social business strategy

Adam and Jeannie interview Alison Herzog, head of global social business strategy at Dell, about “deep listening” on a large scale.

About our guest

Alison Herzog heads global social business strategy at Dell. As part of her role, she recently led integration of all social business strategy and operations in the largest tech acquisition in history.

Alison has been featured as one of 50 influential women in digital marketing twice by TopRank, featured by the American Marketing Association, LinkedIn, and most recently celebrated as one of 7 women shaping digital marketing by IBM. She is passionate about doing what is right, by the customer, and the people she works with, and focuses on data and deep listening to guide her actions and results.

Connect with Alison

Mastering the art of “deep listening” in social business

One of the most important elements to designing experiences is listening to customers. That sounds simple enough, but it’s easy to assume we understand what they’re trying to tell us when we really don’t!

Our customers’ true intentions and the emotions behind them can be grossly misunderstood by humans and machines alike. So what happens when customers engage on so many channels that we need algorithms to sort it all out for us?

To engage in meaningful ways, a socially active business needs more that the right software, qualified staff or a willingness to listen. Today’s guest, Alison Herzog, knows what it takes to connect all these things to a culture of “deep listening.”

Alison gives us great insight and real-life examples of how Dell balances technology, data, and real-life human interaction to bring listening to a higher level.

With more than 145,000 employees, Dell serves customers in a vast range of B2B and B2C products and services. But they’ve achieved a culture where deep and empathetic listening are not just practiced, but a part of the DNA.

You can “hear the smile in [Alison’s] voice,” as Jeannie puts it, while she shares Dell’s amazing approach. If a company as large as Dell can win at social intelligence, you can too!

Interview highlights

  • What’s it like leading the global social business strategy for a large company like Dell? [1:45]
  • Alison explains how she puts her ethos of “doing right by customers” into day-to-day operations. [3:50]
  • How do the restrictions that come with multi-channel engagement affect the ability to listen deeply to customers? [8:20]
  • Alison explains how Dell listens in ways that help them better understand customers who straddle multiple segments, products, services and channels. [12:05]
  • How does a company as diverse and far-reaching as Dell embed a universal ethic for social intelligence into their culture? [16:30]

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