SOCAP International

SOCAP Blog

  • Three Ways SOCAP Chapters Serve Customer Care Professionals

    Posted on: 06/03/2013

    SOCAP Chapter leaders are thinking strategically and participating in discussions that will ensure the success of SOCAP's chapters for years to come. Through the work of the Chapter Relations Committee and its commitment to the "Evolving Chapter", SOCAP chapters are working to better understand and meet the needs of the members as well as align with the strategic goals of SOCAP. Here are just a few ways that SOCAP chapters are "thinking strategically" and working to better serve you:

    Inviting member feedback - By asking the right questions and getting your feedback, chapters are able to provide the programming that best meets your needs. Start thinking about the issues that keep you awake at night and be sure to participate in providing feedback to your chapter leadership. Sounds like more surveys, but that is how we improve!

    Aligning with SOCAP's education plan – SOCAP International utilizes the talents of members on the Education and Member Services Committees to determine programming for the Symposium, Annual Conference, Webinars, and SOCAP's other educational offerings. Topics from these discussions are shared with chapters to use in programming. Chapters also have a role in sharing useful information and topics gleaned through its local membership with the national committees. Working together, chapters and the national committees are able to provide programming in a variety of ways, such as chapter events, webinars and sessions at national conferences.

    Engagement Activities -Chapters create valuable connections and make networking easy. Through creative initiatives such as the SOCAP Membership Engagement Drive and chapter participation on mySOCAP, SOCAP Chapters are going above and beyond to maximize your member experience. Don't be surprised if you receive a friendly phone call or email to check in from a chapter leader.

    Chapters are evolving, providing even more value and input on the future direction of the association. Envision a future in which each SOCAP Chapter understands and meets the needs of its members, aligned with SOCAP in a way that makes it easier for chapter leaders to act and think strategically - that future is upon us! Chapters are hard at work embracing this concept and having fun all rowing in the same direction.

  • This Week in Customer Care (Week of May 27, 2013)

    Posted on: 05/28/2013

    This Week in Customer Care is a weekly blog series by SOCAP International that takes a look at the week’s upcoming events and opportunities for customer care professionals. You’ll find out about professional development opportunities taking place across the country and get the inside scoop on new publications and research on the consumer affairs industry.  Finally, take a look back at last week’s most popular customer care news stories and catch up on any articles you may have missed.

    Welcome back from the long Memorial Day weekend!  While this week may be short, there are still plenty of opportunities for customer care professionals to network and hear from some great speakers!  In addition to the chapter events in Florida and Chicago, the SOCAP Canada Community is hosting a special half-day event on Social Media and the Customer Contact Center, which is sure to be a can’t-miss event.  Finally, there are some important deadlines coming up this week, so don’t miss them!

    Thursday, May 30 – Canada Community Spring Event
    Social Media in the Customer Contact Center

    Social Media has become a completive necessity for business leaders, who are starting to realize its full potential regarding customer experience. Pierre Marc Jasmin of Services Triad will review the top line results of a benchmarking study of corporate social media usage to understand the evolution and impart of social media over the past years. Presentations by Nygel Weishar of Scotiabank, Josée Bourdage of Fido Solutions and Jean-François of L'Oréal Canada will cover industry trends in the banking and telecom sectors as well as the customer experience through various channels. Finally, a panel discussion moderated by Matt Wheatly of Social Herd will examine effective methods of social media integration in the call center.

    Thursday, May 30 – Chicago Chapter’s Lunch and Learn at the Ole Ballpark
    “The Intersection of Technology and Consumer Experience”

    One of the most difficult challenges for business leaders is keeping up with current trends and new technologies. At the same time, truly understanding our customer's persona and their desired means of doing business with us can be difficult. Mapping this Customer Journey and preparing our strategy to meet our customers cross channel expectations is vital to maintaining a competitive edge. Join us for some great industry insight, fun customer experience stories and a roadmap for building & optimizing your customer experience strategy.

