Own the conversation with your customers and partners

By Robert Nash
30 Apr 2018

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The worlds going to end, Facebook isn’t playing fair, we will have to rethink our strategies, this will impact sales……

These and many more reactions to Facebook’s latest update are available on the web if you look around. Most blog posts talk about the impact and how strategies are going to have to change, perhaps using influencers as the marketing tool on Facebook in the future. I have not read a single article that recognises the fundamental problem.

When we go into meetings it’s easy to identify the type of business that will be impacted most by this change. They will be the ones that respond “Oh we have a customer community on …[insert your Social Network here]”. Unfortunately, it’s apparent from that response that they are putting their eggs into someone else’s basket and are happy to do so. Well my view is that if you do this then you don’t have a loyal base of customers and you don’t have control over your marketing strategy. Facebook et al own your marketing, own your data and decide how you will communicate to your customers.

Today’s world is no longer simply about selling to customers. More and more we are moving towards relationships with our customers, who are bought into how you work, how you supply your goods/services, the quality of your support service or of the articles you write. Because of this at the heart of every business should be a customer centric experience.

Ye’olden days a customer would visit a bricks and mortar store, bank, newsagents etc. They would have had a relationship with the people in the business and an element of trust would be built up between the two, as a result. As ways of doing business evolved, that experience became more and more uncommon and people started to feel less connected to the businesses that they previously interacted with.

The advent of social media provided an opportunity for organisations to start to make customers feel part of the business again, by using these channels to make things more personal once again. However, having adopted social media as a way to communicate with their customers, many companies have missed a big step in converting this conversation into a meaningful broader experience. In order to do this, organisations need to bring that conversation into their tribe, be that via a website, an application, event etc.

In my opinion the omni channel is powerful, but should not be the place where you have conversations with your customers. Omni channels should be used as a funnel to bring customers to your world, where you own the experience and the data and once they are there, you should work hard to keep them there.

At 4 Roads we have been helping our clients, build and grow community tribes for nearly 12 years. We’ve worked with charities, membership organisations, product companies, games companies and more. They have all recognised that the most valuable conversations occur in their domain, under their control with other members of their tribe.

Want to know how to take back control of your customer conversations and revolutionise your customer relationships? Then contact us today!



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