The impact from the transition of a traditional economy to a social economy will begin in the contact center and spread to other sectors of business transforming customer experience as we know it.
From backroom day-to-day operations to front-facing customer interactions and transactions, digital collaboration in business has become the way of work.
Social media, shared documents, email, data and analytics, smart phones, synced devices, cloud-computing, video conferencing, WiFi inflight – all these technologies play a crucial role in how companies carry out practices and have one overarching theme in common – CONNECTION.
Businesses and consumers have finally gained solid footing on rapidly emerging tech advancements and are now collectively thinking about how to best utilize digital integration to max out efficiencies. In 2015 and beyond, a major evolution in business will take place where we’ll move from a traditional economy to a social economy.
Transparent Customer Communication
Both business and consumers are connected to the internet and share the same technologies which has led to multiple forms of open communication. We’ve seen it in action with synced devices like tablets and smart phones – information is sent into the cloud from one source (e.g., customer places GrubHub order via iPhone) to the other end (e.g., order is received by restaurant in real-time on computer monitor).
Tech pioneers like Samsung have taken synced technology even further by giving power to the consumer – smart appliances like dish washers and entertainment centers can now be connected and controlled from one single device – it’s service at your finger tips. Businesses giving more control to consumers via digital collaboration will be prevalent this year and take off at an unstoppable rate.
The Rise of the Collaborative Economy
A circular exchange cycle of knowledge/products between businesses and consumers is leading to a new social economy. Companies that will flourish in 2015 are those that share insights and offers with their audience via digital platform hoping to in return receive feedback in the form of social media “likes,” retweets, comments or actual purchases.
The concept of sharing products and services amongst a common group to facilitate business has translated into fueling a “collaborative economy” – a notion where consumers and business people alike have access to the same resources (internet, mobile devices, data, etc.) and support the economy by utilizing what is universally available.
Airbnb, Uber and Kickstarter are some successful start-ups that have embraced this idea of a collaborative economy. The common goal is to help one another. These new-aged types of businesses simply provide the platform and allow users to run the show.
With the instant path of communication digital technology provides, businesses can respond to consumers faster than ever before. For instance, a passenger can rate and review his/her Uber driver immediately after a ride is complete.
That information is then sent to customer service and if something went wrong or the customer is unsatisfied, Uber can respond in a timely manner providing personalized attention. It establishes brand loyalty and is made possible because of the huge advancements we’ve made in the social sense of digital collaboration.
The Mobile Experience Revolution is Here
Businesses that are at the forefront of digital collaboration provide their customers with accessibility. Mobile apps give customers a way to engage with a brand – digital connectivity at its finest.
Many companies provide immediate support within their applications as well as give customers the ability to choose their own preferences versus doing it for them. This is a practice often exercised on travel sites (and their corresponding mobile apps) – users pick things such as which seat they want on a flight and what kind of hotel room they’d like, all without needing an actual physical booking agent or concierge in place.
In this New Year, digital collaboration carries extreme importance towards a business’ vitality. It will be utilized to facilitate B2C and also C2B communications with the ultimate goal of empowering the customer. With a new sense of control gained from access to the same digital technologies, consumers carry a lot more weight in business decisions – operation flow has become a two-way street.
It’s a true execution of the idea that sharing is caring and will most definitely stay for the long term to push a completely collaborative economy in the near future.