It depends on the day, but normally we are engaging with 50 different people (but seeing hundreds of mentions). Even though it’s 50 individuals, it’s still over 500 posts going back and forth with those individuals. We also tag each post to run reports on what is trending each week so that we are aware of what to expect.

Q: How did you encourage alignment with the various departments at Nissan?

A: That’s the hardest part of this job. Sometimes you feel like you’re all on different teams. But at the end of the day, building relationships is key. “We should all care about making the customer happy.” Keeping that mindset will help remind everyone that we are all on the same team.

Q: How do you maintain the responsiveness and spontaneity of your social team?

A: We’re semi-regulated, so we have documented a lot of our responses, and we also have a framework that guides our vocabulary. Because we have such strong documentation, legal allows and trusts us to respond immediately.

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