I was at a friend’s dual celebration of birthday and wedding anniversary recently, and as part of the occasion someone had prepared two fantastic cakes, which were both amazing to behold and a delight to eat. While the appearance was all to do with the icing, the taste and nutrition were defined by what was under the icing – the cake itself.
The recent market buzz around engaging the social customer is a welcome and necessary reflection that the game has changed. Customers don’t just want to be in control, they now have the tools to do so in a way that can bypass the best marketing and PR efforts of the enterprise. Customers now trust each other and people they perceive as independent far more than the enterprise’s own view.
Technology has fundamentally empowered the customer and exposed the enterprise, with a shortening of cycle times and raising of expectations. Customers can legitimately ask the ‘why?’ question – why have you not shipped it when you said it was in stock? Why are new customers getting the same product as me for less? Why does your contact centre not know more than I do from online research about your products? It is set to accelerate still further as mobile technology becomes a predominant access method.