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Innovation 2.0: Customer Engagement Rediscovered

 

 

By: Lina Shehadeh, Aramex Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

 

The  launch of big ticket items - the newest smart-phone or the latest 3D television for example - garner enough media attention to put them in the spotlight of what most people consider to be innovations. A touch-screen mobile phone with seemingly unlimited uses or a device that brings 3D images to your living room are undoubtedly innovative. But to Aramex, the radical innovation of products features or new services is also coupled with another type of innovation; creativity in the actual delivery of services. In many ways, service delivery enhancements represent a considerable part of innovations in the company: reflected by an unlimited drive for improvement in delivering better value to stakeholders.

 

Take the example of Aramex’s engagement with customers through social media. At the beginning of 2008, in the dynamic and fast changing world of social media, new ways to engage with customers and other stakeholders were being sculpted - Tweet by Tweet, one Facebook friend at a time. From helping a customer in Bahrain find the best option for his shipment to assisting a client in Germany track her package, Aramex moved its quest for customer service excellence to the exciting new world of social media.

 

Prior to 2008, the digital presence of Aramex was limited to its corporate website and engaging with a handful of bloggers who mostly commented or enquired about package delivery delays, shared customer experiences and had questions about shipping methods. Aramex started a shift in its service delivery approach by adopting social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) to serve customers on the platforms they use on a daily basis. This involved changes in the tasks of customer service teams and also translated into changes of the scope and type of work for each team, as well as individual skills needed. Not only were employees serving numerous customers at once, but also many customers started interacting with and helping each other. The result was improved customer service quality and timeliness, while reducing costs that were associated with running call centers and serving walk-in customers. This process led to a dilution of the traditional service boundaries, as customers assisted each other and assisted themselves in answering general questions or handling certain tasks.

 

Service boundaries refer to the lines separating tasks that are done by the service provider from tasks that are done by the client or by related businesses or third party contractors.”**

 

Engagement with customers in social media was part of other innovations - for example e-tools such as aramex.com or ClicktoShip -  that contributed to this shift in service boundaries and delegation of customer support, freeing up valuable customer support assets and cutting costs.  

 

** From Innovating the delivery of service; Kamalini Ramdas, London Business School,

Elizabeth Teisberg, University of Virginia, Amy Tucker, University of Virginia Medical Center; March 8th 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

You can read more about Aramex services:-

1. Aramex and You: Inbound Express

2. Aramex and You: Meet Value Express

3. Your Business: Managing Your Data