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Creating Customer Engaging Experiences

Creating a business social network platform through which it can become easier to empower the customers through different mediums will also drive customer engagement

Photo Credit : Subhabrata Das

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Customers have always been the compass of how successful businesses operate. But, understanding the customer is not as easy as it seems. Developing a deep, ingrained understanding of what their needs are, lies at the heart of innovation. In this digital era, the ways are changing how people communicate, make decisions and work towards creating winning new products and marketing them well to target customers. Imagine if this can be done in a more collaborative way where an enterprise can turn every customer interaction into new ways to differentiate experience and deliver value. Not only will this help in enhancing collaboration within the organizations but also with their customers.

Customers now have a considerable influence on their enterprises. Therefore the business today can't afford to be just consumer centric but also "customer activated". This requires creating a reciprocal relationship with the customers which can be possible only when they are included in the key decisions of the organization. Social, in its basic form, is a path to understanding your customers, ongoing communication and being in a relationship with your customers, making the experience more meaningful to them. Social, mobile, big data, cloud, and other inherently digital technologies have changed how buyers expect to interact with brands. Prospects and customers want to get what they want, in their immediate context, at their moments of need, from any device they choose. Firms that turn the real-time conversations streaming from these sources into insight can better create new products, solve problems or meet other urgent customer demands. This, right now, is one of the biggest challenges that the enterprises are facing - how they can fit in social into their marketing mix.

Despite the popularity of online channels and interactive technologies like video and message sharing, most customer communication still happens face-to-face, over the phone, or through email. While these technologies are familiar and comfortable, they fall woefully short in their ability to broadly share insights and drive broader collaboration. Empowered customers want to talk about their experiences with the brands, products or the services. To achieve the demand trends companies need to better leverage data, technology, and processes to help employees interpret the customer's context - and act on the insights coming from those interactions - to deliver differentiated service and experiences. CEO's want customer influence to grow most in business strategy development.

While the desired outcome is ambitious - a more competent customer engagement model that helps every employee use the voice of the customer to guide business decisions every day- the result will be differentiated customer experiences delivering long-term value. The enterprises can also meet the demand trends of the customers by identifying their problems through social solutions like social content, social analytics, social media etc. The customers tend to respond faster and the enterprises can also improve their self-services basis the feedback they receive. Fostering a technology that can turn customer information into insights, which the employees can readily act on, can be beneficial.

There is a rise in usage of social technologies and the impact it's having on businesses. Among companies that have started to embrace this shift, the correlation of social adoption and business success is becoming increasingly clear. It is important to create a smarter employee-base that targets right information to the right people at various touchpoints. Having a social business strategy in place can lead to enterprises driving innovation much faster, with high quality insights, catapulting the overall company growth.

Social business solutions can enable the users to quickly find and focus on the content that is the most relevant. This will also help to create greater collaboration, both in-house as well as with clients. Creating a business social network platform through which it can become easier to empower the customers through different mediums will also drive customer engagement. Eventually, employees can gather better ideas which can be used in improving the services. Thus, extending the technology and bringing the customers and partners into conversation. There are now consistently reported benefits of the social solutions provided to the enterprises. It is important to focus on the areas that strategically drives forward value in the organization and using these social tools in improving to come up with better solutions. It is just not about the technology that you offer but it is also about how well you build the relationships with your customers. This is what makes your organization stand apart.

Scott Hammerle rightly said, "People don't follow you because you are nice, they follow you because they believe the place you are taking them is better than the place they are."

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Prashant Bhatkal

The author is Business Unit Executive, IBM Social Business

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