By adaptive - May 14th, 2013

As Managing Director of FedEx TechConnect for the Western Region, Sauerwein oversees eight customer contact centers including reps working remotely from home and over 1,300 employees.

[Q] Can you outline how you use social media within your organization? 

[A] We are in constant flux. There is no singular use for social. Like so many of our counterparts (peers?) within social, our presence in social began as a marketing initiative. It soon became apparent that it was actually a new frontier offering potential reward and would require input from nearly all facets of the enterprise. Marketing, advertising, communications and customer service own the enterprise voice.


[Q] How is social media organized within your company? What organizational models do you use and why? 

[A] We use the  “Coordinated Interaction Model” which is collaboration between departments– Customer Care, Public Relations, Marketing, Sales and our various OPCOS all own pieces of the overall plan at FedEx.

Stakeholders from all over the enterprise are engaged and own a piece of social to make up the social machine we hope to become one day. Like our business model, operate Independently – compete collectively, each stakeholder has their role and responsibility and owns it. The beauty of our model is we collaborate to make the best decisions and dedicate the most logical resources to whatever we encounter and endeavour to accomplish in social.


[Q] As a corporate user of social networks, how does your company value the networks it has a presence on?

[A] We have seen firsthand how Twitter helped arrest our traditional call volume on a day we experienced a significant delay in scan posting and how Facebook allowed us to gain a new customer who later won our $25,000 small business grant which developed into a mutually beneficial relationship.


[Q] Can you outline a recent initiative that included a social media component?  

[A] The Enchanted Forest – At its core, the FedEx Enchanted online extension taps into the belief that in order to be a great company, you have to be a good company…In collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation, FedEx will support an environmental cause through a social media initiative.

Every unique visitor that plants a virtual tree will result in FedEx donating one tree to the Arbor Day Foundation (with a maximum of 100,000 real trees planted). The application extends the enchanted message online and aims to engage FedEx Facebook fans through a unique, fun and sharable experience.  The application has increased the FedEx Facebook fan base and ultimately helps support the Arbor Day Foundation through the planting of real tress.

[Q] How much pressure is there to show ROI with the social media you use? 

[A] The good news is we are realizing benefits from our presence beyond what dollars and sense (pun intended) can measure!

Through effective campaigns and outreach we have learned that ROI can be measured in many ways. Our Marketing group has seen excellent response and recognition for initiatives such as Small Business Saturday.

Our Customer Service Organization mines for actionable posts that more often than not result in turning an at risk customer becoming completely satisfied! No one can put a value on the positive comments and PR we receive in the public domain!  We have also enjoyed the accolade and experience of being published. The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide by Marsha Collier and Emily Yellin’s, Your Call is Not That Important To Us.

[Q] How did your organization approach the mapping of your enterprise to identify where social media should reside in the corporate structure? And how this would deliver an integrated approach to social media activity? 

[A] We knew early on that collaboration would be key, every group being responsible for their area of expertise. No one group owns it entirely. The main thing is we have never stopped learning how to make the experience better be it for our customers, our campaigns and for enhancing our brand.  


[Q] What is your advice to organizations that are beginning to map their own corporate structure with the view to embedding social media activity within their enterprise? 

[A] Listen, respond, Interact in that order. Start out slow and do not expect to solve the world’s problems (or your own) at the onset. Never ever embellish or guess. If you don’t know the answer, find out! Represent your brand, and protect it!  I would also recommend reading ‘How Companies Are Supporting The Connected Consumer, the 2012 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study’ by Dr. Natalie Petouhoff. []


[Q] How do you see the management and development of social media in your company evolving over the next few years?

[A] Evolution will always be a part of our culture. We are so fortunate to have a group of forward thinking individuals and groups within our organization who are willing to try new things and new ways of doing things. We hope that in some small way we may also be influencing and leading some of the development.

Next Reads

The Social Media for Customer Service Summit 2013

October 2013, New York

How you can leverage social media for a more effective customer service function and better customer insight

Brochure Programme
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