It is becoming apparent that business leaders simply don’t understand the dynamics of social networks and the significant business opportunities to reinforce ones brand, engage in conversations with customers, learn, share and build loyalty.
Then again given the history of many corporations failure to effectively engage in conversations with their customers one can understand why they don’t comprehend the value of building relationships.
Reflect for a minute the last time you called the infamous “customer support line” for your mobile carrier, your bank and the host of other businesses you rely on both personally and professionally. The experience is abysmal to say the least and antagonistic towards building real lasting relations.
Read on………and we’ll prove our point! Please forgive the sarcasm, in red text, but we couldn’t believe what we were reading in the report below…
Earlier this year The Economist released an Intelligence report titled “Beyond loyalty Meeting the Challenge of Customer Engagement” The report states “Only connect,” advised the English novelist E.M. Forster. While Forster was speaking about interpersonal relationships, today his counsel may apply just as well to companies and their customers.
As the business world evolves with ever-increasing rapidity, through changes in customers’ needs on one side and changes in vendors’ operational abilities and product offerings on the other, cultivating and preserving a solid connection with the customer (do you really think so?} may well (just maybe?) become an important way for companies and government agencies to define their mission”.
“A key “best practice” to remember is to keep the corporate agenda focused on engagement. Customer relationship initiatives generally tend to centre on specific tools and tactics; rarely, if ever, is customer engagement a strategic priority (problem #1). Our survey found that although executives are optimistic about the prospect of engagement initiatives, they note that in the past such initiatives have been frequently pushed aside by other concerns (Like what, a new spin that tells customers how great your products are?).
Nearly 43% of survey respondents say that customer engagement efforts are often sidetracked by competing strategic priorities . This will continue to be the case unless engagement takes its place alongside overall corporate goals and strategies.” (so in others words customer decisions to buy your products and services is not the top priority?)
” By rolling out better tools for cultivating engagement, then setting up clear goals and sufficient benchmarks for measuring and monitoring the effectiveness of those tools in strengthening the relationship, companies should be better positioned to help their customers today—and anticipate how they will want to be helped tomorrow.” (Now I am really perplexed, why would you want to help me if my satisfaction is not one of your top priorities?)
The report highlights four things companies should do to improve customer engagement and brand loyalty which are:
1. Know your customer’s needs. (We’d be happy to tell you if you’ll listen and let us through automated response system!)
2. Set clear goals regarding the level of engagement desired. (Does this mean you don’t want to get too close to customers?)
3. Make things familiar—but better. (How about getting familiar with us?)
4. Invest in systems integration technology. (Have you heard of the social web? It is about conversations and relationships)
The Economist is a very well established publications within global business segments. There is even an “Economist Group” on Facebook. The report sighted above was sponsored by Adobe Systems, an established brand in the software industry. The interviews reflected within the report were done with top business leaders from the Fortune 500 global businesses.
So are we missing something or are they missing something? If we’re right then send this post to every executive you know and see how they respond. Share this with friends and business associates who use the social web. Ask them “What say you?”.
Could we, individually, share this conversation and get opinions from millions of people? Maybe the noise of a “swarm” just might, I emphasize might, be heard and just maybe the customers voice could be heard, just maybe.
If you do share this please send me any feedback you get and I’ll ensure that collectively it gets published in a main street media publication.
What say you?