C2C: Its Importance


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C2C is normally Customer to Customer or Consumer to Consumer, or Citizen to Citizen

Contextually, it has meant one citizen selling to another, and a company or a portal like eBay supporting this service.

In my article today, I want to go beyond one customer selling to another.

I want to talk about the portals that allow interaction between customers:

Self-help or help: These are apps or bogs that allow people to solve the problems created by products or services, which the company does not solve. Such C2C sites are a great help whether you want to learn about an excel issue, or whether your dialer is hanging on your cell phone, or your computer is getting a blue screen problem. Very often, if it weren’t for these sites allowing C2C interaction, we (and our suppliers) would be in deep s—-.

Advice: This is similar to self-help, but goes beyond problem solving to getting advice. Is it a good idea to be in Macedonia in December? Is it good to load SideSync? What is the best treatment for this ailment? The company does not have to field such questions from Customers.

Citizen2Citizen: Citizens can help each other through such portals: What is the best time to transact with the government office, whom to go to for help, where to complain, what is the right rate for land etc.?

Customer Ratings:  Customers tend to give ratings on the net. Basically, the importance of a net based customer rating of a product, place, service or portal is not properly understood, or is underplayed, the primary focus being on traditional methods of getting ratings. Thus often the C2C portal rating takes second place in importance to the traditional brand rating of a company. On the other hand, companies with poorer brand ratings or even unknown companies can become extremely important or as known as “brand-known companies” almost overnight, if they get good scores or they get noticed.

The company’s ability to find and understand the Customer’s ratings on sites like TripAdvisor, Amazon etc. is important. Such ratings help other customers understand various options, and help them buy. One can argue that these ratings are becoming more important than the brand. Dave Aaaker, the brand guru just bought his wife an unbranded laptop based on the ratings!

Customer Journey: Comments, ratings made by the Customer often show the extra Customer Journey that was (hopefully) never intended by the supplier. These C2C sites are places to understand how to minimise the Customer Journey, and make it a happier experience in the future.

The C2C interaction takes place also in social sites, and generally with your extended friend circle.

Companies have to work on getting betterC2C ratings. First they have to analyse why people are saying what they are saying. If someone says he got used or unclean bedsheets in a hotel, the hotel manager cannot just say, no way we always have clean sheets. Should he not check why the Customer said that? Better for him to check on made up rooms to see if all have fresh sheets than to say to the Customer, this isn’t possible, not in my hotel. They have to get to think of eliminating complaints or negative comments. Not by bumping off the guests’ complaints but by actually bumping up their systems and processes

Even branded products need good C2C interaction and scores, or the unbranded people will overtake them.

C2C helps companies, because there is feedback, Customer scores, Customer chats. C2C is a source of communication for companies to Customers, and a way to solve Customers’ problems through a community effort. Companies can find out future trends, and can work towards zero complaints by understanding Customer issues, and ensuring Customer problems do not re-occur. Customer journeys can become shorter and more pleasant. Lastly, by working with these sites, companies can identify Customer advocates who can promote companies through their networks.

C2C and what it means to your company: You could be on an informal C2C interaction, through the social media. Or, you could have a C2C system in place. Or you could have none.

Given that the C2C interaction could be very valuable to you in:

  1. Building a Customer Community
  2. Customer interaction and relationship
  3. Customer self-service taking pressure off you
  4. Causing Customers to offer ideas and new ways or new things to do with your offerings
  5. Getting to know and understand Customers, their needs and in keeping a finger on the pulse
  6. Going beyond building a brand, by using the Customer score

Therefore, you should organise the C2C interaction and build your strategy for giving the most to the Customer and getting the most from it. Let C@C (Customer at your Customer Portal) work for you.

Would love your comments and help. We are happy to help others in education and executive education on courses in Value Creation

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gautam Mahajan
Gautam Mahajan, President of Customer Value Foundation is the leading global leader in Customer Value Management. Mr Mahajan worked for a Fortune 50 company in the USA for 17 years and had hand-on experience in consulting, training of leaders, professionals, managers and CEOs from numerous MNCs and local conglomerates like Tata, Birla and Godrej groups. He is also the author of widely acclaimed books "Customer Value Investment: Formula for Sustained Business Success" and "Total Customer Value Management: Transforming Business Thinking." He is Founder Editor of the Journal of Creating Value (jcv.sagepub.com) and runs the global conference on Creating Value (https://goo.gl/4f56PX).


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