Nothing and no one can make or break a shopping experience like a sales associate or customer service rep. As the face of the brand, these front-line employees translate brand promises into external realities and amplify the value of the products and services they sell and support. More important, they significantly influence social sentiment and long-term loyalty, for better or worse.
While most executives focus on creating differentiated, personalized customer experiences, the people who deliver these interactions are not necessarily given equal attention. The 2017 Gallup survey reported that just 41% of U.S. workers understand why their company is different from the competition. Perhaps more worrisome is the revelation that this misalignment can cost a business 24% less wallet share than those that are aligned.
Factors such as siloed information, territorial bureaucracy, and limited training play a significant role in this level of disconnect. However, every one of these reasons leads to a common problem: limited to no transparency.
According to Gallup, “As an ongoing responsibility, leaders and managers need to provide employees with relevant tools, education and support . . . The most successful organizations ensure they provide these experiences and emotions to employees first – and that employees, in turn, fully understand and are capable of delivering that same experience to customers.”
Collaborate more. Sell more. Profit more.
Business-wide collaboration is the cornerstone of a customer experience that is powered by engaged and knowledgeable employees. However, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as implementing technology and expecting everyone to jump on the social collaboration bandwagon. It requires the right technology that will give every employee access to the right information anytime and anywhere it is needed. It requires the agility and know-how to translate a range of data into data-driven outcomes. Most of all, it requires a culture change, where boundaryless knowledge sharing is universally accepted and valued.
Half the battle is knowing how to get started. Here are three aspects of enterprise-wide social collaboration that businesses of every size, industry, and location should consider:
Deliver winning customer experiences by adding collaborative capabilities to existing sales, marketing, and service technologies. Take a critical look at how you can extend your existing solution investments by adding social collaboration capabilities. With this approach, all customer-facing organizations can realize shorter sales cycles, enhanced customer service operations, better planning of marketing strategies, and increased customer and employee engagement.
Empower sales teams to close more deals faster and strengthen customer relationships. Accelerate the sales cycles by enabling collaborative engagement among sales people, internal experts, customers, and partners. Integrated core business applications allow these teams to conduct collaborative account management, opportunity management, and quote management. Additionally, you can share and grow knowledge through sales training groups, mentoring, and coaching.
Leverage online customer communities to deliver personalized commerce, contextual marketing, and immediate customer service. Fully embrace a world of customer engagement that is rapidly transforming. Today’s customers have greater choice, maintain higher expectations, and are more connected than ever before. With this evolution, customers are choosing companies that offer a buying experience that makes sense, prove that they know their customers through marketing outreach, and provide immediate and accurate access to customer service.
There’s little doubt that ever-changing customer demand, innovative technology, and disruptive ideas are revolutionizing every industry. But at the eye of this storm, your employees can make the difference between success and failure.
Join our one-day live-stream event SAP Hybris LIVE: Digital Summit 2017 on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Broadcasted live from Singapore, Munich, and New York City, this unprecedented, follow-the-sun event will reveal everything you need to about reimagining the customer experience and disrupting your rivals along the way. In addition to in-person keynotes, customer panels, and partner roundtables, attendees will have access to an extensive library of on-demand content and a live Twitter chat scheduled according to your time zone.