Have you seen what Starbucks is doing with their customers? They’re asking their customers to suggest ways to improve their products, and also to suggest ways of improving the experience when the customers purchase the products.
evly has created an app for owners of Facebook fan pages, that not only lets the Facebook fans suggest ways a company can improve, but allows them to vote, & comment, & share the ideas (which means the company gets tons of new Facebook fans for free).
The end result is a company…
1. That engages with their current Facebook fans
2. That gets new Facebook fans through all the viral methods built into the app
3. That gets real business value, by hearing “out of the box” ideas the customers want AND seeing which of these ideas the customers think are most important
Over the last few weeks, I’ve met with plenty brands that have expressed the desire to get their customers involved, and so the response from one well known consumer company left me so gob smacked, that I’m keen to hear your thoughts on what you think.
1. They believe that they’ve heard every possible idea that their customers could come up with, and don’t think that they can come up with any “out of the box” ideas that could prove worthwhile to them.
2. They don’t really want to “engage” with their customers in a meaningful way – they simply want to “entertain” their customers.
Do most companies want to involve their customers so that they can become better companies (better products, better experiences, better company all round), or are they just looking for bigger databases (more Facebook likes, bigger email lists) and for “customer involvement” to consist of “entertainment engagement”?
What do you think?