A View from the Clouds!

A View from the Clouds!

No wonder consumer-oriented businesses are obsessed with how to get more out of social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, FourSquare, Linkedln, Chatter and Google+. For business organizations, the challenge is figuring out the intersection between social and everything under the customer relationship management umbrella. CRM broadly covers the software systems companies use to provide customer service, generate sales leads, manage marketing campaigns, and analyze and segment customer data. Making the connection between the people in CRM databases and their social media personas will require companies to build a new level of trust with their customers, based on the promise of better service and value.

This social connection is the key to unlocking a deeper understanding of customers and making more cost-effective use of sales, service, marketing, and IT resources. Marketing, sales, and customer service execs often start experimenting in the social sphere without anyone’s help. But companies eventually need to link these efforts to CRM and marketing campaign management systems as well as customer data warehouses.

 ProBizMix builds these services largely on Salesforce and the Force.com development / Heroku platform. The end user customer sees The Companies branding, but it’s Salesforce’s online software that handles logins, identity management, and customer service case tracking. For customer service, the customer can use online help, Knowledge base and Answers, Live Agent Chat and a customer can also submit a request for help on the site, which starts a case within Salesforce CRM. But companies can’t count on customers diligently exhausting self-service support options before they raise a stink on social networks. So my Company uses Radian6 social media monitoring capabilities to capture brand-relevant posts, tweets, and Facebook comments. Radian6 (which Salesforce acquired last year) lists every comment about the Customer and provides an interface through which company reps can respond to comments directly on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever the message originated. They also provide a Social Hub for native integration to Salesforce and Cases. 

If the customer does send an email, it creates a Salesforce case. But our Company tries to keep that CRM case connected to the social persona where it began. Agents ask customers to include their Twitter handle or Facebook name, so the support team knows that the original request came in through social media, and so two case teams aren’t chasing the same problem. And once the matter’s resolved, the Company posts a comment back to the original tweet or Facebook post. Connecting Facebook and Twitter identities with known customers in your CRM database is important on several levels. From a service perspective, you’ll see not just the latest support problem raised in a social comment, but the entire history of support exchanges with that customer. From a sales and marketing perspective, you can correlate social profile information with purchase histories and know more about key customer segments likes and interests. And with the use of sentiment analysis technologies, you can get trending insight into what the most important customers are saying about your brand, products, and competitors. The linchpin is that it has to be up to consumers to add their social identities to their profiles. However, as many marketers can attest, offers of discounts and coupons, early product news, sweepstakes entries, or better Service often persuades people to grant permission.

 Stay tuned for the next series of interests around the Social Enterprise!

Tips For A Successful Phone Interview

A phone interview, or phone screen, is probably the first interaction you are going to have with a potential employer.   This being the case, you must remember first impressions are the most important. To a recruiter or manager, this is a serious step in the process and decisions are made from this 15 to 30 (average) minute call.  Treat this call just as you would a face to face interview where you are prepared and focused on your objective. As a recruiter and employer, you would not imagine how many people do not take a phone interview seriously and never get a 2nd chance.

The following are some suggestions that will help you achieve this objective.  Many seem pretty simple and obvious, but the best advice usually is simple and obvious.

Schedule A Firm Time –

Set a time and be there to accept the call.  If you are calling the interviewer, make sure you call at the designated time and get an alternative phone number / email to follow-up if they are not there.  If you have to leave a voice message, suggest an alternative time to call.  This is often your first test, though non-intentional, to see how dependable and organized you are.

Be Prepared –

Just like in any other interview, do your homework.  Study up on the employer (or even better, the interviewer if you know in advance).  Have questions ready about the company or the position.

Resume –

Make sure you have a copy of the resume they have in front of you.  Also have a copy ready to email to the interviewer if they need one.  It is very awkward if you are literally not on the same page.

Job Description –

Have a copy of the job description in front of you for reference too!

Logistics –

This is probably the most important factor.  Here are a few things to remember:

  •  Use a land line if possible – Cell phones are the norm now, but the good old land line is still the best option for clarity, no dropped calls, etc…
  • Find a private place – This will allow you to speak freely.  It is annoying to have a candidate say “I can’t say that right now”.
  • Find a quite place – background noise around you is distractions to you and the interviewer.
  • Do not do it in the car driving – besides from being hazardous to your health, you will be distracted.


Your energy is a major part of the evaluation.  If you sit in a comfortable chair and lay back, that comes across on the phone.  I find standing or sitting in a normal chair keeps me on my toes.

Smile –

Sounds pretty odd, but this works.  Treat this just like a face to face interview and imagine the interviewer is right across from you.  I have even gone as far as having a mirror in front of me to remind me to smile.  I positive attitude usually starts with just a simple smile.  Most important, this will put you at ease and make this a fun experience.

Take Notes –

Write down your questions as the come up or action items you need to follow-up on for the interviewer like websites to visit, etc…  Write down names of people the interviewer mentions who might be the next person who will interview you.

Next Steps –

Ask the interviewer what the next steps are or any additional information they may need.  This also shows your interest in the position which interviewers appreciate.

Most ImportantRelax!

This is an important step in your job search, but remembers to relax and learn from it.  Follow these step and the more you interview, the more comfortable it will be.

Best of luck in your search and career!