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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Power To The Customer in The Age Of Conversation

The most powerful and exciting aspect of web 2.0 is that technology, once the realm of only the tech-savvy, now enables true interaction and communication with our most coveted consumers. It used to separate and isolate. Now, it welcomes and involves. It also gives power to those who matter: our customers.

Hence, this latest slice from The Age of Conversation about Power to the Customer.

In "Technology Is Recreating Business Intimacies", Toby Bloomberg explains that the "technology, that fostered impersonalization, [is]being used to create "corner grocery store relationships" by allowing people to connect with other like-minded people!

Becky Carroll urges us in "Conversations and the Customer Experience" to "recognize the needs of our customers first and foremost... By putting on "customer lenses", we see how customers want to be treated, how they want to be talked to, and how we can improve the conversation at each customer touch point to best meet their needs."

Julie Fleischer creates a powerful image with "Visualizing the Threads": "the flow of an online discussion is called a thread." Imagine then the differences between a monologue and a dialogue: a thread stretching out ad infinitum vs. two threads interacting, interconnecting, and influencing one another.

Janet Green describes "The Restorative Qualities of Conversation." It's powerful. "Conversation restores credibility... Conversation restores personal accountability... Conversation... is the art of being human." This all matters because "consumers are sick of being shouted at, marketed at and sold to."

Lewis Green reminds us in "Conversation that Connects You to Me" that conversation is the reason for growth and success. Conversation is what allows us to connect with customers. Today, we do so via interactive communications. "Engaging in conversation represents the best starting point. Traditional marketing tools ... no longer achieve our end goals alone. Customers have a voice and they want us to listen to their voices."

Dr. Graham Hill offers in "Valuing Conversations" a fascinating discussion about how to determine value - and measure it- in a world evolving toward the "Customer Co-creation age... based upon involving customers inside the company: in customer-driven innovation, in social marketing and even in customer self-service."

Uwe Hook describes "The New World of Invitational Marketing." After all, "most of us left the Stone Age [of traditional advertising] a few weeks ago and feel the desire to be respected, appreciated and left alone, if so needed."

If customers matter to you - and they should! - then take to heart these words of advice from the authors of The Age of Conversation.

If this is your first visit, and you haven't yet heard about The Age of Conversation, then please do check out these previous posts. Not only will you learn more about other slices, but you will also have information on how to order the book for yourself - all for a good cause!

+ Listen! A Slice From The Age of Conversation
+ The Age of Conversation - A Slice on Connection
+ A Slice From The Age Of Conversation
+ The Age of Conversation - Now Available
+The Conversation Age - Enabled

To those of you in the U.S., I wish you a wonderful Labor Day, the American version of la Fête du Travail that the French celebrate on May 1st, and others in Europe, the first Monday in May.

Enjoy, too, this last official weekend of Summer which in the Northeast is looking to be absolutely glorious!

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