Meet Your New Boss

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The cycle times for our industry used to be much, much longer. With a convenient location, the right products, and polite interpersonal relationships, a single store could serve an enduring set of customers for generations.

Consumers have changed. The internet places unlimited information and countless choices at their fingertips. The social web gives them a voice that carries and the ability to band together and share their experiences. They are more empowered than ever before, and if not continuously earned, loyalty is as fickle as the click of a mouse.

Meet the New Boss.

The modern consumer can be extremely challenging for organizations that seek to gain and keep their business. Most companies are not technology organizations, but they are being forced to learn about tools such as co-browsing and mediums such as Twitter. In speaking with customer experience executives around the world, I continue to hear questions related to the what/why/how of monitoring social mediums. It’s a real challenge to know how to weave this demanding and immediate channel into the mix.

While there is no silver bullet or “right” answer, I typically respond with questions of my own:

What are your customers doing? How are they interacting with your brand, and how would they like to interact with your brand? Are you listening to their feedback, both direct and indirect? What is your organization doing in response? Is the response well informed and coordinated across all of your contact channels?

Answers to these questions form the basis—and strategy—for serving the New Boss. Doing the right things for your customers is still paramount to business success. It’s now a matter of doing it in a more transparent, multi-channel world where the consumer has the ultimate control.  What’s the alternative?
It’s death by a thousand cuts—customers start to drift away and before long you have a serious problem on your hands.

It’s time to share….

I know there’s a lot of passion amongst customer experience professionals who face these tough situations every day—and I’ve certainly heard some real zingers in my time about customer interactions that went really well, and really wrong. So if you’ve got a great story that you like to share around the water cooler that really sums up what it’s like to live with the New Boss, then let’s hear it.  We’re reaching out to executives all over the country in an effort to learn from each other’s experiences too.

I bet you will be able to relate, both as a business professional and as a consumer, to these stories.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Vap
David Vap, Chief Solutions Officer, leads RightNow's global solution strategy, including product management, service marketing, and product marketing.

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