Why will businesses use Made Open?

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Made Open is a social network that will empower people, communities and organisations to work together and change the world they live in. But I was reminded yesterday of why I believe a whitelabelled Made Open platform will also be suitable for innovation with large businesses too, and so I thought I’d jot these down.

I was listening to the insightful Christer Holloman (@holloman) talk about how expensive customers can be and how companies like giffgaff – “the mobile network run by you” – have turned expensive customer service operations on its head. The gist of it is this: members support each other, members get rewarded the more they help fellow members out, members can “earn serious money” by becoming a super recruiter. Consequently, giffgaff’s customer overheads are a fraction of traditional mobile operators.

What intrigued me most however is how giffgaff’s customer satisfaction ratings are super high. This just goes to show – the more work you do at the bottom, the less dictation you need from the top. People like to be a part of something.

So how is this relevant to Made Open?

Well, Made Open allows top down and bottom up to meet somewhere in the middle. Users of Made Open can easily connect with other users based on their professional skills, soft skills, interests, location and so forth; and form project teams around real-time issues and shared interests. I would like these interests to be socially motivated of course, which conjures up a range of images I’m sure, but since when is a business not part of society? Better business means better society.

Made Open is a great platform for business leaders to innovate – to discuss organisational ethics, tackle business failures, respond to market opportunities and corporate social responsibility – in such a way that doesn’t presume that a ‘business leader’ refers only to the managers and directors of the business. No, what I am talking about is the business leaders who can have the greatest influence on delivering better customer experiences, and these are often the employees closest to the customer. This blog by the brilliant David Dinsdale (@ddinsdale2000) explains this eloquently – http://ddinsdale.wordpress.com/.

But, for now, let’s keep this simple. Businesses who use a whitelabelled Made Open platform will enable their staff to respond to challenges, influence outcomes, be engaged in the success of a strategy, change or improvement and invite staff to raise their profile within the business beyond the hierarchical structures that often get in the way of business innovation.

Made Open will work well in this way, as a private social network for business. Made Open will work even better as a public social network for business – a platform for open dialogue with customers, channel shift and service transformation.

So whilst our primary focus for the Made Open vanilla platform is to inspire people, communities, local authorities and businesses to come together, to work as one, I am also very excited by the prospect of businesses using their bespoke Made Open platform to drive their business goals forward in a way that invites participation from their customers. Businesses who use Made Open in this way will open up a world of possibilities – achieving practical and innovative outcomes that raises the benchmark. Just like giffgaff.

Regards – Robert