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Highlights from Hearsay Social London Customer Forum 2016 – Key Trends and Takeaways

Hearsay Social customers from across Europe gathered for the 2nd annual customer forum in London on June 16. The interactive forum — geared for customers to learn how to derive success from their social media programs — was filled with practical tips and insights on the most pressing questions concerning their programs today, including those related to product queries and requests, scaling the business, and measuring ROI.  
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The afternoon opened with an address by Steve D’Angelo (@stephendangelo), global head of sales at Hearsay Social, and focused on major global trends shaping digital programs in the financial services industry. Steve thanked everyone for joining and and for their continued business. Steve stressed that this was their meeting and that they were free to ask any pressing topics that were on their minds concerning their programs. 
Below are some of the key trends and takeaways from the day’s event:

Industry Trends

Trend #1:  Communicate on your clients’ terms
Steve spoke about the changing preferences of the consumer in interacting with businesses.  Like other brands they are used to, customers expect their advisers to communicate on different channels with relevant and timely content, tailored to them. He emphasised the need to become a customer-centric organisation which goes beyond just having a single data view of the customer. The need to provide an omni-channel experience – where interactions move seamlessly between online and mobile SMS via phone and in-person – is increasingly important in this hyper-connected era. By being findable and available on multiple channels and platforms, the easier it is for customers to engage with you.
Trend #2:  Better connect marketing with relationship managers
Across our clients, there is no shortage of great content generated by marketing teams. But for that content to reach the right audience at the right time, firms need to leverage their front line salespeople – client advisers, relationship managers and agents. This not only ensures that marketing content gets amplified many times over, but it also creates a more personal relationship between the client or prospect and the advisor.
Trend #3: Get access to “dark data”
All companies collect and store dark data. Dark data is defined as operational data that is collected by firms but is currently not used by relationship managers in the field.  Steve emphasized the importance of this information for serving clients in an optimized way and improving the customer experience. For example, if a customer comes to your corporate website and then visits an advisor’s site, you should be able to have this data against the customer available to the advisor for timely and effective lead follow-up.  

Product Roadmap

Opening remarks was followed by an interactive session on our product roadmap led by Mark Gilbert (@Markegilbert), vp of products and Chris Andrew (@chriswandrew), managing director for Hearsay Europe. There was ample time for active discussion during the product session on how to enable agents/advisers to use Hearsay more often.
Scaling the program  
In one of the more interactive sessions presented by customers such as Thomas Rudelle (@ThomasRudelle ) ofAXA France, James McQueen (@McQueenUK) of Charles Derby (part of Old Mutual Wealth) and Liz Thompson of Aberdeen Asset Management, participants received practical tips for motivating and growing their social program. Some of the key takeaways on what makes for a successful program, included the following advice from Thomas:

  • Start small
  • Teach your Sales team to use social media through discussion forums, weekly meetings, and Facebook/LinkedIn groups
  • Engage in change management
  • Test and learn
  • Amplify and share adviser success stories, including through the use of regular video testimonials

Start small when measuring ROI
The day concluded with an informative discussion on how to measure ROI led by Hearsay Social’s Matthias Göllner (@goellnermat) and Andreea Costea of Allianz Romania. Matthias demystified ROI by presenting the Hearsay ROI framework mapped against the stage of digital maturity the customer is in – outlining a journey towards measurable ROI (see illustration below).
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Andreea showed the framework in action as she shared a recent case study based off of an online survey with advisers to understand the impact of social media on an adviser’s business.  Her presentation was full of practical tips on how to think about ROI, such as:

  • Leverage multi-dimensional views on ROI (NPS, agent success stories, agent survey)
  • Use the right measurement approach depending on the maturity of the program
  • Measure success early on in order to influence the actions and strategic direction of the project (e.g. agent training, social signals, Facebook ads)
  • Share successes in various ways (agent stories, best practices, leader boards for social)
  • Develop a community of agents on social media (e.g. Facebook group) to motivate them to actively share their success.  

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to come for the annual customer forum in London.  Your engagement and dialog are the reason we strive to do better.  
Connect with us on Facebook, or visit Hearsaysocial.com for more information.