Using Social Network Analysis for collecting Voice of the Customer
Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of activity related to Social Network Analysis. It has been used to look at a variety of issues, such as business practices, transportation, education, healthcare, and homeland security and defense. The goal of a social network analysis is to identify the relationships among people in a network, develop maps that illustrate patterns of interaction, and use these maps to generate a dialogue that informs strategic and operational improvements. This in turn can be used to define the customer needs and establish the Voice of the Customer. This methodology can be used to capture the customer needs.
For example, social network sites like Facebook use basic elements of SNA to identify and recommend potential friends based on friends-of-friends. As well as placing advertisements based on profile information and on-line activity.
What is Social Network Analysis?
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a process of quantitative and qualitative analysis of a social network. SNA measures and maps the flow of relationships and relationship changes between knowledge-possessing entities. Simple and complex entities include websites, computers, animals, humans, groups, organizations and nations.
The SNA structure is made up of node entities, such as humans, and ties, such as relationships. The advent of modern thought and computing facilitated a gradual evolution of the social networking concept in the form of highly complex, graph-based networks with many types of nodes and ties. These networks are the key to procedures and initiatives involving problem solving, administration and operations.
What is Voice of the Customer?
Voice of the customer (VOC) is an in-depth process used in businesses and the information technology industry for capturing a customer’s preferences, expectations and comments of a product of service in discussion. This is a market research technique that can produce a detailed view of what customers want or need organized in a hierarchical structure that is prioritized by importance and satisfaction with current alternatives.
Studies on the VOC are generally conducted to understand the wants and needs of the customer in relation to that of the organization’s vision for the new initiative. The input is often used as key inputs for the new product’s definition, detailed specifications and quality function deployment. The studies usually consist of both quantitative and qualitative research approaches.
There are many ways to gather information such as conducting focus groups, making contextual inquiries and performing individual interviews, to name a few. However, these methods involve a series of in-depth interviews that are focused on getting the customer’s feedback on experiences regarding current products and services or alternatives within the same category. These statements are then extracted of meaning and organized into a suitable hierarchy that can be used by the organization.
What are Key Influencers?
A Key Influencer is an individual who uses their social status to promote a passion, business, product, or service. This new age and revamped marketer often imprints on the public to do or buy what they are paid to endorse.
The original form of influencer marketing began with celebrity endorsements, but in the digital age of online connection, everyday people have now become online “celebrities” with a powerful and engaged social media following. With the success of various influencer marketing strategies, company executives are beginning to understand just how vital high quality influencers can be in tapping into wider audiences, boosting sales, and encouraging engagement with content.
We would like to end this Blog with a question…
How can one use a Social Network Analysis to streamline collecting the Voice of the Customer by first identifying Key Influencers? And… Do you believe this is feasible and representative enough?