AT&T: Proving the ROI of Social Media for Customer Service

By AT&T and Ant's Eye View

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The question often posed to social media practitioners by senior executives is: what's the ROI of Social Media? Here's how AT&T quantified the impact of leveraging social media for customer service.

In summer of 2009, AT&T made the decision to address negative sentiment and unresolved customer service issues on the social web. And in just one year, the newly formed AT&T Customer Care Social Media team resolved 21,000 customer issues on various social channels and earned positive sentiment as well as a flood of direct customer feedback through Twitter and Facebook that validated their efforts.

Despite impressive results, Senior Leaders still questioned the ROI of Social Media for Customer Service.

Normally in a customer service operation, the ROI is avoidance of an expensive customer contact; but there was additional value generated by the Customer Care Social Media Team. What the executives were really asking is "what is the value back to the AT&T brand?"

The team along with strategic partner Ant's Eye View created an ROI framework that measured nine financial and relationship impacts. These values include: call shed, customer retention, customer influence, site referrals, CSAT, SLA, Early Warning Radar, Facebook Wall Advocates and Twitter Followers.

With these measures in place, AT&T was able to show that social media is, indeed, good for business operations.

In 2010, 21,000 customer issues were resolved and more than 37,500 customers were served by the AT&T Customer Cares Social Media Team. By leveraging the ROI framework, AT&T executives received concrete numbers for Social Media Customer Service ROI, as well as additional points of value being generated. Ultimately, these measurements provided a business case for future investment, staffing of AT&T's social media operations and goal setting for the team.

2009 - present

AT&T: Proving the ROI of Social Media for Customer Service