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Stop MANAGING your customers and start ENGAGING them!
Posted on May 10th 2012
Companies are struggling with how to approach their customers in social media. The available technology is often narrowly focused and companies are intimidated by the fact that they need to stitch several technologies together in order to bridge the gap between traditional CRM and the tsunami of feedback data available in social media.
Social Media Experimentation
Many companies are being dragged into their social media engagement experiments (experimentation is the best description of most initiatives to date) by a fear of getting left behind in the rapidly changing social media landscape. This fear is strengthened by predictions such as Gartner’s prophecy that by 2014, refusing to communicate with customers via social channels will be as harmful as ignoring emails or phone calls are today.
But fear for getting stuck in a traditional CRM domain should not be the motivation. Social media and Social CRM technologies can now enable companies to proactively engage with their customers in a way that can completely redefine the traditional customer relationship. There is a huge upside here, waiting for the pioneers who realize its value. Somewhat simplified you can say that the outcomes in this “Age of the Customer” is binary: a truly social enterprise will be rewarded handsomely by its customers who will become evangelists, whereas an inability or lack of willingness to engage with customers using Social CRM will be heavily penalized. In the Experience Economy, customers expect more, they will tell more, and they will switch more.
Bridging the Gap
In QuestBack we are bridging the gap between traditional CRM and social media with a Social Engagement Platform that turns feedback in social media into dialogues and into real business processes. The key is to capture more knowledge about this customer’s relevance for your company and channel customers to another, more relevant, arena for engagement – e.g a Peer-to-Peer Community. (More information about this on www.questback.com)
Loyalty → Advocacy → Evangelism
When done in a well timed and well structured way, this creates considerable value for the customer who rewards the company with loyalty. Over time, consistent experiences like this will turn loyalty into advocacy, and advocacy into evangelism.
A great example of this kind of approach is one of the largest CPG manufacturers in the US, who is a QuestBack customer. Through a well planned and executed approach, this company has created a vibrant community for brand evangelists who can share their thoughts and experiences. The list of benefits for the company is long, but the most important RoI is that the approach has resulted in some of the most successful product launches in the history of the company.
By helping our customers truly engage with their stakeholders we will help them become the winners of the experience economy.