Social technologies revolutionising service, product development and HR

29th Nov 2011

Applying social technologies to the world of business can revolutionise customer service, product development and human resources, new research from IBM has found.

Consumer applications such as Facebook and Twitter have transformed the way people communicate and collaborate. Now, the world of business is applying this approach and thinking to improve efficiency, productivity and effectiveness in the workplace, according to the study by Big Blue. And applying social technologies to the business world can deliver better outcomes for less, the technology giant says.
The ability to connect people in social networks that drive dialogue and innovation removes boundaries to communication both inside and outside an organisation. It also offers businesses real-time insight into customer trends and opinion. A recent study from IBM showed that 88% of CEOs felt that getting closer to their customers was a top priority.
Ofer Guetta, portfolio manager for Collaboration Solutions at IBM, said: “The most efficient way for a business to get closer to its customers and accurately measure their insights is to engage with them socially, and to invite them to participate in conversations with the business. By deploying a social business model, customers get better access to experts and internal knowledge, while the business can reduce its external communication costs.”
Guetta added that by simplifying and streamlining the processes of collaboration, and by engaging with real-time feedback from customers and external experts, product and service design can become more efficient while ensuring the end result is in tune with the trends in the marketplace.
Meanwhile, human resources can enjoy a significant return on investment from social business through reduced employee travel, reduced staff training and a reduction in the time spent communicating with employees while at the same time improving the quality of  conversations.
“The explosive growth of social media shows that people are increasingly wired to use technology to communicate and collaborate in this way,” Guetta added. “The successful business of the near future will be one that harnesses this trend to deliver improvements in products and services, as well as the customer and employee experience. At the same time, it can expect to realise substantial efficiencies in its business.”

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