Countering Customer Insurgencies

Can established customers ever become a threat to a business? Thanks to social and mobile technologies that make them "hyper-connected and super-empowered" they very well can. No longer passive audiences, they can organize to overturn even the most strategic initiatives. The result is a fundamental change that has put teams and board directors on high alert – a new dynamic called "customer insurgency."

Luckily, the military’s experience with fighting terrorism provides a useful guide to corporations learning how to manage customer “rebellion” on 3 levels:

Level 1: Listen and Respond 
Many brands get into trouble by failing to notice the warning signs before its too late. Fortunately, all one needs are some good tools for monitoring social media, a crack team of social analysts and customer advocates, and a genuine commitment to act on what they see and hear.

Level 2: Engage and Dissipate
To neutralize customer insurgency before it spreads, companies must build their communities and engage their brand advocates. Since potential insurgents are far more likely to trust a fellow customer, the mission becomes: creating a volunteer army and reducing the space for would-be insurgents to gain footing.

Level 3: Involve and Transform
Listening and engaging are useful to catch insurgency before it spreads. But the best strategy is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This requires involving customers and transforming strategy, relationships, and processes, both inside and outside the organization.

Read full article »…


Image: Hand Holding Globe from