In Part 1 of this series, The First Mile: The Broken Link of Social Media Customer Service, we reviewed the opportunities and challenges that face any business seeking to engage customers in social networks. To become customer-centric requires a culture that supports customer-centricity and an active investment in defining the first mile experience.
No matter how you define it, engagement is something that we most likely underestimate. Engagement symbolizes the touches that occur in various moments of truth and this should completely change not only how you engage someone in each moment but also how the inside of your company works with one another to make it frictionless and experiential.
Over the years, businesses have developed sales, marketing and service strategies around the funnel. Awareness, interest, desire, action, to this day, describes the likely steps a customer may take in making a decision. Over the years, it was assumed that the liner path would also continue through a transaction to a state of loyalty and ultimately advocacy. The process of customer engagement to this day is designed to shepherd people along this delicate path. For at any moment, consumer attention, interest, and resulting action could fall astray without superintendence.
One of the highlights of SXSW Interactive this year was Dr. Shaquille O’Neal (did you know he had a doctorate degree?). He joined me on stage at the Long Center for Performing Arts to a theater packed with adoring fans. Before we took the stage, we spent some time to shoot a special episode of Revolution.
Jeff Ashcroft (@JeffAshcroft) along with @TheSocialCMO host the popular #MMchat (Marketer Monday) every week at 8 p.m. eastern on Twitter. It’s a rapid fire exchange not only between the organizer and the guest but also everyone following along #MMchat. It certainly makes for exciting dialog in real-time and also later when the full transcript is published. I recently joined them to discuss the future of business and why now is the time to become the hero in your hero’s journey. I’ve recreated our exchange (each in 140 characters or less) for you here…
Today’s leading companies are already becoming obsolete. Fortunately or unfortunately, they won’t know until it’s too late. In 10 years, 40% of the Fortune 500 was replaced. Irrelevance is only accelerating. It’s Digital Darwinism out here. #AdaptorDie!
Ignorance is bliss, until it’s not.
Technology…social, mobile, real-time, it’s changing the world. Customers are evolving into something new. They’re more connected, empowered, and demanding.
In a post Occupy world, organizations everywhere should contemplate the themes that flooded the undercurrent of one of the greatest consumer uprisings in recent history. Even though some minimize the rise of Occupy as a rebellion without a cause, I believe there’s much to learn from these events to prevent them from happening again…or at least to you.
Social media represents a new frontier in customer engagement. Not only can companies participate in conversations, a dizzying array of tools now help them listen to conversations as well. This isn’t news though. Everyone understands the importance of social media in business right? We all know that customers are demanding that businesses use social media to listen to ideas, engage them in conversations, and also solve their problems when in need. As I’ve often said, the best listeners often make the most engaging conversationalists.
If you follow my work, you’ve probably learned that I’m becoming increasingly fond of web video. As an author, I am fascinated by the different channels and new media opportunities that have been thrust upon the world of book marketing. Over the years, I often considered how to create book-related videos that provided viewers with something beyond a traditional promo or standard author introduction. While important, they weren’t necessarily conducive for social sharing.
I often share my thoughts to help global brands and enterprise organizations. But with this article, I would like to talk to the broader group of business professionals without reference to the size and shape of your company. Here and in many other media outlets, networks, and blogs around the web, social media is one of the most prevalent subjects in business today. While advice is everywhere, advice is becoming a commodity. Insight however, is precious.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.