“The Economics of the Socially Engaged Enterprise,” a study we recently conducted in collaboration with the Economist, shows that the path to becoming a high performing socially engaged company must include a calculated, audacious strategy to train employees to use social as an opportunity to rethink business processes.
“Tweaks,” or small modest changes, just don’t cut it. Adding a sharing function to content or setting up a Twitter account for the sake of social are just a few examples of tweaks. Rather than identifying opportunities for small tactical changes, executives should ask their teams which processes could be replaced, removed or radically altered with social technologies.
In fact, our research shows that 60 percent of executives see social engagement and related technologies as an opportunity to reengineer business processes.
Great Example: Dell Leverages Social to Redefine Product Development
In 2007, Michael Dell wanted to get the voice of Dell customers back into the product development process. It’s the way he built the company, and he felt it was vital to their future. To do this, Dell launched an innovative program called IdeaStorm to generate ideas and feedback directly from customers. IdeaStorm promotes customer engagement and allows Dell to crowdsource new ideas for products and services.
The platform allows users to add, promote, demote and comment on new ideas for the company. It serves as a funnel to collect a wide range of ideas in an efficient, fast and cost-effective manner. If customers thought that a Dell laptop could benefit from an additional feature, they could post an idea on IdeaStorm and allow others to promote it. Eventually, customers could see the solution in the next generation of laptops. When IdeaStorm was launched it was a fairly radical idea. It would have been much easier just to create an e-mail address to which customers could send their ideas. But, that probably would have gone unnoticed and, consequently, would have never worked.
By rethinking how they connect with customers around product innovation, Dell successfully converted their community into a free and enormous product development team. IdeaStorm has generated more than 17,000 ideas, and more than 500 have been implemented.
Top performers see social as more than just a tweak. By reengineering business processes, organizations rethink what’s possible, and continue to build and sustain success with social engagement. To learn more about what it takes to become a socially engaged enterprise, check out our whitepaper.