3succeedingAnne M. Schueller, one of the leading experts in customer-focused management, who coined the term “total loyalty marketing”, gives in her book The Touchpoint Company useful tips on how to succeed in the future Web 3.0 business.

According to her, a paradigmatic change of life-, buying- and working styles is evident, as bold new providers drive the market forward in breathtaking speed with their cheeky ideas. These fresh newcomers seem to make everything get old a bit faster, just like every day gets a little more digital and complex, as well as social.

Almost the whole world is getting "social"

People are moving closer together and solidarity is growing, communication is getting more direct and informal. Instead of ‘have”, “be” is playing a bigger role and a development from 'I' to 'we' is emerging. Instead of selection, engaged participation is forward-pressing, resulting in a huge democratization process.

Knowledge beats power and not the shareholder value, but the customer needs to control today’s companies. Virtual networks are the holding center for eroding traditional social structures and father for a new culture of physical interaction, whereby the ‘digital natives’ are their protagonists.

Networking and collaboration are key

This new era not only affects the individual as a member of a community, and society as a whole, but the economy alike. "Soft factors" of corporate governance, such as ethical integrity or company culture are often more critical to manifest a company's reputation and will be of decisive importance from now.

In contrast to image, reputation cannot unilaterally be controlled by the providers, as it is not achieved by what you are saying about yourself, but by what others think and say about you.

That’s why the Internet runs the largest referral program. On the other hand, an outrage there can quickly cause an uproar or even a major shitstorm for companies. Control is in the hand of the public, or in other words, the ‘wisdom of crowd' ensures that the chaff separates from the wheat and the evil is sorted out.

Re-start: How companies accomplish the future

The future cannot be mastered with outdated concepts from pre-digital economic times, Anne M. Schueller states. What paralyzes companies the most are the following facts of:

• Too much management, but too little focus;

• Too much hierarchy, but too little collaboration;

• Too much complacency, but too little customer love;

• Too many rules, but too little space of possibilities;

• Too many figures, but too little emotion.

To be prepared for the new business world, it needs to be the other way round:

• More focus on employees and less management;

• More collaboration and less hierarchy;

• More opportunities and less rules;

• More emotionality and less figures;

• Much more customers love and less complacency.

Obviously, a tentative refresh of established facts is not enough, rather a realignment is needed.

If you are not ‘liked’ yesterday, what about today and tomorrow?

Make room for new and more suitable things to prepare for the competition of the future and abandon creative restlessness. The main thing is to realize that business as usual is not an option.

Technical and product-based innovations are more urgently needed here than management innovations however, in order to achieve the shift from a traditional pyramid organization to a networked company. In fact, this leap has to work in a rush and the internal ‘touchpoint management’ can be a valuable support. It considers the 'journey' of a company’s employee and puts all internal touchpoints - interaction between employees and executives of an organization - to the test.

Quite different leadership styles shift forward that are needed from now on, such as those always thinking in the realms of possibility (possibiliator), catalysts, customer-focused leaders or human resource specialists for management. The digital transformation - new working models and the demanding digital natives - leave companies no other choice.

Navigation system for the business success

Hence, the internal touchpoint management takes into account the requirements of our new working environment to improve the quality of interaction, to make inspiring workplace conditions and to create attractive performance opportunities. The intensive examination of each touchpoint not only increases the employee performance, it also leads to an optimization of resources, time and cost savings, a strengthened employer brand and a higher customer loyalty, besides attracting new customers through referrals and that way generates healthy income. Because at the end, there is an organization that is highly efficient - and deeply human.

By Daniela La Marca