Customer Engagement

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Turning Facebook Fans into Product Endorsers

“If you engage customers,” says V. Kumar, “they go and they get their friends” to try out a product, too. Kumar, of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, explains how companies can find their most influential online customers and enlist them to help promote their brands.

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Enhancing Relationships With Customers Through Online Brand Communities

Online brand communities can bring customers closer to a brand, generate “buzz” and enhance brand loyalty. Yet, important as online brand communities are to consumer markets, little is known about the role they play in consumer decision-making. Although the popularity of online brand communities as a means of gathering pre- and post-purchase information continues to grow, knowledge about how to effectively manage those conversations remains scant.

Image courtesy of bylisataylor.com.

Collaborating With Customer Communities: Lessons From the Lego Group

Customer-oriented companies pride themselves on understanding the marketplace and integrating the best ideas into future products. But what would it be like if you found that you had hundreds, if not thousands, of knowledgeable users ready and eager to spend nights and weekends acting as extensions of your research and development department? For the Lego Group, the Danish maker of children’s creative construction toys, this close bond with the user community is not a pipe dream but a reality.

Image courtesy of Flickr user le_huf.

Why CRM Fails — and How to Fix It

Customer relationship marketing was supposed to be a “new paradigm” that yieldied more loyal customers and more profit for companies. It hasn’t. Researchers from Cranfield School of Management write that the problem is fundamental: “Most senior management teams have an unbalanced approach to managing marketing investments, and this is particularly evident in the case of CRM.” Their suggestion: successful CRM investment begins with new capabilities to improve customer relationships and then backfills the capital investment as needed.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user **Maurice**.

Putting the ‘Relationship’ Back Into CRM

Many think that the way to capture value through relationship marketing is to focus on the “good” customers and get rid of the “bad” ones. But there is more to best practice relationship management than maximizing revenues on individual customers and minimizing costs to serve. This article provides guidelines for companies that want to improve the value of customer relationships. For most companies, the transition to a relationship-based approach will require a significant shift in practice.

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Collaborating With the Right Partners

“Not invented here” has become an outdated mind-set in the modern corporation, as shrinking product life cycles and rapid technological evolution have opened corporate attitudes toward external research and development partners. Yet three business school professors conclude that companies should be careful when selecting the partners with whom they collaborate.C

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Customer Education Increases Trust

Companies that provide professional services have not always been eager to invest in customer education initiatives. For such companies, it has remained unclear what economic benefit they would gain by providing customers with the skills and abilities needed to become more knowledgeable customers.

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How to Profit From a Better Virtual Customer Environment

The benefits of engaging customers in product development, product support and related activities are increasingly visible. Having the right technology-based system can enhance the customer experience and help companies improve both their innovation and customer relationship management capabilities.

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Delight or Despair

I was in a meeting in Dallas when I looked out the window to see dark clouds on the horizon. Armed with my laptop, I monitored the storms around Dallas on weather.com, checked delays at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at dfwairport.com, and clicked over to flightstats.c

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Creating New Markets Through Service Innovation

Many companies make incremental improvements to their service offerings, but few succeed in creating service innovations that generate new markets or reshape existing ones. To move in that direction, executives must understand the different types of market-creating service innovations as well as the nine factors that enable these innovations.

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