I recently participated in a panel discussion addressing those questions at the AlwaysOn’s Silicon Valley Innovation Summit 2013. There was no shortage of bright minds interested in discussing where the opportunities lie in the booming social media, cloud computing and digital media sectors. In my opinion, the real opportunity lies in consumer-to-brand interactions.
Social media began with the consumer and grew with the adoption of mobile devices. Then, as brands began to slowly adopt these social Internet behaviors, consumers began to interact with them there from everywhere, at any time. This has changed the way consumers view brands, good or bad, and started a shift in buying habits and preferences. Mobile simply makes it easier to socially interact with brands—social customer engagement is fueled by the pervasiveness of mobile. Social media has not only opened up new avenues for brands to reach their audience, but it has provided them with a completely new way of obtaining consumer-generated data about their own image, products and services in real time. However, brands are still asking themselves – how can we make the most out of what has been given to us via social media?
The answer is simple. It all comes down to equipping your largest brand ambassador – the customer service agent or CSR– with the right tools to provide exceptional customer care on any channel. There is a growing awareness that people who are on the front lines of customer service, are indeed at the epicenter of the brand interaction. As a result, brands are realizing that the necessary tools to navigate social channels are required to take advantage of every customer touchpoint. By leveraging every customer interaction, brands can create additional opportunities to upsell and increase their bottom line.
At one point during the panel discussion, I was asked about where LiveOps has been and where we’re headed. Our focus has and will remain the same – develop customer engagement tools that enable brands to adapt to the changing consumer.
– Marty Beard, President & CEO