Customer support for many businesses today is being reshaped by transparency and crowdsourcing because it proves to work as a win-win situation for both customers and businesses. By allowing customers to share their honest opinions and experiences with others, it creates transparency for potential customers and helps build a brand at the same time.
According to a recent article by Forbes, customers like to feel as though they are a part of a company and its success. For example, Applegate, a company that humanely raises and slaughters animals for meat, provides an online customer support platform where customers can share their opinions and experiences honestly. This platform allows customers to get involved and creates transparency for other customers. By permitting this, companies can allow the customers to do most of the branding without having to do so much on the back end.
However, it is important to keep in mind that customers who do partake in this type of outlet appreciate some sort of reward or recognition. JD Peterson, Chief Revenue Officer at Scripted.com states, "Let your power users be the voice of your brand. Customers these days are more willing to do this kind of work for your brand, but they want recognition for doing it." Companies can honor this request by offering points toward a purchase or by supplying some kind of badge that customers can apply to their resumes or LinkedIn accounts.
Many companies such as Amazon, Yelp and TripAdvisor have also adopted the crowdsourcing transparency tool to help build their brands. These are just a few of the companies who let this powerful tool assist them in sales. By applying this tool, companies lighten their burdens when it comes to support costs and push customers closer to their brands.
This option works because it is completely user-driven. Companies cannot control their own ratings or reviews, so potential customers know that they are reading honest reviews, which in turn drives up sales. This option also allows companies to study any negative ratings or reviews and improve on their services and products accordingly. It forces companies to be proactive.
Another positive thing that comes from crowdsourcing transparency is that it gives customers access to people at the top, which is what customers want. Customers expect companies to change in conjunction with their needs and requests. They also expect to be acknowledged for their efforts. Best of all, crowdsourcing allows companies to onboard people from all over to share their different viewpoints on certain products or projects.
Though transparency and crowdsourcing may be uncomfortable to some companies, it is not going away any time soon. Companies are more likely to succeed if they realize this notion and embrace it.
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