Geoffrey Moore introduced the Systems of Engagement concept about two years ago. This vision for the future of Information Technology is gaining broader acceptance – but a surprising number of executives are blind to the coming sea change. Is it hype or reality? For me, this question boils down to one certainty: traditional companies must infuse their organizations with digital DNA – and I believe systems of engagement accomplish this. They raise Digital DNA quotients by using consumer technology to make companies more effective. This notion of effectiveness is a key shift from a two decade long focus on efficiency. That’s not to say the importance of efficiency has diminished, in fact I’d say the next phase in the search for efficiency gains is upon us. But at the same time, effectiveness will headline a decade long journey focused on growth. The same platform that enables next generation efficiency – Mobile, Social, Big Data, Analytics and Cloud Computing – forms the foundation for effectiveness through systems of engagement.
I recently participated in the writing of an article on Social CRM for the Insurance industry. The piece is now available online via the Insurance Networking News. The Insurance industry is showing a great deal of interest in social business – and I hear it in most discussions with industry executives. It is clear that the industry is beginning to understand that insight from social channels can drive better decision making. Companies like Farmers Insurance are driving new growth, new product development, and customer retention by sharing information from Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn with their network of Agents.
A recent study indicates that 56% of companies are planning future Social CRM initiatives, while Gartner indicates that 30% of companies will extend their Social Networking efforts to Social CRM processes within the next two years. As I note in the article, social computing will enable a powerful sales, marketing and customer service platform that improves the customer experience and elevates brand identity. The full article is a worthwhile read, and provides some insight into the future use of Social CRM in the Insurance industry.
Are you listening? All of the communication occurring in social channels can challenge our listening skills. How are we sure that we are listening in the right places? What should we be listening for? How can listening translate to tangible benefits for my business or organization? Those are only some of the pressing questions that companies are attempting to answer. As companies move down the inevitable path of co-creating products and services with customers, social channels will become an increasing source of ideas and innovation. The business imperative for customer intimacy will drive many company strategies over the next decade.
I highly recommend this article by Mark Suster titled The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery. This same author has written a piece on Twitter’s use cases, which is also a good read. For those that still think Twitter is about telling people what you had for breakfast, these are must reads. I agree completely with his perspective and use Twitter in a very similar manner.
This Press Release from Verint continues the Social Media and customer service drum beat. The recurring themes are:
- A growing challenge to identify, collect and act upon data delivered through an expanding number of customer communications channels
- The need for an aggregated and unified view of customer data across all channels
- Analysis that delivers insight drives rapid and informed action
- Companies are not equipped to analyze the interactions that occur via email, chat, social media, forums, etc.
- There is a heightened need for text analytics. Solutions that mine interactions and feedback across multichannel customer communications – including email, chat, blogs, review sites, social media and other text-based channels – continue to emerge
- Workflow delivers insight to the people that are best equipped to manage issues, address specific customer service concerns, or get ahead of negative sentiments in social media
Customer support is evolving to handle an ever-growing number of channels. Social media interaction is playing an expanding role in how companies provide support to their customers. I believe this Press Release from Attensity gives us a view into the future call center. As the press release points out, social media is quickly becoming a key component of customer care strategies.
CEOs believe that the time has come to reinvent customer relationships. That’s one of the key findings in IBM’s 2010 CEO Study titled “Capitalizing on Complexity”. This belief is based on the following observations:
- The world is massively interconnected, thereby making customer intimacy a priority
- Customers have more options due to globalization and dramatic increases in available information
- Differentiation will come from innovation and co-creation with customers
- The information explosion presents a great opportunity to develop deep customer insights