What Is Customer Collaboration (With Examples)

What is customer collaboration? We've done a detailed breakdown, including examples, and reviews of different collaboration software.
Published on: May 28, 2024
Last updated: May 28, 2024

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Customers today expect a personal touch, convenience, and a variety of choices - they want customer collaboration.

In fact, a study by Salesforce shows that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their specific needs. Additionally, 68% of customers look for companies that show they care.

This means the traditional approach of just selling to customers is no longer enough. With the B2B buying process becoming more complex, sales teams need to work together with customers, not just try to sell to them.

So, how can sales and customer success teams work more closely with customers and turn them into organizational promoters?

This guide will provide you with easy-to-understand tips and tools to create a customer collaboration strategy that leads to success.

What is customer collaboration?

Customers provide feedback and insights, and businesses use this information to improve their products, services, and overall customer experience. It’s a two-way street where businesses and customers work together.

Customer collaboration strategy

Here's a breakdown of a customer collaboration strategy:

Identifying key customers: Focus on customers who are influential within their organizations and who can provide valuable feedback.

Engaging stakeholders: Involve all relevant teams within your company, from sales and customer success to product development and marketing.

Defining clear objectives: Set specific goals for your collaboration efforts. Do you want to improve product features? Develop new services? Increase customer satisfaction?

Choosing the right tools: Utilize online communities, surveys, customer advisory boards, or even social media to gather feedback.

Gathering and analyzing feedback: Actively collect customer insights, then analyze them to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Customer collaboration examples

Here are a few ways businesses are working together with their customers:

Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing is about talking with customers, not just at them. It uses tools like chatbots, live chat, and voice assistants to engage customers in real-time conversations. Instead of one-way marketing messages, it's all about actively involving customers in interactions with your company.

According to Zendesk, about a third of businesses already use conversational services, and many more are considering it. This kind of marketing is a great way to build stronger relationships with customers and boost sales. It's essential if you want to create a friendly and cooperative environment for your customers.

Customer co-creation

Customer co-creation means working together with your customers to solve problems or come up with new ideas.

For example, LEGO created LEGO Ideas, where fans can suggest new sets. They've received over 1 million suggestions, and the most popular ones get made into actual LEGO sets.

Customer communities

Customer communities are places where users can talk to each other and representatives from the brand.

Creating strong customer communities is a smart way to work together with your customers and get them more involved with your brand. You can even ask your most active customers to become moderators. They can help your customer service team by answering questions from other customers.

Social media engagement

Simply posting on social media isn't enough anymore. Customers want to feel a connection with brands. That's why it's important for brands to actively engage with their audience on social media platforms.

Here are some ways brands can collaborate with customers on social media:

  • Conduct polls: Ask for feedback on products, ideas, or industry news through polls.
  • Organize giveaways: Engage your customers by hosting giveaways. Encourage them to tag friends, follow your brand, and interact with your posts for a chance to win prizes.
  • Create brand ambassadors: Incentivize your most engaged customers to become brand ambassadors. They can promote your brand in exchange for prizes or recognition on your social media pages.
  • Post user-generated content: Share content created by your customers. This not only influences others to make purchases but also makes your customers feel valued and involved in your brand.

Visual engagement

Visual engagement means collaborating with customers in real-time using channels that involve dynamic visual elements.

Research indicates that customers have a clear preference for visual channels over chat and voice. This preference is evident in our behavior, as demonstrated by the rapid growth of visual-focused social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

There are four main types of visual engagement:

  • Video chat
  • Co-browsing
  • Screen sharing
  • Annotations

Any of these tools can help strengthen the relationship between a business and its customers. At Surfly, we take pride in offering a comprehensive visual engagement solution that includes all four features. Our Surfly session provides the ultimate visual engagement experience, enhancing customer collaboration.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy companies use to handle interactions with their customers.

CRM tools, such as Salesforce or HubSpot, assist companies in managing, storing, and analyzing these customer interactions.

Best customer collaboration software

Fullview

Fullview is a customer collaboration software that enables customer success and support teams to initiate one-click interactive cobrowsing calls with users for real-time collaboration.

Cobrowsing is a technology that allows two or more people to browse the internet together in real-time. It enables a support agent or representative to view and interact with the customer's web browser simultaneously. Both parties can see the same web page and interact with its elements.

