According to Tim Rondeau, senior director of customer service at Activision, which publishes the Call of Duty series: “Social customer service is the new marketing.”
“Customer service is now viewed as an opportunity by the marketing group because as a support function it can be used as part of the planning process,” he told Marketing Week at Dreamforce in San Francisco.
“Although marketing is still a parallel function, as an ecosystem we’re much closer and we work far more collaboratively since moving into the social space two years ago.”
Working with Salesforce, Activision has created customer care communities around each of its games. Since doing so 85 per cent of all problems are now solved by the customer as it has been able to make content more relevant, and of the live conversations the business has, 51 per cent are via social media. This compares to 2011 when 45 per cent of queries were dealt with by the customer care team and all communication was done over the phone.
In order to understand what impact these interactions were having from a marketing perspective, Activision analysed negative Twitter activity around the launch of the last Call of Duty game in November 2013.
“After we helped these people Twitter interactions increased and there was a higher positive sentiment so their relationship to the game improved,” he says.
During the three months after conversations took place with customers Activision recorded a 7 per cent increase in positive share of voice, there was a 188 per cent rise in the number of positive mentions and a 94 per cent boost in conversation volume.
“This is the first time we’ve looked at it in relation to marketing KPIs so we’re able to track customer service interventions and how it is impacting what would traditionally be a marketing KPI,” he adds.
Activision is now looking at how it can operationalise this data ahead of the launch of the new game.