I’ve been following the development of leaderboards for awhile now, and have recently, on the back of a Leaderboarded/PeerIndex campaign, set up a UK Social Customer Care leaderboard featuring a variety of household UK brands across a number of different sectors. Although my choice of companies are random (or at least taken from a Twitter list I created a couple of years ago), I have tried only to choose those companies which offer a dedicated Twitter customer service account, rather than one that adopts a broadcast or hybrid approach (marketing, customer service, sales all rolled into one). Whilst the leaderboard, in this instance, uses PeerIndex to drive it, my interest is less around what data is used to drive it, and more around the implications of a leaderboard itself. Subsequent posts might address the different types of data leaderboards can use to drive them.

UK Social Customer Care leaderboard

UK Social Customer Care leaderboard

So here’s a few initial thoughts on leaderboards:

Anyone can create a leaderboard. What this means is that anybody ie. any customer with a few moments to spare can create a leaderboard (using a platform like leaderboarded.com) and feed any data they want into it, whether that is PeerIndex, Twitter hashtags, Twitter activity (Tweets, RTs), LinkedIn activity, blog activity (posts, comments etc), as well as traditional crm, sales or customer service data .

As a customer, I can create a leaderboard based on a combination of the Twitter activity of the brands that I commonly engage with, together with one of the social influence scores (PeerIndex, Klout or Kred) for example. The corollary to this is that I could equally create a leaderboard based on the hashtag #fail+[company name].

The fact that I can do this so quickly has implications around the fact that I could quickly set up a leaderboard for example as part of a research or pre-purchase phase when deciding which product to purchase.

On an individual level, I could use a leaderboard to track my and my network’s social activity over time or for a specific event. I could equally use it to track a sports team I support, as well as their competitors.

Leaderboards could be used to publicly (or privately) track how customer service agents were performing based on criteria that was both transparent and open. Indeed the criteria or data used could be different for each agent, but weighted to ensure a level playing field. In this way, an agent could directly link their action to their performance, and the result of it tracked moments later.

Social customer care teams could also create a Leaderboard of all their influencers (advocates and detractors), and start to understand their influence or activity over a period of time based on how much they Tweet or get Retweeted for example. They could go further and weight the different data points, so that an RT might be worth more than a Tweet for example. A leaderboard could be set-up of known detractors to track their activity on Twitter or other channels. But equally a leaderboard could be used to track advocates combining social data points and purchase history for example, to understand the value an influencer brings to a company and how their activity compares to other known influencers.

Leaderboards could be used to indicate (or perhaps even validate) a company’s or a group of companies social activity and used to understand how active (or not) they are; in turn it might be used as a proxy for how socially engaged they profess to be.

If I was looking to buy a smartphone I could set up a leaderboard of the telco companies using Twitter I was interested in and track their activities. Fortunately, most telco companies have set-up a dedicated Twitter customer service account. I could track these dedicated accounts for a period of time to see how active and responsive they were to customers and this could be used as a proxy to understand the quality of their customer service: what are some of the issues they face, how responsive they are to their customers, their tone of voice etc.

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With regards to the UK Social Customer Care leaderboard I have created, what’s of interest to me is that ultimately I can create the leaderboard. I can choose which companies I wish to track. I set the criteria that is important to me. The leaderboard is specific to me. I understand the context in which it is created. It is meaningful and relevant to me. It is not some company telling me or broadcasting at me their official figures that 98% of their customers are satisfied with their service.

I’ve only touched on a few possible uses for leaderboards here, and I’ll be continuing to explore how I can apply different data points to the UK Social Customer Care leaderboard such as Twitter activity. If you are interested to read more then please read the following post by Toby Beresford, Founder of Leaderboarded – Why we love building lists and why an influencer list matters.

Please note that I sit on the Advisory Board for Leaderboarded.com, in a non-fee-paying capacity.

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