In 2006, Professor Andrew McAfee coined the term ‘Enterprise 2.0′ and he described it as “the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers”. Due to the advent of social media in the corporate world, enterprises have started to become borderless. Delighting customers by knowing who they are and what they like is a key driver for many organizations to evolve into a social enterprise.
Fortunately, it is possible to deliver exceptional customer experience by leveraging social media and I practically witnessed it during Dreamforce, 2011. After attending more than a dozen breakout sessions and demos, I had a chance to review the underlying architecture, software, services, and mobile applications which can empower businesses to become more Social, Mobile and Local. The bottom line is that technology readiness is no longer an issue. An enterprise can now connect and collaborate with their partners as well as customers in a whole new way!
During the keynote presentations, numerous examples where shared showcasing how companies are using social CRM to delight their customers. I will share some of these examples later in this post. However, to deliver a personalized social experience companies will have to bridge the gap between data and people, which is possible by building a social profile for customers. Let’s look into a high level architecture used for delivering the above experience.
The above architecture will help in building a 360 degree view of the customer and it requires strategic listening on multiple channels as well as bringing that data into a centralized location to build a cohesive view. As you can imagine, fitting these multiple pieces in an existing infrastructure and making them work in a seamless fashion requires more than just ‘systems engineering’. In my opinion, you have to start with a strategy, and then work your way backward to put the appropriate systems in place. To keep this content vendor agnostic, I am refraining from sharing names of products which can provide the above functionalities. Also, the above architecture is completely vendor agnostic.
Following are some of the futuristic examples showcased during Dreamforce, 2011.
Think about a car that you can become ‘friends’ with on a social network. Once you become ‘friends’ with your car, it can then send you status updates. ‘Toyota Friend’ is an attempt by Toyota to make owning and maintaining your car a social experience. With ‘Toyota Friend’, car drivers can then communicate with Toyota and the dealer’s service department to exchange diagnostic information such as driving habits, performance of the car, etc.
A Warner Brothers demo showcased the world’s first social movie experience where you can watch an entire movie in Facebook, buy merchandise associated with that movie, and share your movie experience with your friends in real-time as you watch the movie.
There were many examples from the financial industry where companies have opened up a new branch and a call center, not in any specific geography but in the social media space. Bank of America and American Express have Social Call Centers.
With other examples such as social vending machines from Coke that use proximity sensors from mobile phones, and social networking gear where routers and switches can tweet, this is a list that can go on and on.
Driving economic value from social media is the next step in the journey of a social enterprise. If an organization can properly deploy the elements of Enterprise 2.0 architecture within their business, then it is possible to show measurable impact. During Dreamforce, a large number of B2C and a very few B2B companies shared that they have started to see tangible benefits mainly in the post-sales customer support area.
Feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions, or to share your views about Enterprise 2.0!