Over the last 10 years social technologies have dramatically changed the way we work together and interact with customers. This is having a profound impact on how companies approach customer experience, support and documentation. As the digital social landscape evolves and matures, so must
our innovation and adoption of social tools.
Changing Social Landscape
According to the GlobalWebIndex Annual Report for 2011, a dramatic surge is underway in how consumers use social media. For example, social media users are sharing professionally created content more in their social networks, video sharing platforms and blogs. Edelman's 2011 Trust Barometer indicates a significant rise in trust for professional peers and industry experts on social networks.
At same time, organizations are finding the value of customer advocates in a social world. Innovative companies have long understood that customers are vital, and in a socially connected world, this value is amplified.
Today, having a good product isn't enough. You have to have a great relationship and a great experience with that customer to keep that customer.
How Social Impacts Churn
More than half of business leaders pinpoint customer churn as the topmost threat to their company. Given that customer retention is crucial to business capacity to thrive, they simply must focus on reducing customer churn as a central business goal.
David Skok, a five time serial entrepreneur turned VC at Matrix Partners hit the nail on the head with his blog "Why Churn is SO critical to success in SaaS." When you have to fight to keep your customers each and every month, the impact of churn amplifies.
When social networks amplify a customer problem, they amplify the churn.
Importance of Integrating CRM, Support, Customer Experience, Knowledge-base and Digital User Guides
There are many examples of when a customer gets frustrated and trumpets his/her complaint across the digital social landscape. Often times, this one complaint propagates other, similar complaints.
Although informal social communities can often offer solutions, these unmanaged communities amplify the original poor product experience. This is exactly why smart companies are aligning their CRM, support, customer experience, knowledge-base and digital user guide components.
These innovations enable the delivery of personalized just-in-time product help and consumer engagement quickly and effectively as soon as the issue surfaces on social media.
Effective Approaches To Customer Support
According to The Pew Internet and American Life Project, roughly 48 percent of technology users usually need help to set-up new devices, SaaS applications and software, or to show them how they function. Without a quick and easy means for consumers to access relevant documentation and product help, the experience often leads to impatience and frustration and ultimately for some, product abandonment.
The more consumers struggle with a product, the likelihood of widespread adoption decreases enormously and brand defection increases.
This is one of the key reasons why Innovative companies are exchanging archaic support technologies for innovative, integrated social technologies.
Effectively integrating social technology tools with traditional help delivery methods can dramatically increase enterprise visibility into its customer base, provide foundational data for change and improvement while protecting and improving a brands reputation and vastly improve consumers success with a product and their brand experience.
Image cropped from original by Nagy-Bagoly Arpad (Shutterstock)
Editor's Note: To read more of Aaron's thoughts try WEM Perspectives: The Customer Conversation Goes Beyond 140 Characters - What's Your WEM Strategy?