With the rise of the technology age, many predicted companies like LEGO would decline in popularity. How could little plastic building blocks compare with the allure of video games and addicting apps? LEGO was aware of the challenge, and faced it head on by fully integrating their social media with their customer experience.
They recognized that building LEGO was a social activity and that people wanted to share their creations with family and friends. LEGO built an online community united by their love of the product and creative curiosity. They didn’t stop there, however, as they transitioned their customer experience to be fully digital with apps, books, and feature films (Harvard Business Review, 2017)
LEGO’s example points to a trend in the way that business leaders have embraced social media in order to provide a better customer experience. In a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, over 600 business leaders from some of the world's biggest brands were asked about this emerging link. The resulting report highlighted that customer experience is essential for a business’ success, and utilizing social media to provide amazing experiences is tied to revenue growth and stronger market positions (Sprinklr.com, 2017).
We’ve broken down their report below to identify key findings:
One initial finding from the survey points to the importance of social media for businesses. Almost half of the leaders surveyed say that social media is important now. When asked how important social media will be in three years, the number jumps to 75%.
Unfortunately, despite the recognition that social media will grow in importance over the next few years, most business leaders admit that their organizations are not equipped to deliver superior customer experiences. This may be due to a lack of investment in the resources needed to plan out and execute on social media initiatives.
Despite the fact that only a minority of business leaders feel prepared to deliver a superior customer experience, more and more companies are investing, and planning to invest, in customer experience and social media.
In order to identify those companies that are leading the charge, survey administrators asked respondents about the extent to which their customer experience and social media overlapped. Three distinct segments were identified: Leaders, representing 12% of respondents, reported full integration; Followers, representing 60% of respondents, reported that the two were somewhat integrated; and Laggards, representing 27%, have not integrated at all.
Harvard Business Review’s report further identified that Leaders have been outspending the other two segments in terms of investment in customer experience and social media for the past two years. Such a significant difference in investment gives Leaders an edge, as in general they are:
-Able to offer a far superior customer experience
-Better at managing risk (team members receive appropriate training on the content that is appropriate to post and how to engage online with customers)
-Able to generate strategy informing insights
In addition, Leaders have been able to translate these customer experiences into stronger revenue growth - outperforming Followers and Laggards. As Leaders continue to invest in social media and customer experience, and gather key insights into improving in these areas, they are setting themselves up to maintain a competitive advantage for years to come.