Jola leads a team that is responsible for global social media listening and research for McDonald’s. This Q&A is an excerpt of Sprinklr’s webinar, AI for modern research.
What challenges were you trying to solve with Sprinklr’s artificial intelligence capabilities – Sprinklr Intuition?
It all started a little over a year ago, when our Chief Communications Officer Robert Gibbs – former White House Press Secretary under Obama – came to me and said he wants my team to develop a capability so that he and his exec team could have three things:
Lucky for us, Sprinklr had just rolled out Smart Alerts – an AI capability that automatically sends an email, SMS and dashboard notification when there is a rapid change in sentiment or rapid increase in number of mentions for a specific word or phrase.
How did you develop a process for setting up Mcdonald’s Smart Alerts?
Once we understood which alerts we needed and the people who needed the alerts, we then partnered with Sprinklr’s Managed Services team to build out a process for setting up Sprinklr Smart Alerts in each market. We had three requirements for the types of alerts we wanted:
We needed to make sure that the Sprinklr Smart Alerts managed all three of these types of anomalies.
How did you test the alerts?
When it came to testing, we assembled a small team in McDonald’s on the risk management side within corporate communications and turned on 10 topics. We started small. Every time there was an anomaly, the team would receive and rate whether that anomaly was relevant, and if they received the anomaly on a timely basis, which would determine whether the threshold we set was high enough. The anomaly could be relevant, but if too many alerts were received, the threshold might not be high enough.
After about a month we got excellent feedback from the team. We then scaled the alerts for a much larger team of internal stakeholders and created distribution lists so that not everyone received every alert. Right now we have over 450 Sprinklr Smart Alerts for McDonald’s that we’ve created in four different languages.
Can you describe a McDonald’s Smart Alert workflow?
We first capture the public conversation on social media – focusing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for Smart Alerts. Then, we classify the conversation based on keywords we detected. Next, Sprinklr’s AI determines if there is an anomaly based on the velocity of the conversation, volume of mentions and negative sentiment. Lastly, the Smart Alert gets distributed via Sprinklr dashboards, email, SMS and repository. The repository collects information on particular alerts and topics over time. We use it for diagnostics and to report out on the most impactful alerts.
What results did McDonald’s find in the beta phase of Sprinklr Smart Alerts?
The reaction from teams across McDonald’s was very positive. Our risk management team said the alerts were “timely and useful.” Our global policy team said “the alerts are very relevant.” And, our human rights team said, “this tool alerts me about the issues going viral.”
Can you talk about how Smart Alerts helped McDonald’s manage a crisis?
Here are just a couple of examples:
The first was in June 2019. A couple of young girls had signed a petition to stop the use of plastic toys in kids’ meals in the UK. That petition got some press and the girls were on a BBC show “The War on Plastic” on June 5th. We had already set up a Smart Alert covering the plastic toys conversation, and an alert was triggered right when the show appeared. The UK and US team received the alert within 35 minutes of the BBC program airing. As a result, our team was able to get the context needed to develop an appropriate press statement.
That was a great use of Smart Alerts, and it highlighted the fact that the functionality is truly usable across our markets.
The next example explains how our Chief Communications Officer Robert Gibbs uses Smart Alerts to monitor different conversations. In August 2019, Robert received an alert at 7:30 am that highlighted a post focused on the gender pay gap. Robert reached out to his corporate communications and public affairs team and asked them to monitor this topic to see if it was getting an increasing number of mentions. My team saw that it wasn’t going viral, so we issued a quick report for Robert via email with a visual dashboard showing Sprinklr data to explain that the post wasn’t going viral and no further action was needed.
How else are you using Sprinklr to monitor social conversations for crisis management?
In addition to Smart Alerts which are used by all management levels including non-data savvy employees, we also have Sprinklr dashboards that provide a deep-dive analysis opportunity for data analysts to dig into social conversations. The information from these dashboards is pulled into a report that shows all the viral social stories, news stories, proactive posts from McDonald’s and competitors – which is emailed through a McDonald’s daily briefing report. This allows everyone in the organization to have access to social trends. We also also have a large monitor using Sprinklr Display to highlight real-time news and viral conversations for our Chief Communications Officer.
How are you hoping to use Sprinklr to achieve McDonald’s business goals moving forward?
We are constantly pushing for the next thing. Our next goal is to create a new website for all our employees to access social conversations powered by Sprinklr Display wherever they are. We are also updating Smart Alerts on SMS and building specific thresholds for alerts that might need crisis mitigation.
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