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Proximus & IPG: social team spirit at its best!

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Leader in the Belgian market…

Over the past five years Proximus, the major telecom company that has been an IPG customer for about as long as anybody can remember, has steadily put together a social media policy that many businesses would find difficult to match. The marketing and communications specialists at Proximus describe it as a logical evolution of the market and insist that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like are equivalent to the classical channels of communication. At the start of social media project one and the same message was copied to the different media, but Proximus now develops specific content for each particular channel. Each week a multidisciplinary team comprising people from Web, IT, Marketing Communication, HR and Internal Communication & PR brainstorm with each other to put together a content agenda.

… social media channels hit the bullseye…

There’s Skynet, Proximus 5, Proximus 11, [email protected] and so on and so on. The number of social media channels that the telecom operator must manage is not small. Apart from the targeted special offers and campaigns launched via these channels, Proximus must monitor and deal with the reactions, questions and comments from readers and visitors. With the growing success of its social media, Proximus decided in January 2012 to expand its social customer service both internally and at IPG. This resulted in the birth of the IPG social media team. Advisers with mobile market know-how and who are digital natives who possess writing skills are what Proximus needs. IPG ensures secure staffing even outside normal working hours (opening times are from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 10pm). It’s a must when you realise that each month approximately 16,000 questions pour in through these channels! What’s more, consumers expect faster answers via these ‘newer’ channels. Everybody sees a question/complaint so everything must be resolved, followed up and answered without any hassle. Conservation management was not put in place by coincidence. The ‘one-to-many’ aspect inherent in social media essentially means pursuing flawless customer service!

… and the key to a successful social media policy

After this narrative there can be no doubt that Proximus is a hit when it comes to social media. Whereas in 2013 the telecom operator had 12,000 fans, it now has no fewer than 288,000 across the various pages! More content means more reactions, and partly thanks to football the number of fans is increasing steadily. As social media are a high-speed information channel, the number of fans also went up sharply during the recent strikes

Some tips from the Proximus experts

þ Set down good guidelines. What can social advisers say? What can’t they say? What is our social tone of voice? Define at the outset the limits and the goals.

þ Make sure that social advisers are empathetic, the tone of voice must not be robot-like. Provide special training for this purpose.

þ Work out a clear structure. How will collaboration occur? Which department is responsible for what? What are the escalation procedures?

þ Train social advisers in their writing capabilities

þ Engage constantly in quality monitoring of social mentions, in the same way you do for calls and e-mails

þ Use a marketing agency that is strong in social media.

þ Include the social aspect in every campaign, right from the initial briefing given to your agency

þ Roll out social customer care gradually, don’t turn it into a big bang. Start with one Twitter or Facebook profile and grow step by step.

þ Be aware that a social media campaign has just as much impact and leads to far more interaction than an above-the-line campaign with a much larger budget

þ Social is no longer a nice-to-have add-on, it’s an essential component of communication with your customer!

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About IPG

IPG, part of the Koramic Investment Group, is a European call center group with subsidiaries in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Morocco. 3.000 staff members guarantee a professional handling of all your customer contacts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In Belgium, IPG owns the largest call center, with over eighteen years of experience.

Therefore, we can rightfully call ourselves expert in customer interaction management. We are your business partner by excellence to manage and optimise the most important pillar of your business. We are well aware that your customers are the driving force of your business and precisely because of that reason we want to offer them an optimal customer experience.

With the rise of the social media and unlimited access to the Internet, your customer service has become more than ever the touchstone of your marketing and sales departments. Your corporate image depends on what is told about your organization, your products and your services.

Our people are qualified to confirm your brand identity or lead your existing and future customers into the direction of your products and services.

Finally, new acquisitions, further internationalization and a continuous focus on innovation enable us to look to the future with great confidence.