Dr. Nicholas Vitalari, co-author of the Elastic Enterprise, and Dennis O’Malley, CEO of ReadyPulse (readypulse.com), discussed rules of the social game, best practices, and success stories of companies such as Starbucks, Amazon, Nike and Metal Mulisha.
Understanding your customer ecosystem can help you become more engaged with your customers and recognize your top brand advocates. In order to win the customer ecosystem, the most important pillars you need are business platforms, universal connections of all the elements in the company, and the cloud.
What does the deployment of an elastic ecosystem mean? Every company struggles when it tries to expand its business into a new market or space. Most importantly, you need to make sure that your company has established a strong connection with its customers. It is essential to understand how you differentiate yourself from the masses and target the right niche of consumers. The elastic enterprise model allows you to go beyond the borders and establish a lasting partnership with the consumer. Adopting the customer ecosystem model means that your customers become your best and most influential partners. Customers have the right to choose, to customize, and to rate your products or services. Given the amount of ratings and reviews taking place on social networks, companies have been given an opportunity to listen to what their customers need, expect, and desire. Social networks give businesses an opportunity to engage with customers effectively and freely. One of the realities is that customers/prospects are exposed to an enormous amount of information online. Therefore it is crucial for any company to create the right tone, message, and experience for the consumer. Winning the social game is bonded with your ability to “listen” to what your customers want, and ensuring that you have the ability to adopt new technologies as needed.
What you can do to win the Customer Ecosystem:
Tip #1: Think about your customer ecosystem and the capabilities that your company possesses. There is a need to identify the gaps and also objectives and success metrics related to your customer ecosystem. The metrics can be both from a quality perspective and quantity perspective. Another way to think about success is wallet share and heart share. Brand advocates and brand advocacy become key objectives and success metrics for the customer ecosystem.
Tip #2: Assemble a powerful business platform that will give you a competitive advantage in the market. The business platform consists of the right social networks based on your business goals. They need not be Facebook or Twitter. There are many smaller networks that are well suited for a business. An example is Kick Starter, a social network that helps startups raise investment.
Tip #3: Listen and leverage the social world so that you can better engage with your customers.
Tip #4: Engage before, during and after the sale. Conduct extensive research on your customers to help you identify where you need to position yourself (are they on Pinterest or on Facebook?) before the sale. Talk and engage with your customers about concerns that they might have, and this has the potential to create an online community about and for your brand during the sale stage. Follow-up with customers, as well as suggestions of other products that your customers might be interested in will also help you engage customer after the sale
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