    Friday, May 31 – Florida Chapter Event: “Knowledge Management – Move From Firefighting to Prevention”
    Featuring John Goodman, Vice Chairman, Customer Care Measurement & Consulting

    John Goodman will present the latest trends in contact prevention, empowerment and knowledge management that produce improvements your CFO and CMO will appreciate. Learn about proactive education, Psychic Pizza, Flexible solution spaces and how Big Data and Knowledge Management can make your life easier.


    Top Stories in Customer Care

    Each week, we’ll take a look back at the most-clicked stories in the Customer Care News Brief.


    Important Deadlines

  • This Week in Customer Care (Week of May 20, 2013)

    Posted on: 05/20/2013

    This Week in Customer Care is a weekly blog series by SOCAP International that takes a look at the week’s upcoming events and opportunities for customer care professionals. You’ll find out about professional development opportunities taking place across the country and get the inside scoop on new publications and research on the consumer affairs industry.  Finally, take a look back at last week’s most popular customer care news stories and catch up on any articles you may have missed.

    The last full work week before the Memorial Day holiday features two great events in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Northwest Regional chapters.  SOCAP’s local chapters have made huge progress in putting together engaging and educational events for customer care professionals, with prominent speakers and subject matter experts.  This weel is also the last week to reserve a hotel room for the upcoming Data Reporting Workshop at the group rate!

    Wednesday, May 22 – Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Event
    Featuring Elizabeth McCormick, former Black Hawk helicopter pilot and best-selling author

    You’ll meet up with other Dallas/Fort Worth-area leaders in consumer affairs for a lunch-and-learn event featuring best-selling author and inspirational speaker, Elizabeth McCormick.  This event is hosted at the Daisy Brand corporate office in Dallas and promises to leave you energized, entertained, and empowered!

    Thursday, May 23 – Northwest Regional Chapter Portland Spring Event
    A Contact Center Tour hosted by Ruby Receptionists

    At the Northwest Regional Chapter’s spring Portland event, you’ll network with and meet customer care professionals from the Portland area before embarking on a tour of the Ruby Receptionists contact center.  Wrap up your day with some tips on how to get the most out of the the SOCAP website, and prize drawings!


    Top Stories in Customer Care


    Ways to Get Engaged With the Profession

    Are you looking to become more involved with the customer care industry?  SOCAP offers many opportunities for you to share your knowledge, experiences, and best practices OR to highlight your company.  Here are some upcoming opportunities:

    • PRESENT a webinar to SOCAP’s community of more than 2,000 customer care professionals!  You can submit a webinar proposal at any time.
    • SPEAK at the upcoming Annual Conference! SOCAP’s Annual conference convenes more than 500 of your peers in consumer affairs, representing over 150 brands.
    • ADVERTISE in CRM Magazine, the leading publication for the customer care profession.  Distributed by mail and online to over 2,500 industry professionals, CRM Magazine is the premier thought-leadership publication for customer relationship experts.
  • White Paper Explores Big Data Impact on Hospitality, Travel and Tourism

    Posted on: 05/13/2013

    A new white paper produced by SOCAP International, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, describes how Big Data is transforming the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism (HTT) sector and, in the process, creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities for customer care professionals.

    May 14, 2013
    For more information, contact:
    Marjorie Bynum, Vice President of Education and Communications
    marjorie@socap.org | (703) 910-2473

    Alexandria, VA - A new white paper produced by SOCAP International, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, describes how Big Data is transforming the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism (HTT) sector and, in the process, creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities for customer care professionals.The white paper is written to help SOCAP members-customer care executives at leading brand name companies-identify the issues, see the possibilities, and parse the options in advancing a game changing Big Data agenda.

    "Now Arriving:  Big Data in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Sector" delves into the HTT paradigm shift and the contribution of Big Data to company competitiveness.  Much of this shift involves the increasing use of personalization to move from simple commercial transactions to robust customer interactions based on holistic views of relevant data and the ability to anticipate changing customer needs.  Big Data also poses big organizational challenges to HTT companies, so the white paper discusses the steps necessary for leveraging this technology.