Immediate and interactive: Cobrowsing offers a more immediate and interactive communication channel compared to traditional methods like chat or email.

Real-time collaboration: It allows agents and customers to collaborate in real-time, making problem-solving faster and more efficient.

Screen control: Agents can take control of only the customer's screen, enabling them to navigate websites together, fill out forms, and troubleshoot issues effectively.

Annotation tools: Cobrowsing platforms often include annotation tools that allow agents to draw, highlight, or point out specific areas on the screen, improving clarity and understanding.

On-demand assistance: Customers can request a cobrowsing session with an agent anytime they need help or assistance, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and support.

Overall, cobrowsing facilitates seamless collaboration between agents and customers, fostering better communication, problem-solving, and overall customer experience.

Salesforce

Salesforce stands out as a leader in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) field. In addition to offering robust CRM capabilities, Salesforce also provides a comprehensive customer service platform and AI-powered analytics.

Key features include:

CRM Excellence: Salesforce offers top-notch CRM functionalities, allowing businesses to efficiently manage customer interactions, track sales, and nurture leads.

Customer service platform: With Salesforce's customer service platform, businesses can streamline support processes, manage cases, and provide exceptional service to customers across various channels.

AI-powered analytics: Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, Salesforce enables businesses to gain valuable insights from their data. This allows for better decision-making and more targeted customer interactions.

360-degree customer view: One of Salesforce's standout features is its ability to provide a 360-degree view of each customer. This comprehensive view allows businesses to understand their customers' preferences, behaviors, and needs, enabling them to deliver hyper-personalized experiences.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a powerful tool for enhancing customer collaboration. It offers a range of features designed to streamline customer interactions and improve communication.

These include:

Automatic interaction tracking: HubSpot automatically tracks customer interactions across every channel. This allows businesses to gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers' engagement and preferences.

Universal inbox: Businesses get a universal inbox where they can view, assign, manage, and reply to every omnichannel customer conversation from a single location. This centralized approach helps teams stay organized and ensures timely responses to customer inquiries.

Miro

Miro is an online whiteboard platform that facilitates collaboration among multiple users on projects and tasks. It provides a versatile space for teams to work together, share ideas, and brainstorm solutions.

Its features include:

Collaborative whiteboard: Miro offers a digital whiteboard where users can collaborate in real-time. Multiple users can contribute simultaneously, making it ideal for team collaboration and customer engagement.

Co-creation tools: With Miro, businesses can co-create with their customers, allowing for collaborative brainstorming sessions and idea generation. This collaborative approach fosters creativity and innovation, leading to better outcomes.

Visual features: Miro's visual interface makes it easy for users to share and visualize ideas. Users can add text, images, diagrams, and other visual elements to enhance collaboration and communication.

Zendesk

Zendesk offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to enhance customer collaboration and support. Its customer support platform is particularly noteworthy for its ability to streamline interactions and improve collaboration with customers.

Key features:

Data tracking and analysis: Zendesk enables businesses to track, analyze, and display data from every interaction with a customer. This comprehensive approach provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, empowering businesses to make data-driven decisions.

Integration with Zendesk Suite: Zendesk Sell can be seamlessly integrated with other Zendesk software, such as Zendesk Support. This integration allows businesses to manage all customer interactions in one place, enhancing collaboration and efficiency.

Customer service ratings and analytics: Zendesk enables businesses to monitor customer service ratings and analytics, providing valuable feedback and insights for improving customer collaboration and satisfaction.

Related questions

What is an example of client collaboration?

A company hosting a contest where customers submit ideas for new product features is a great example of client collaboration. The company is working with customers to get their input and improve their products.

Why are collaborative relationships with customers important?

Collaborative relationships with customers are important because they can help businesses develop better products and services, improve customer satisfaction, and build stronger customer loyalty.

When customers feel like their input is valued, they are more likely to be satisfied with the company and its offerings.

Conclusion

Customer collaboration is no longer a trend - it's the future of building strong customer relationships. By working together with your customers, you can gain valuable insights, improve your offerings, and create a more positive and collaborative customer experience.

Ready to take the leap? See how Fullview can empower your customer success and support teams with the power of cobrowsing.

Start your free trial today.

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