Many of today’s companies recognize the urgency of converting to a
customer-centric, social web-based, operation. The excuses and faulty
logic brought on by global prosperity have been replaced by an honest
examination of internal operations and external market share. As the
various departments search for collaborative ways to maintain
profitability in uncertain economic times, we will see more and more
arrive at the duh! moment of realization that the customer comes first.
We haven’t exactly reached the Utopia that Adriana Lukas describes:
having your customers share with you what they like, want and think of
you. . . Interaction with them is modular, intuitive and user-driven
freeing much of your resources spent on marketing and transaction cost.
. . . nor have we seen more than a few examples of big, giant companies who give more than lip service to the process Doc Searls detailed almost five years ago (and Eve Maler recently simplified for those who love simple graphics).
there are some unpredicted catalysts on the horizon, and in the spirit
of making right decisions, we see that adoption of a Socialutions
paradigm is going mainstream.
Our proposal for Socialutions involves problem solving and finding innovative solutions through social exchanges. We are suggesting
that organizations can capitalize on the relationships and relationship
connections of the people connected to them in some way, whether these
connections come from employees, vendors, customers, or wherever. But we maintain that the customer comes first. Not to the point of turning major strategic decisions over to crowdsourcing perhaps, but first nonetheless.
Tom Peters has a rather unique (not a shock if you know Tom Peters) perspective on where to put the customer. He says, “to put the marketplace customer first, I must put the person serving the customer “more first.”Peters (admittedly selfishly) proclaims:
give a high-impact, well-regarded, occasionally life-changing speech
“to customers” I first & second & third have to focus all my
restless energy on “satisfying” … myself. I must be … physically & emotionally & intellectually agitated & excited & desperate beyond measure
… to communicate & connect & compel & grab by the collar
& say my piece about a small number of things, often contentious
and not “crowd-pleasers,” that, at the moment, are literally a matter
of personal … life and death.
As Jay Deragon noted previously, the drive of tomorrow’s successful organizations will be a new method and philosophy proclaiming “We the Peoples are all aimed at Socialutions”
that creates perpetual value. We the people are aimed in that
direction, but do the companies who serve us (even if we are after
their employees) get it yet?
Here are some Socialution suggestions for getting from where you are to where you need to be in a hurry:
1) Make the cluetrain manifesto (especially the 95 Theses) mandatory reading for all your employees
3) On your company-wide strategy wiki (get one if you don’t have one), start a “top ten clues” list and allow anonymous voting.
Allow time off (5% of the workday would be a good start) for your
people (all of them, not just sales and HR) to Twitter, blog, Facebook
and MySpace for the company.
5) Run from
traditional (old school) marketing as a source of “what works.” If it
really worked, you would not have taken the time to read this.
What do you think?