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Enterprise Social and the Future of WorkWork like a network.
Today, the world has become a giant network. People are hyper connected more than ever before. We see this in our personal lives: we talk to our friends and family using Facebook, get the latest news from people across the globe on Twitter, and find our next career opportunity with LinkedIn. Information and knowledge moves faster, and we’re able to accomplish more together because we are connected.
Your customers leverage the speed and flexibility of their networks to make decisions on the go. In fact, half of all consumers use a mobile device to research products and reviews (ATG Web Commerce, 2011), and 91% of mobile users go online just to socialize (Ruder Finn, 2011). Because of this, your networked customers expect more from you as a business. They want faster response, personalized service, and better experiences.
Meanwhile, inside the four walls of our traditional offices, we continue to work like we always have. Most companies today operate in hierarchies, with information coming from the top down or held up in unconnected systems and broken communication channels. For example, the average knowledge worker spend 20% of their week—one whole work day—searching for information (Interact, 2013). Decision-making slows down, and exchanging information is cumbersome.
And when a business moves slowly internally, the door to competitive disruption opens. Competitive disruption begins when your customers’ needs outpace what you can deliver. And when this is the case, your customers move on to someone who can deliver: your competitor. Take, for example, the bankruptcy of Blockbuster due to the ease of on-demand content from Netflix, or the closing of brick and mortar Border’s stores because of Amazon’s online marketplace and Kindle. In order to avoid disruption, companies need to be responsive, working faster and smarter together.
You can, with Microsoft. Microsoft’s vision for Enterprise Social is to empower companies to work like a network. By connecting individuals to a dynamic network of people and information, we help companies listen, adapt, and grow in new ways, enabling them to better understand their customers, respond faster together, and deliver innovative products and personalized experiences. Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to Enterprise Social is unmatched, providing seamless social experiences across the familiar applications people already use – all delivered on an enterprise-grade platform.Enterprise Social helps your business work like a network. Our solutions capture rich conversations and enable group decisions, which ultimately empowers your people to move the business faster—wherever they work.
When you work like a network, you're able to listen to what matters, adapt to needs and changes, and grow your business.As we all know, important conversations don't just happen in the office. You need to be where your employees, customers and partners are so you can listen to and learn from their changing needs. With Enterprise Social, you have all the tools you need to get a pulse on the conversations happening inside and outside of your business. Workers experience 76% more visibility into other departments or locations, and 80% are more informed with what is happening inside their organization (Business Insights, Yammer, 2013). Further, companies are able to adapt and make smarter decisions because they have listened to the needs of customers and employees. Companies using Enterprise Social have seen a 37% improvement in project collaboration (Inside Communications, 2012).These smart decisions and better collaboration lead to business and innovation growth. 93% of business leaders agree that Enterprise Social tools stimulate innovation within their companies (Red River, 2013).
Here is one example of how a company worked like a network to improve customer sentiment and grow sales.Adventure Works is a long-time consumer favorite in the outdoor apparel industry because of its durable products. Jimmy, a new member of the marketing team was monitoring Microsoft Social Listening. (1) He spotted a major concern coming from past Adventure Works consumers on both Twitter and Facebook. Customers strongly wanted sustainable products and manufacturing practices. Jimmy, new to the company, was unsure if Adventure Works produced and offered sustainable clothing. (2) Using In-Line Social within Social Listening with Dynamics CRM and Yammer he posed the question back to his team in their Yammer Group. (3) Becky, part of the Manufacturing team, saw Jimmy's post in her Yammer Feed and responded that this has been pushed back on the roadmap and attached the live roadmap from OneDrive.(4) With insights from both external networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, and internal networks, such as Becky in Product Management on Yammer, Jimmy was confident in his recommendation of starting a sustainable clothing line.
In the weekly team meeting (1) Jimmy shared the data and his recommendation in a PPT using Lync Screen Sharing. Jane, the team leader, agreed they needed to bring this issue and recommendation up to management. She instantly created a new PowerPoint within OneDrive and shared this with her team to co-edit. Jimmy added his research analysis and the team brainstormed a business case for a sustainable line, each adding ideas without worry of version control. (2) By the end of the 1-hour meeting, the Product Marketing team felt confident in their research and recommendation for the Adventure Works executives. However, before posting their presentation back to Yammer, (3) Jane sent the team's recommendations through Manufacturing and Sourcing, both major stakeholders in their recommendation for adding a sustainable clothing line. (4) With sign-off from Manufacturing and Sourcing, the executives agreed that this is a viable plan.
Within weeks, production began and by the end of the quarter the new sustainable line launched in retail stores. (2) Existing and new customers were made aware of the new sustainable clothing line through a Microsoft Dynamics Marketing campaign, and positive feedback was tracked on Microsoft Social Listening. Jimmy saw a (3) boost in consumer sentiment on Microsoft Social Listening, and sales trending up on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Westfield listened and improved partner relations.Westfield owns and operates a large number of shopping centers around the world. They use Yammer to connect together all their stores, to get feedback from people in the shopping centers to shape strategy and to keep people engaged with one another. This has been useful in everything from feedback about reward card structures to getting back to business after a flood in one of the shopping centers.
Red Robin adapted to customer needs in weeks rather than months.Red Robin was able to organize quickly and collaborate without friction using Enterprise Social. When they introduced a new burger on the menu, management was disappointed by the lack of guest feedback on their Facebook page. Instead, they found considerable buzz on Yammer where restaurant managers shared feedback from guests and ideas for improvements. Within weeks, Red Robin rolled out an improved, kitchen-tested recipe – a process that would have taken months before. In addition to making customers happy, Red Robin employees were more invested in the company. Red Robin CEO, Steve Carley, said "If you engage staff in a way that shows their opinion is important, it’s extraordinary what you learn – and the excitement you generate. That’s what working social does for an organization."
Xerox grew innovation by taking ideas to execution faster, even after a merger that more than doubled it’s employee count. Merging two company cultures and getting relevant information to people in both organizations can be a daunting challenge. But with Yammer, people at Xerox are able not only to find each other, but also to start asking questions and sharing ideas, improving coordination and alignment.
It takes a network of people to serve a network of customers. After all, it’s your Customer Service Reps who have their ears to the ground, gathering insights on what’s happening around them. It’s your Business Managers who rally team members to make decisions and act on them. It’s your employees who come up with new ideas, new products, and new ways of doing things. These are the people who move your business. Start working like a network today.