MAD Perspectives Blog

The Social Web - Empowering Customers

Peggy Dau - Monday, October 04, 2010

Last week, Nigel Fenwick, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester spoke in a joint Forrester/ NewsGator webinar.  The topic was Boosting IT Productivity with Social Technologies.  However, Nigel validated several thoughts that had been bouncing around in my brain. He speaks about the influence and shifts in mobile devices, social technologies, pervasive video and cloud computing.  Each of these converge to enable a more intelligent and influential customer, the empowered customer. I have been thinking about the shift from a focus on customer satisfaction to customer experience and how this has changed, dramatically, with the usage of social platforms.  While I often talk to clients about employee empowerment to use and leverage social technologies, I had not thought about the flip side – that of empowered customers.

Thanks to the social web, customers have access to more information than ever.  It is not just information developed and distributed by various corporate marketing teams.  It is information from individual employees, customers, business partners, competitors, supply chain vendors and anyone else who may interact with that company, its products or employees.  The online customer support forums of the early millennium have evolved to include live online discussions (by text or VoIP) with support staff and interactive chats with fellow customers.  If we are not satisfied with the support we receive, we tweet or Facebook immediately – and usually get some kind of attention from the company’s support team.

Thanks to the social web, prospective buyers can research, investigate and analyze products, services, reputations, ethics, roadmaps and competitors.  They come to you, the vendor providing their product or service of choice, armed with intelligent questions.  They are ready to make decision, but have perspectives based on the information that have gathered and interpreted.  These perspectives will influence their discussion with you (and others!) regarding features, functionality, delivery and pricing.

Thanks to the social web, your company and its employees can also be empowered. Your employees can access the same information as your customers.  As mentioned by Nigel in the aforementioned webinar, they use social technologies to get ideas for their job, to research key topics, to collaborate externally to solve a problem.  Your company may say that they already provide them with the tools to collaborate and investigate.  If they do, this is great, but are they using the tools and the platforms that your customers are accessing?  Can you as an employee gather the same kind of insights so that you can understand the customer’s perspective? Tthe ability for employees to understand a customer's motivation can only help them represent the company to its greatest advantage.

Companies used to control the message.  Subsequently the need for employees to participate and monitor online activities was limited to specific initiatives (i.e., customer support).  However, the social web has changed how information is shared.  It is still shared on websites, but customers are seeking authentic insights and finding them via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn Groups, Slide Share, and Scribd.  If your company is just getting started with social technologies, empower your employees to learn in the same fashion as your already empowered customers.

What’s your perspective?




RSS


Recent Posts


Tags

enterprise GetGlue printing network management blog Quantum Comcast control employee generated content EGC Facebook Fan Media Engagement Center solutions B2B marketing Never.no endorsements BuddyTV tablet content marketing honesty Tellybug resources New York Times Miso culture stimulate Utterli viggle sales CMO broadcast, IBC, digital media, community connected TV tweetdeck broadcast TV productivity Gizmodo connect NASCAR Aereo TV real-time employees case study microblogging, firewall, value, Yammer, Utterli, SocialText, SocialCast, Present.ly storytelling policy Aspera recommendations Enterprise 2.0 ROI webinar message company culture Mad Bear Produionsct Salesforce.com social intelligence Nigel Fenwick relationships Yammer creative Mad Bear Productions communication rich media TVPlus Social TV trackur advertising analytics marshall mcluhan Ford Fiesta business development social media monitoring Peggy Dau TNT Microsoft CSP snow Viacom content management firewall TBS SocialText connected awareness Web Strategy live streaming apps Pinterest organizations identity brand social media North Plains social networking authenticity marketing Gartner Nielsen truth CDN social data social Apple Twitter YouTube cloud computing engagement UGC Vizrt Ford Collective Intellect privacy RSG Media mobile planning Netflix influence content delivery alignment Compuware customer support Whisky NBA Adobe IBC business plan telepresence social media index Virage MediaBin user generated content discovery social media marketing TV Guide out-of-home streaming listen webcasts benefits Createasphere program guide Skype web 2.0 revenue human monitor New Technologies market awareness CIO awareness social computing conversation NetBase Evolve24 Citrix, trust BT Conferencing lessons cross channel SEC Dijit language monetize social identity holidays Cotendo MagicRuby audience microblogging passion Buddy TV big data hootsuite Time Warner Cable context social media plan MarketingProfs customer service business intelligence Radian6 innovate ABC personality MassRelevance second screen DAM MIB MediaWorks value openness Harris disclaimers business model Harmonic LinkedIn NAB connectivity backchannel consulting lead generation connect, collaborate, communicate, digital media, consulting, social media cloud expectations Altimeter digital marketing executive support B2B video marketing Vitrue social media, firewall, social computing, employees, connect Mark Brodie network slideshare strategy ePrint Center EMC IntoNow brand strategy content Jeremiah Owyang zeebox video conferencing Kontangent online video platform Sysomos Echo streaming media video search Kit Digital media Fiesta workflow HP Autonomy authenticity, transparency, conversation, truth, honesty Attensity360 align OTT net neutrality MAD perspectives empower inspriation Kontiki NewsGator communicate HP data digital asset management governance convesation, interaction, social media, rich media, video, medium networking FCC Intel convergence technology news gathering Taylor O'Brien corporate identity transparency Video Box Score Boston HDS ConnecTV trust SocialCast voice of customer Present.ly business goals Forrester dog Visible Technologies collaborate adapt Verizon Forbidden Technologies Oracle digital media leadership Chyron Buddy Media customer planning, analysis interaction


Archive