Social Media ( Web 2.0 ) is fast becoming one of the most important and powerful influences in business today. It is evolving at record speed and gaining broad adoption – it isn't just for the technology industry any longer. With its foundation built on sharing information, collaboration, and relationships, it can transform the way organizations attract and retain Customers.
Customer Experience 2.0 is a totally unique approach and new way of thinking. It is about helping organizations create more sales and better differentiation. It leverages the tools and concepts of Social Media with the needs and wants of your customer – creating a more engaging customer experience. This marriage leads to increases in sales, market differentiation, improved customer loyalty and retention, and a stronger competitive advantage. It is a more innovative and personal way for you to engage, understand and support your prospects and customers.
Here are Seven Steps you can follow to get you on your way.
- GATHER CUSTOMER DATA – gain a deep understanding of what “experience” your customer really wants from you – not just products and services. What “Promises” do they want you to keep? What experience(s) do they want throughout their relationship with you? Since most products and services are easy to duplicate today, creating a truly differentiated customer experience is still unique.
- DEFINE CUSTOMER SEGMENTS – it is important to group your customers based on the experiences(s) they want when they interact with your company. Traditional segmentation, based on “demographics” or “product based” only takes you part of the way. Go beyond this level of segmentation and add the “experiential” component. This is enhancing what you have with how your customers want to interact with you at different points in time in the relationship.
- DEVELOP A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 2.0 PLAN – identify the desired experience(s) and then identify relevant social media tools. This plan should support your organizational strategy and focus on sales and differentiation. Design the plan with the information from Steps #1 and #2 above, and then identify how to execute on your plan delivering these experiences.
- DESIGN THE CONTENT – identify the information, education, tools and resources you should provide to your customers. What do they want? What content can you offer that will engage your customers? Get this directly from your customers. Incorporate both the content and the messaging to deliver a differentiated experience to your customer.
- SET UP A BLOG – it is easy to get started with the most accepted and widely used tool that is foundational for both Social Media and Customer Experience 2.0 – the Blog. Get it started and improve upon it over time. These Blog(s) serve as the windows into your business where you can inform, interact and communicate with your customers.
- EVALUATE OTHER TOOLS – assess the value of the many other Social Media tools and determine which ones will help you increase engagement and differentiation to increase sales. These might include social networking, communities, Twitter , audio and photo presentations ( YODIO ), podcasts, and others that could be useful to your customers' experience in relation to your organization.
- TEST IT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS – once you have launched a particular tool, test it with your customers. Is this improving their experience? How could you improve upon it? It must always pass the test of being relevant, important and helpful either personally or to their business.
Now you have a roadmap and Seven Steps to creating Customer Experience 2.0 for your own organization. Embrace it, use it and continually improve upon the experience your customers want. This is what creates lasting differentiation, increased sales and a rock-solid competitive advantage.