Relationships Drive Business

Strengthening Customer Engagement to Propel Your Business

Value Creation Thru Technology April 7, 2008

Filed under: Ideas,School — Carla Bobka @ 2:24 am

Friday I had class again.  My learning cell’s presentation on how to apply new technology tools to an existing business model was one of the deliverables.  The Accountabilabuddies topic was my company.   We looked an the strategic implications of adoption of a number of techonologies to our current business model.  As well as how to use other techologies from a tactical perspective to increase customer value.  Since the 2nd class, my head has been exploding with ideas to apply the technologies we’ve learned about to my company.  It has been amazing to get this excited about technology.  Let me explain that I have no idea how most technology works.  But, I’ve discovered I am pretty good at figuring out what it can do to help you.  This class at Villanova has been transformative. 

The presentation itself went well.  My learning cell contributed to the overall content, but Steve (professor) doesn’t like polish parades of presenters, so Brian and I did the entire presentation.  We elicited a great deal of discussion in the strategic portion.  So many questions/comments from Steve, that I actually had to cut him off, so I could continue.  Our plan was to spend 10 minutes on strategic topics and 20 on tactical.  At the 20 minute mark in the presentation, we still weren’t finished with Strategic.  The discussion was great and I am sure will contribute to our overall grade.  On Tuesday night, I had cut about 15 slides and 4 topics.  It was just too much content for 30 minutes.   Maybe I should have cut more.

As part of the tactical portion, Brian developed a Wiki for us.  He presented that portion, adding content and conversation threads in the moment.  The reception from the class was wonderful.  There are so many ways to use the Wiki:  to gather ideas in a central place so you can use the information when it becomes important.  It builds community among users, keeps a conversation together, rather than spread across several peoples inboxes, and allows people to participate on thier own schedule.  The concept is somewhat similar to using SharePoint or a HomePage, but is better because it can be is dynamic.  There is not just 1 webmaster and many viewers, all participants can contribute.  The rest of class were excited about it and the ease of use.  When Brian finished, it seemed like a natural closing point, so he wrapped it up.  We still hadn’t discussed Business Intelligence, but that’s alright.  Steve will see it when I send him the PowerPoint.

Here are a few ideas on wiki use: 

  • Policy creation discussion
  • Policy impact:  capture input on how it is impacting the business, to be taken into account when it is revised, or to initiate revision
  • Customer management across geographies: particularly for documents and instructions that don’t have a place in any other application like your inventory management system or CRM system; capture and share successes and lessons learned across local geographies to stimulate cross selling in other portions of the customer’s operation; disseminate Best Practices and customer SLAs; post documents in a single location

I think Wiki is the new killer app in relationship management across large organizations.  It’s amazing that it is so low cost, and can build so much value for both our organization and the customer.  I’m going to build one tomorrow for one of my largest customers.  We service them across 5 districts, Maine to Florida.  A normal month consists of more than 2000 trips to thier locations. Of course security is the first question, it has to be front of mind.  The wiki will be private, so only those I invite can access it.  I can consolidate a number of documents in a single location.  Whenever a new local account manager is hired or newly assigned to the account, they will have a single stop to get up to speed on what the customer expects and how to service them day to day.  I can’t wait to get started on it! 

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