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Social Media Project Midpoint: Statistics and Lessons Learned

As we reach the midway point of our pilot program, the social media team has learned a great deal from our experiences in the social media realm.   Three months into our six month program, our account shows a substantial increase in customer interaction within the Twitter community, as more users are realizing that they can use the CA_DMV account as another channel for DMV customer service.  During the first month of the project, CA_DMV received an average of 11 direct mentions per week, mostly pertaining to complaints and comments on recent DMV experiences.  During the second month, we received an average of 23 direct mentions per week where customers began to respond to our tweets with specific inquiries related to their own personal DMV issues.  We have been able to assist customers with driver license and registration transactions by providing status updates and direct links to website resources.  This interaction between customer and DMV spread through the Twitter community, as users began to retweet our responses, informing other followers that CA_DMV could be used as a means to obtain information without calling the toll free telephone number or visiting a DMV field office.  Consequently, in the third month of the project, CA_DMV received 28 direct mentions per week and we anticipate that number will increase as our following grows. 

We are learning that increased engagement with twitter users also causes our following to grow, as users are finding increased value from the tweets we send and the responses we provide.  For example, the tweets below show how following DMV has provided additional benefit to customers:

Because of these and many other tweets, our Twitter following is gradually growing.  Currently we have 1,907 total Twitter followers which is an 18% increase since the start of the project. 

We also realize that it is important to reply to general mentions, which led to an increased following.  Most of these mentions occur between 8 A.M. and 12 P.M. and pertain to their DMV experience after a field office visit or DMV phone call.  Their concerns mainly deal with driver license and registration questions.  We constantly monitor DMV mentions in several search inquiries to ensure that we are able to “listen” for questions or comments and provide guidance to those who are mistaken or uninformed.  One prime example is the tweet below which led to the user to become a follower shortly after resolving their issue:

We at DMV hope this snowball effect of growth and interaction will continue to occur as we try to provide more informative and beneficial content to our Twitter community.  We will continue to do our best to provide assistance through our social media channels and, at the same time, continue to learn from our experiences to improve the way we use social media.  We believe that with any endeavor, changes can occur, thus we want to not only learn from our mistakes, but also adapt and evolve for the modern customer.  We at DMV are always open to comments and suggestions; hence, if there is anything you would like to add to this blog or any of our social media accounts, please send us a message or comment on our blog.

Welcome to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Blog

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Bernard Soriano Chief Information Officer

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is excited to announce that we will be embarking on a six month pilot project that broadens our use of social media as channel for customer communication.  Our use of social media tools will expand the way the DMV conducts business by providing new and delivering innovative ways of customer service.  Currently, we have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where customers can interact with the DMV.  They can post and tweet related inquiries, find information, obtain news and receive announcements.

You may ask, why the use of social media?  It’s simple. Our goal has always been to continually improve customer service.  Social media networks provide a medium where millions of DMV customer’s communicate on a daily basis and provide many benefits such as: new ways for customers to communicate with DMV, easier and faster methods to deliver messages to the public, and the ability to respond to customer feedback, comments and questions with a quicker response time.

During the course of this pilot project we will be collecting data to help evaluate whether social media offers any value to the customer and the department.  This blog will be the vehicle to share the data we collect and any anecdotal information and observations.  Therefore, please feel free to comment and make suggestions; we are eager to hear them.

We, at the DMV, look forward to this next step into social media.  The Department will first use Twitter as our main tool to communicate with the public through social media and, in the coming months, increase interaction with our customers through Facebook.   The possibilities of social media are endless and we will continue to look for creative ways to serve the public as we progress.

To follow the DMV on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/CA_DMV.  To become a fan of the DMV on Facebook, please visit our Facebook Homepage.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit www.dmv.ca.gov.