Social media contains a wealth of information about the customer experience, and savvy managers are paying attention. In my interview with Sean McDonald, fomer director of Dell’s online community, he points out that the social Web is full of customer comments, and engaging customers in conversations enables opportunities for:
– Building brand reputation: turn negative sentiment into positive word-of-mouth.
– Customer service: delight and retain customers for additional growth.
– Competitor analysis: see how they are viewed by customers.
– Sales leads: find customers who are researching your brand category.
– Employee engagement: channel relevant data to all functional areas.
– New product development: augment focus groups with private community inputs.
Transition to Conversations
“Typically customer conversations occur on a need-only basis, which is unfortunate,” he says. “Companies are aligned by departments to facilitate the ease of their production: Finance keeps the books, HR manages people policies, etc. — and most departments are inward facing. Customers’ conversations used to be at barbecues, around water coolers, and in back halls. The social Web has unleashed a billion users with an appetite to share and learn from people like themselves.The Web has become more social and given literally everyone a voice.”
“Companies can engage in conversations both online and offline about customers’ passions and interests to build Continue reading