We live in an increasingly social world. Today, roughly 90% of consumers will read product or service reviews online before making a purchase decision. Clearly our customers, and the information they provide to others about us, influence our success and our reputation.
There was a great article from Bill Lee on the Harvard Business Review’s website recently that challenged executive leaders to think about customers not just as purchasers, but also as providers of value and knowledge. Customers are as much assets as anything else in your business. Not only can they help you improve your products with their feedback, but they can also act as an extension of your customer service team. This is the reality of our digital world and must be considered during strategic planning and goal setting.
Online tools like social media and mobile applications are platforms that almost everyone is using today, and they offer a tremendous opportunity to build your brand and increase awareness. By simply making these tools available to customers you are increasing opportunities for your customers to share feedback and endorse you to their network.
On the other hand, screw up the customer’s experience and you may feel the social media wrath just as quickly. It’s a double-edge sword, so make sure you are on the right end and let your customers help you sell more product. Here’s how:
Encouraging customers to share feedback on your products and services creates opportunities for company endorsements, brand awareness and product improvements. It is time to embrace your customers as the knowledge assets they are and give them the tools they need to spread the word about you!
Howard Shore is a strategic planning consultant and founder of Activate Group Inc, based in Miami, Florida. His firm works with companies to deliver transformational management and business coaching to their executive leadership. To learn more about strategic planning through AGI, please contact Howard at [phone link=”true”] or email him.