Difference between Knowledge About the customer and Customer knowledge
Knowledge residing in the mind of customer is different than the knowledge about the customer. Knowledge about the customer is taken care in CRM ( Customer Relationship Management ) process. In a simple form we can say knowledge from customer is different than knowledge about customer.
The knowledge of Customer about the product and services and the related area varies in different sectors. The knowledge of an industrial consumer is about product is different than a knowledge of a retail shop consumer. Consumer in all respect knows about the product and has different assumption and acceptability about the product, its market and demand.
Pickup the opportunity before the competitors knows about it.
In some sectors, the first sign of change in market segment or product cycle comes from the customers. New opportunities can be explored based on the knowledge of the customer
CoP (Community of Practice.)
Organizations have different forums to interact and create knowledge within and between the organizations. CoP is one such forum where all members interested in a domain of knowledge comes together and shares their experience and helps each other in creating new knowledge. Interaction or knowledge creation with customers within a CoP environment helps organization to understand the knowledge creating process of the customer. Like organizations internal knowledge, customer also may not be knowing what knowledge they have or what they know, so organization has to create right environment where the tacit to explicit transformation takes place giving the organization and edge in the market place. This valuable knowledge has to be disintegrated quickly across the organization.
Collaborate or join your customer in projects or new product development. The customer is more likely to share new insights, knowledge and the experience when he is part of the process. Some organizations have some jointly held intellectual property with their partners. Customers are not just passive recipient of product and service offered, so they will be more committed and willing to collaborate and share their knowledge once the organizations starts giving value or importance to them.
Organizations encourage its employees to share their failure and success stories to prevent re-invention of wheel, where as customer knowledge management focus on innovation and new knowledge generation in collaboration with customer.
Organizations like amazon.com collects customer knowledge in terms of feedbacks and reviews from the buyers or readers and made them available to others. In one section it tells 'those who purchased this book has also purchased ..' and displays a list of related books.
Customer knowledge is not same as knowledge about customer. It should not be confused with the knowledge we gather from the sells team about the customer. Customer can share valuable market insight, new product demands and much other related knowledge in a mutually beneficial conducive environment. This is a strategic step of the organization to keep itself ahead of its competitors.