Social media is run by its millions of users and the computer/software industry mirrors this change of ownership. Tech support may be fostered externally, brand image is created online and consumers are the driving force. It is beneficial to use consumers in the creation and innovation of new products or services. UGC leads to better engagement, while simultaneously fostering brand trust among consumers, more than structured marketed messages would. The invaluable factor of social media/Web 2.0 technologies, although tricky to control, is the open platform and how it empowers individuals in various ways. This includes anything from creating online communities, getting creatively involved or sharing knowledge and information.
This is why customer experience is essential in this line of business. Stick with the consumer from when they first get online to research products and competitor’s products, until they are ready to leave a review on their own after evaluating the product they chose. 87% of 21,000 respondents of a Social Media Link survey reported that good customer service was the primary motivator of leaving a review, while 60% will leave a review after a negative experience. New technologies will continue to shape the customer experience so companies may build relationships with customers that are holistic, rather than simply transactional. Keep in mind that this requires knowing the audience and keeping certain questions in mind:
- How can they help shape future products?
- In what ways may the audience be engaged in a deeper way?
- Are they an audience that will create UGC?
- What social media platform or online community are they present on, or would be open to trying?
- Is an app appropriate?
Although the computer/software industry is powerful and shapes other industries as seen in the social publishing post, consumers are mainly the ones who shape this industry and will continue to do so. So get involved early, be there for the customer and understand who they are and what they can do for the organization.