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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Customer Experience

In spite of early skepticism about the business value of online communities their popularity and adoption has been growing significantly in recent years.  Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest have been leading the way as digital technologies continue to transform our lives and businesses.  Today, digital business is an imperative and organizations without a digital transformation strategy in place are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their digitally savvy counterparts.

 

One of the key manifestations of the new digital reality is the way organizations engage, communicate with, and extend relationships with their customers, suppliers, partners and employees.   Increasingly organizations are moving away from one-way, portal-centric interactions and conversations to more socially engaging alternatives that facilitate brand advocacy and peer-to-peer collaboration to achieve business outcomes.

 

 

Research from a variety of industry watchers such as Gartner Group and IDC shows that customers trust the opinions of other customers more than company sources or even industry opinion-leaders. Harnessing this power of people, with common interests connecting and engaging through customer and/or product reviews, word-of-mouth referrals and problem solving, can be a powerful force for companies.

 

Although early use cases and the return of investment for online communities centered primarily around customer service, the proliferation of digital technologies has led to the emergence of other viable use cases with robust value propositions, and most notably a customer engagement use case.  

 

Recent data from Perficient, a Salesforce.com cloud alliance partner, shows that clients who have implemented online communities are achieving a 48% increase in employee engagement, a 45%  increase in customer satisfaction, and a 43% increase in partner sales.  As a result of 48% faster case resolution, Perficient clients also continue to see substantial benefits from their customer service and support use case.

 

While companies should have a presence on the open social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, owned online communities provide more control and flexibility for engaging with customers, partners, employees and other target audiences aligned with organizational and brand strategy and objectives.  These branded, and typically closed or private communities, put the power of social communication and collaboration under your control, helping you compete more effectively in today's competitive marketplace.

 

If you are  ready to embrace online communities as the next big engagement opportunity for your business, or interested in learning more about the value and benefits of online communities, we would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your specific needs and share our thoughts as to next steps in your digital customer engagement journey. 

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Digital business is a hot topic and nearly every week several new reports or white papers on this subject become available from various sources.  It can be challenging to sift through this information overload to discern what's real, relevant and actionable to help guide our business decision-making.   

 

One of the more authoritative sources of information about this topic is the annual Digital Trends report, a collaboration between Adobe and Econsultancy.  This fourth annual Digital Trends 2015 Report focuses on practices and trends that are, as the authors state, "attainable in the here and now."  Based on a record number of about 6,300 B2B and B2C business professionals around the globe, the report not only provides a prospective view of what's ahead for 2015, but also compares last year's expectations against the realities of what actually occurred during 2014.

 

One of the most important highlights of the report is the growing emphasis placed on the Customer Experience as a key business priority for many organizations.  Although the authors acknowledge that areas such as data-driven business, personalization, mobile, social and cross-channel marketing are considered as critical for business success, it is the focus on the Customer Experience (CX) that stands out as increasingly crucial for not only competitive differentiation but also for "survival in an unforgiving business world."

                    Source:  Econsultancy/Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing - n=2,543

 

As shown in the previous table the customer experience ranks first as a key differentiator among client-side organizations with a growing margin (22% versus 20%) over other opportunities.  The authors point out that realization of an optimal customer experience in a consistent manner across multiple channels remains a challenge for many companies and emphasize the importance of not only "bringing together data sets, technological infrastructures and operations," but also the need for a customer focused culture.

 

Other key highlights if the report include the growing importance of targeting and personalization as well as content marketing and content optimization as emerging initiatives. At the same time, mobile and social, in spite of falling back some in the rankings, continue to be key digital business priority areas.

 

For more in-depth information about the Customer Experience and other key digital business imperatives from the Digital Trends 2015 report, Click Here for a free copy. 

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