    "The importance of customer experience to the future of business cannot be overstated," said SOCAP President and CEO Matthew D'Uva.  "Whether it's traveling around the corner or around the world, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism companies will play an ever larger role in shaping this activity, and they will use Big Data to do it better and smarter.  Our members will be working to assure that this happens in the ways that truly reflect both the vision of their companies and the voice of their customers."

    D'Uva said the white paper is one of many initiatives SOCAP will be undertaking to educate its members about Big Data, including webcasts, conference sessions and additional white papers.  A copy of the new white paper is available here.

    About SOCAP

    Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia and formed in 1973, SOCAP is composed of over 2,000 best-in-class customer care executives and professionals from over 100 brand name companies throughout the U.S. and Canada.  SOCAP is a member-driven organization committed to promoting customer care and engagement as competitive advantages.  SOCAP members include vice presidents, directors, and managers of customer care and consumer affairs as well as hundreds of business partners, individuals representing the solution provider community.  SOCAP member benefits include education and training, peer-to-peer networking, relationship building, partnership programs, conferences and seminars, news and information, research, and more.

    Visit SOCAP on the web at www.socap.org.

  • 4 Ways the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Sector Uses Big Data to Improve Customer Experience

    Posted on: 05/10/2013

    Big data represents big opportunities for Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism (HTT) companiesto "Wow!" their customers and deliver a superior customer experience.  A new white paperrecently released by SOCAP International on Big Data in the HTT industry discusses these opportunities and includes insights from leading HTT brands such as Hawaiian Airlines, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).   Although HTT has traditionally been transaction based (e.g., booking reservations, recording account balances, tracking loyalty points), Big Data-enabled interactions have the potential to help HTT companies dramatically open the customer experience to new dimensions of customer care.

    Based on the insights shared in the white paper, here are some things to think about when it comes to using Big Data to improve the customer experience:

    1. Gather the Right Data from the Right Places
      HTT companies naturally collect and generate tons of data and information on travelers and guests. Data sources such as social media provide supplemental information that can inform companies on customers’ specific interests and preferences. For example, knowing a frequent traveler’s Twitter handle and then monitoring the Twitter stream for “Just landed” or at Foursquare check in at airports can reveal useful information that can help HTT companies offer added levels of convenience to the traveler experience.
    2. Personalize the Customer Experience
      With the right data, gathered from the right places, HTT companies can also develop more complete profiles of their customers. The art in Big Data is in knowing how to use the data in an effective manner to personalize the customer experience. For example, to optimize results major hotels are using Big Data to match their best offers with the most appropriate guest profiles.
    3. Create Interactions With Customers
      Web 2.0 and the widespread adoption of social media have generated large amounts of data and information about individuals. Apps like Foursquare have gamified the “check-in” process, while travel sites such as TripAdvisor give status and rewards to users who post the most helpful reviews. Customers can share their opinions and experiences over a much broader range of channels than before, meaning HTT companies can no longer rely on just customer feedback surveys to measure the whole of a guest's experience. By analyzing data from a customer's entire online presence, companies can develop more complete and accurate customer profiles. The result of this is the potential and ability for HTT companies to better interact with their customers in richer, more meaningful, and more personalized ways. Checking in for a flight or at a hotel becomes a more personal interaction, beyond just greeting a traveler by name.
    4. Get Ahead of the Customer Relationship Curve
      Big Data offers a new capability for HTT companies to get ahead of the customer relationship curve. Big Data empowers the HTT sector with the information needed to become anticipatory, instead of reactionary, to a guest’s or traveler’s specific needs and preferences. By getting ahead of this curve, HTT companies are in a position to more effectively influence the customer experience to ensure higher levels of satisfaction, which ultimately deepens customer loyalty.

    Big Data is changing the scope and reach of customer care. Want to know more? Download SOCAP’s new white paper, “Now Arriving: Big Data in the Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Sector” for the complete discussion on Big Data in the HTT industry.