Contenders stand a great chance of leadership if they can get the budget in order. They are those companies with freedom, agility, and no end to innovative ideas but for whom investment is a limiting factor. They achieve impressive results but only on a small scale. These are typically smaller companies in lesser regulated industries with a handful of gung-ho internal social champions, but where social care lacks the executive direction that it needs.

Let’s explore the challenges that Contenders face.

How Contenders can benefit from becoming more socially maturity:

  • Provides a clear competitive advantage in the marketplace
  • It’s more cost effective than investing in legacy technology
  • Allows for more effective team management and control

Here’s the Social Maturity Index once more:


The 3 characteristics of contenders:

  • Ambitious agents but no scale

Agents at Contenders are typically forward-thinking, scrappy, and effective on social. Their managers and direct leadership understand the power of social and permit them to show personality, build rapport, and provide support that prioritizes resolution over processes. At the same time, they are understaffed, under-supported, and are often burdened by long to-do lists and easily overwhelmed when call volumes spike.

  • Visionary policy limited by budget

Contenders find risk-taking easy, but securing recognition for their policies difficult. Direct management has likely adopted many #SocialFirst policies and worked hard to define their social guidelines and perhaps even created a social care playbook. Many have even mapped out the next few years and have a plan ready to go if and when they attain investment. Yet budget is often allocated elsewhere, to sales and marketing initiatives for which there is a demonstrable ROI.

  • Innovative technology but lack of budget

Contenders are ready to invest in innovative technology but lack permission or resources to do so. Some have a social care solution in place but lack the headcount to make it effective. Others are chafing under the marketing team’s control of a shared, all-in-one social tool which lacks functionality and forces them to track social care specific metrics offline in Excel. It is likely that they’ve heavily researched the vendors in the space and have earmarked their favorites for when the time comes.

How Contenders can accelerate their evolution into leaders:

The key for Contenders is to quantify their impressive but limited results in order to catch executive attention and secure budget. They already have everything else in place, including the strategy, the vision, and the knowledge; they just need the keys to the car. Here are three ways that customer care organizations can make that case:

Make the case based on ROI

Contenders must articulate the ROI of social care to their leadership, and there’s a lot to be said for itscost-saving potential. Research byForrester in partnership with Conversocial found that companies saw a 272 percent ROI within three months of purchase and some customers found that social care solutions actually made them money. Happy customers purchased more and made more repeat purchases. Contender champions must accumulate this data for themselves which is no small feat without the appropriate measurement tools.

Make the case based on social imperative

Social support is the way of the future and Contender champions can help their executive teams glimpse this. Already, one in six online minutes is spent on Facebook, customer service interactionshave increased 250 percent on Twitter in recent years, and 76 percent of customers demand support on social media. At the same time, phone support is both more expensive (social care is 63% cheaper) and less effective: over one third of customers named it as the most annoying form of customer service in aConversocial survey. Brands who want to future-proof their customer support do well to invest more heavily.

Secure buy-in from an executive champion

If you’re having trouble and getting nowhere fast, seek out one executive champion. This should be someone who’s invested in the long-term vision of the company and interested in finding competitive advantages and new ways forward. Approach them with a meeting where you outline the leadership potential of social care: customers who have their social media problems answered are 25 percent more likelyto advocate for you and become long-term, loyal customers. Improving loyalty and advocacy can help you cement your legacies at your business.

Those Contender champions who are able make the case for increased social care investment will unlock the doors to full social maturity leadership. But, the journey still doesn’t end there—the challenges faced by Leaders are even steeper and the rewards more extreme. To start your social journey today get in contact with Conversocial here.