The system, based on Salesforce.com, is now able to bring together emails, SMS messages, letters, and notes from phone conversations – all in one place! In the past each one of these came into a different email inbox, or an individual mobile phone – it was a nightmare! This new approach will save us hours of manual data entry, help us get back to viewers faster and give us meaningful reports across all of our viewer communications. Our Audience Relations team will also be able to respond to emails and text messages from within the system as well.
We have implemented workflows to help us translate good viewer testimonials, to ensure that we send out the literature they request, and to make sure that we get back to viewers within a reasonable amount of time. We should even be able to send our junior viewers a birthday card on their birthday!
We are 3/5 of the way through the development phase and recently ran a workshop with some of our key users from most of the channels to give them some advanced training, to get their feedback, and to refine the work we had done so far in order to better meet their needs. It was a really great workshop and the team did an excellent job road-testing the system; without their input we are always in danger of producing what we think they want, not what they actually need. Over the 3 days we had a lot of fun and managed to get a lot done – with representatives from Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, the UK, and Northern Ireland it was bound to be entertaining!
The next two phases will link the system to our Facebook Fan Pages so that viewer comments on our wall will get brought into the system, and finally will prepare a number of reports that will help us better understand the impact our programs are having. It is an exciting time as we see the system come to life and begin to get a feel for how it will bring benefit to our viewers and to our programming teams.
Towards the end of Q1 2012 we will start migrating data from our 3 existing Audience Relations systems and begin rolling out training to our end user community. Soon after that we will go live with the system and begin using it for real!