Following the series of asking vendors with Social Business credentials their thoughts on Social Business. Want to read the previous ones? Oracle, Attensity, Fuze Digital, Moxie Software, SAP, GetSatisfaction, RightNow Technologies, Lithium, bluekiwi and NetBase are already posted.
1) Where is the Social world going to be in 12 months? 24 months?
Today, Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular websites on the planet and yet only a tiny fraction of all customer service opportunities are delivered using social channels — but this story will change. Over the next 12 to 24 months we will see an exponential increase in the amount of support delivered via social networks, as an unprecedented number of customers look to engage with their favorite companies in more social ways – and more forward-thinking businesses respond to that growing demand by treating socially-networked customer service as an opportunity.
Delivering customer service over social channels is part of a broader shift in how businesses relate to social networks. In a very short time, we’ve seen businesses evolve from simple, passive listening on social networks to more sophisticated marketing, and more recently into service and support. In our view, social customer care will no longer be an afterthought or an adjunct to traditional service environment; it will sit squarely at the core of customer service and support along with other forms of customer interactions
We are passionate about an emerging “all-in-one” worldview of support, where the customer is more than a passive viewer on the other side of the browser, but rather a resource connected through social channels to all the meaningful aspects of your company – from sales and marketing to product development to the executive suite. Competitive companies will embrace a platform that leverages this opportunity – not only because it will serve the best interests of their customers, but also because it will vastly improve the work experience of the employees who interact with them.
2) How can businesses not be left behind?
For businesses to compete in the new socially-networked world, they must embrace the idea that success resides in the relationships between them and their customer. When those relationships are reciprocal, the customer will be heard and treated fairly, and your attitude and the tools you use to protect and serve the customer experience will fuel your business success.
There’s a lot written about the modern “social customer,” but customers have always been social. The difference now is that they have the ways and means to be heard, to share their expectations, and to invest themselves in businesses they love. Now, instead of just putting the check in the mail, they’re tweeting and blogging and influencing hundreds of others. It’s not human nature that is different; it’s the technology that has changed. The technology of the Internet has helped the customer realize their true power, and wield it. The genie will never go back into the bottle.
3) What is going to happen in three years and beyond in the world of social?
In three years, posting to a social network will be as natural and as common as making a phone call is today, and it will be one of the dominant ways in which customers expect to conduct business.
Companies that embrace social networks will be at a distinct advantage, of course. But social networks will also change the rules of engagement and create new ways for companies to compete. Progressive companies will see social networks as a way to incorporate true dialogue with their customers into their business model, and to allow the “voice of the customer” to foster genuine engagement with all departments in a company. Interaction with customers will become part of how companies compete because it will be directly tied to how they collaborate internally to build better products and services. This is the future that Assistly stands ready to serve.
(Cross-posted @ crm intelligence & strategy)