Former Program Manager, Social Media and eCare, AT&T
Chris Norton had a broad and varied career at AT&T, including supporting the supply chain, sales, and customer care for Business Mobility as well as the company’s Social Media and Digital Care environment. In January 2012, he became the lead for Military, Veteran, and Military Family Talent Attraction.
In his final AT&T role, he was responsible for attracting human capital from the military community and setting the conditions for them to be successful applicants and join the AT&T team.
On the Web 2.0 front, many companies, AT&T included, launched B2C campaigns fairly early in the social media era. But when it comes to social media efforts aimed at the enterprise, the rollout rates pale in comparison to the number of B2C efforts. “There’s no one from the standpoint of enterprise care to say, ‘That’s the road ahead,’” explains Norton,
In a pre-Web 2.0 world, the aim of customer relationship management (CRM) was to control and manage customer relationships. But with the advent of social media, CRM has morphed into something akin to CRE—customer relationship engagement, says Norton. “Things have shifted dramatically,” he adds. One of Norton’s tasks was to integrate AT&T’s existing enterprise customer relationship tools with an ever-evolving slate of social media tools—chat, community forums, email, social media sites, blogs, and so forth. “If we’re not influencing the conversation, learning from it and reacting to it to provide better products and services, we’re missing the boat,” says Norton.
Enterprise customers can still call AT&T directly when problems arise, but more and more business customers are utilizing search engines and community forums to find answers. Norton’s goal was for AT&T to be proactive: if business customers search the Internet for answers, they should find AT&T-produced content with useful, up-to-date information about products and services. If done well, the end result will be efficiency gains for enterprise customers and AT&T alike. In one instance, AT&T added eCare avatars to a customer portal. Doing so increased customer response rates and led to a 20 percent boost in customer satisfaction.
A Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Norton was a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and a Bronze Star Medal recipient. One of the many things Norton has learned from his time in the military is that “not all tasks are created equally”—that the ability to prioritize is key in terms of engaging and motivating a team.
In his spare time, Norton, who lives in New Jersey with his wife and young daughter, helps out with his wife’s jewelry business. “I have a garage full of rocks,” he says. Norton is a lapidary—an artisan who cuts and polishes gemstones for setting in his wife’s pieces.