Focus on Business
Comity (kom’-it-ee) – A friendly social atmosphere; social harmony; a loose widespread community based on common social institutions.
How, when and where businesses engage with their customers has changed significantly and rapidly due to the broad adoption of social media as an accepted form of communication. The change is driven by a number of factors, but near the top of the list is the ease with which people now share experiences however, whenever and wherever they want. Purchasers of goods and services are more knowledgeable, empowered and connected than ever before. Prior to making purchasing decisions, customers now turn to peers and non-traditional industry influencers for answers through very public social networking platforms — more so than any other source for information gathering. Businesses need to adapt to these changes in order to prosper; however, most do not fully understand how to shift their approach to interacting with their customers, or the impact this change will have on increasing their sales, growing long-term loyalty, and protecting their reputation.
Specifically, the problems fall into the following categories:
- Companies do not yet fully understand social technology, or the impact it has on their business.
- Traditional processes used to sell to, manage and support customers are outdated.
- Business technology and software purchasing decisions are being made without proper knowledge of how and where customers want to communicate.
- Companies are struggling with how to best manage a relationship with their customers, though they are quite successful at managing orders and contact information.
- From a technology standpoint, companies are not coordinated, internally, with respect to focusing on the customer.
Too often a company’s approach to customer relationship management is primarily technology focused, because the business becomes enamored with the latest and greatest software offerings. Comity Technology Advisors works with businesses to first assess their organizational readiness, skills/expertise and culture, and then recommend specific steps to address gaps within teams and/or business processes. In the beginning, the gaps might be filled with a cross-functional team formed specifically to look at social business and customer engagement efforts. As the business matures, a more permanent solution might include formalizing a position within the company that has the responsibility and authority to promote and maintain social business across the organization.
The real question is: Do businesses need new technology tools or do they need to think harder and focus more on changing their strategy and culture with respect to customers and processes? The answer is both. At Comity Technology Advisors, we will help you develop and implement the appropriate combination of strategy and technology, optimized to meet your business goals and best engage with your customers.