Erling Admundson

Erling Amundson on how Symantec organizes their social customer care team

“If you're helpful, people will want to be closer to you,” says Erling Amundson.

As the Senior Manager of Agile Marketing Sciences at Symantec, Erling says being helpful is at the core of their customer retention strategy — to not only get customers to buy their stuff, but to also renew and to recommend it to their friends.

To do it, Erling says they have to stay relevant. For example, at Symantec, they shared #30SecTech videos, much like Lowe's #FixinSix campaign, featuring an expert explaining complicated security questions in 30 seconds.

But their strategy goes beyond campaigns to stay relevant to their customers. In his presentation at our Member Meeting in San Francisco, Erling explains how they lay out their social customer care program.

For social customer care, Symantec starts with listening.

Erling says, “We know gathering data is a good starting point, but then you have to figure out what to do with it.”

So they came up with a list of “Actionable Internet Mentions” — the types of customer care points they were listening for and what their team could do about it. Here's their list of six AIMs:

Symantec's Actionable Mentions

For each of these, they created a large set of sample terms to help automatically categorize the type of mention. For example, if someone used terms like “troubleshoot” or “doesn't work,” the program would sort it under a “case.” For terms like “angry” or “annoyed” they knew to file it under a “rant.”

“With those rules in place, 70 percent of the things we were doing manually are able to be done automatically,” he says.

As Erling's team began handling more customer care cases and mentions, they also began to see patterns.

If you’re helpful, people will want to be closer to you.

They started tracking things like sentiment throughout the stages of the customer journey. It helped highlight things like a pattern of positive sentiment during the awareness and shopping phases of the journey and more negative sentiment as customers became users.

Erling says they used that kind of information to create daily internal newsletters, share helpful content around problem areas, and encourage them to share it with their own networks.

“We're listening in real time, we're finding all these trends, we're trying to be helpful — so we came up with something called ‘momentum marketing.'”

“Like with real-time marketing, we want to listen for those moments where we can get attention, but let's also actually be helpful in those moments.”

As a part of their momentum marketing strategy, Erling says they're taking real-time marketing opportunities and finding ways to help the customer.

With employees around the globe and 24-hour social listening, Erling says new threats or breaking alerts can pop up every day, at all hours of the day. They work with the marketing and content teams to figure out if there's something they can share to help, get it published, and then track the results of that engagement.

To help the team turn helpful content around quickly, they created “fast cycles” like the one below to support an agile workflow:

Symantec's Fast Cycles

In the end, Erling shares these helpful tips for momentum marketing:

  • Listen to create: Let social listening and insights drive your creative process.
  • Provide clear brand guidelines: Make these guidelines flexible so your content creators have room to create a variety of situations in real-time.
  • Create your own momentum: When something works, find ways to build on that success.

Find Erling on Twitter and ask about his favorite examples of good experience design. Erling's been a member of since 2013. You can check out his full presentation from our Member Meeting in San Francisco here.