Here are several excerpts from an article by Christopher Musico, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine, Web 2.0 Technologies Remain Top-of-Mind for Most Companies:
As consumers adopt new technologies to interact with one another, companies seeking their business must evolve as well — a message that’s coming through loud and clear, according to study results from the Service & Support Professionals Associationâ€™s (SSPA) 2008 Member Technology Survey.
According to the results, Web 2.0 technologies are at the top of the list of planned purchases by SSPA members in 2008, with both large and small businesses reporting budget allocation for discussion forums, wikis, and Web collaboration.
Additionally, the adoption of customer communities rose from 36 percent in 2007 to 49 percent this year, and wikis — included in the survey for the first time — have been adopted by 25 percent of respondents. “These statistics are considerably higher than expected,” admits John Ragsdale, author of the study and vice president of research for the SSPA.
Ragsdale explains that companies are turning to these online customer communities for various reasons, including deflection of assisted customer interactions, taking traffic away from technical support agents, and — from a marketing perspective — building a sense of fellowship among customers. “Having a vibrant and highly interactive community is becoming very important for building loyalty,” he says. “Engage customers and make them part of the process, identify [consumer] experts, and make them into rock stars — [that’s] the best possible wayâ€¦to make sure youâ€™re meeting their needs.” Furthermore, companies that have already purchased Web collaboration tools are satisfied with the technology. The SSPA study found membersâ€™ satisfaction at a 3.86 (with “1” being highly unsatisfied and “5” being highly satisfied), which was highest score among the 24 functional modules measured.