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SAP Radio Coffee Break with Game-Changers Logo-121211.JPG“The winners in retail today are retailers who understand that the customer calls the shots,” stated Christine B. Whittemore live on SAP Radio July 25, 2012. And she is dead-on with my experience. What she’s saying is social-minded customers are probably not sharing the bells and whistles you crammed into a tiny widget, they are more likely sharing the experiences they had (good and bad) dealing with your company’s customer service, web site, warranty program or product quality. SAP Radio host Bonnie D. Graham set-up the conversation saying, “Today, it’s tougher than ever before to turn customers and prospects into loyal evangelists for your brand.”

Hard sell marketing tactics are a turn-off for social media savvy consumers and they are far ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing a product’s features and functionality. And even before your product hits the market, consumers may know a lot about it, as was the infamous case recently with the iPhone left in a bar. An extreme case for sure, but it underscores the tenacity of the social-minded consumer.

There are many products with good functionality, but what gives one retailer an advantage over another?  In the social space it’s education, communities and service, according to recent SAP Radio thought leader panelists.

Customer loyalty factors are also in play as described by Mark Johnson, President and CEO of Loyalty 360.

Lisa Joy Rosner, Chief Marketing Officer at social intelligence company NetBase, supports the power of the consumer seeing the social market from the flip side, also known as customer to business (C2B).

Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at Retail Systems Research, brought a wealth of data to the topic of brand management and customer experience.

Jon Wurfl, Retail Solution Principal at SAP, gave sage advice to retailers on how to convert “tire kickers” into evangelists.

Listen to the full show here and feel free to Tweet your comments to #SAPRadio.

What was your best and/or worst personal retail experience? Sound off in the comment section below.

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  1. Tim Clark

    Malcolm, nice post. So true that we as consumers research things maybe too thoroughly before making a purchase. I certainly did before I purchased a new TV – and then I bought it on SAP’s Shopsmart portal 🙂 . At the same time, I always seek a differentiated “live” retail experience where price is not as much of a concern.

    Check out a recent Forbes post from SAP’s Rahul Asthana called “Management Lessons of a Barber Shop.”

    A must-read that applies to this discussion.

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