FEATURE17 August 2012

All tooled up

Daniel Hansen on how Bosch Professional Power Tools applied social CRM software to work out the value of its social media presence

The challenge

Social media is rapidly changing customer service. Social platforms have given rise to a new breed of customer – one who isn’t afraid to share opinions through a number of very public platforms. The immediate and public nature of these social media sites can have both positive and negative ramifications for companies. As increasing numbers of customers opt to voice their views, it is important for businesses to listen, monitor and engage with them.

Bosch Professional Power Tools, the European market leader, supplies trade and industry professionals in the building, electrical and wood working sectors. The company’s market research has indicated that a principal factor influencing consumer purchases of Bosch tools is the experiences and recommendations of existing customers and colleagues.

As well as a presence on Facebook, which has attracted 20,000 likes from consumers, Bosch runs the Bob Community through its own website. The Bob Community is an online forum for Bosch users to voice opinions and comment on recent product experience. The site attracts 460,000 visitors every year with 35,000 registered users actively contributing to the site.

With the popularity of the Bob Community set against an increasing presence on Facebook, Bosch needed to decide whether its investment in Facebook was worthwhile. It wanted to know whether the desired demographic was being targeted and how the value of its Facebook fans compared to that of the Bob Community users.

The brief

Bosch Professional Power Tools was seeking a social customer relationship management software tool that would enable in-depth, bespoke analysis and management of its social media channels. The two objectives of the implementation were:

  • increasing the opportunity for fans to recommend Bosch Professional Power Tools to other professionals
  • bring the brand closer to younger target audiences

The approach

QuestBack’s Social Insight software collates qualitative and quantitative research to help brands understand the individual consumer as well as the market segment. Bosch employed the Social Insight software to continuously monitor audience participation. The results could then feed back into the organisation and influence future audience interaction, brand strategy and product development.

QuestBack’s social CRM software was integrated into the Bosch Facebook fan page, combining users’ profile data and direct feedback from their interactions on the page. This provided Bosch with statistical data from its social media CRM programmes through an integrated system constantly analysing the profiles of users.

The findings

The analysis found that 27% of the Bosch Facebook audience was made up of woodworking professionals. It also highlighted that the demographics of the Facebook page were noticeably different from those interacting with the Bob community. Unsurprisingly, the Facebook audience were, on average, younger than the Bob Community. This professional target market segment is a key influencer of other DIY weekend repairers and younger tradespeople.

The analysis revealed that over 600 apprentices in vocational schools had been using the Facebook page. This is particularly important as the apprentice market is a key sector that Bosch had been targeting. Only 11% of the Bosch social media audience used both Facebook and the Bob community. This further confirmed the need for the continued use of both social media platforms. Bosch can now identify and profile users with high brand loyalty and ‘buzz-potential’, strategically targeting marketing to reach the desired audience.

The outcome

Bosch needed to determine who was using its Facebook page and whether this audience differed from those in the Bob Community. By dividing the structures of business sectors, Bosch was able to determine the value of each channel, its audience breakdown and where to focus future marketing.

Having access to this data therefore enabled Bosch to tailor the use of social media within its CRM programme. This targeted specific professional trades, e.g. woodworking, with relevant Bosch products through the appropriate social media.

With only 11% of Bosch’s social media audience using both the Bob Community and Facebook, Bosch tailored each channel to each audience segment. QuestBack’s Social Insight tool has allowed Bosch to aggregate its corporate Facebook presence and shed light on the Facebook fan base. Bosch can target feedback surveys to customers who regularly use and interact with the site. By embedding the customer relationships into the business process, it has been able to create, and amplify positive customer experiences. This is achieved by the implementation of a comprehensive feedback and engagement platform allowing a complete customer experience process.

Ivar Kroghrud, CEO, QuestBack says: “In today’s socially connected world, the need to monitor social media channels is fundamental. By using the appropriate software, Bosch Professional Power Tools has been able to support the brand ambassadors on Facebook and Bob Community and help increase customer satisfaction. Bosch now has a greater knowledge and understanding of its high value customers and the resulting information from these conversations can potentially influence future interactions, survey development and business decisions.”

The data confirmed the need for the continued use of both Facebook and the Bob community to ensure that all demographics and professional trades that Bosch sells to are covered through a bespoke and focused social media programme. It has been able to analyse each user on Facebook enabling the generation of new initiatives for future and current Bosch Professional Power Tools customers.

What next?

Bosch aims to convert Facebook fans and Bob community members to become brand advisers and advocates. This will help to influence potential customers and build a greater fanbase over time. The possibility to interact with fans to gain feedback on new products and marketing campaigns further strengthens its use of social media as part of its customer relationship programme.

As barriers to switching products are lowering over time, the marketplace has become increasingly competitive. One of the most important aspects of social media for Bosch has been the ability to reaffirm brand loyalty. Bosch is continuing to work towards enhancing loyalty programmes through the community.

Tracking the influence of brand advocates comments and reactions will enable Bosch to pinpoint the impact and reception of these opinions in each community. This in turn will create the most value from using social media ina CRM programme, for both Bosch and its customers.

Daniel Hansen is a director of QuestBack

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