HELLO, WE ARE 4 ROADS

BESPOKE.

Do you need a digital solution that an off-the-shelf product just can’t provide? We’ve created everything from bespoke health platforms to autonomous production line systems.

We also create bespoke products to integrate systems that run on disparate technologies.

ENTERPRISE.

Whether it’s a global solution or a small WordPress site, we can catapult your brand to the next level. In fact, we’re even a Sitecore Certified Solution Partner for Implementation.

COMMUNITY.

Are you looking to build better customer relationships through an online community?

We’re experts in strategy, implementation, and integration – as well as being the longest standing global partner of Telligent Community.

A SMALL TEAM WITH BIG IDEAS

"The combination of their extensive knowledge and their experience with a diverse client base has been invaluable, supporting everything from development on small and
large projects, to consulting on our roadmap and strategy. 4 Roads have been responsive, timely and always willing to go the extra mile, we cannot recommend them enough."

Magnus-Andreas Sølvberg Aase, AFS Intercultural Programs

Online communities

CONSULTATION

If you are implementing yourself, our strategic advice will set you on the road to long-term success.

Our consultation service will help you:

  • Understand your community
  • Identify the opportunities

We can then offer strategic direction before and during implementation to:

  • Provide a clear community focus
  • Ensure community engagement
  • Safeguard innovation
  • Help promote your community socially
  • Help monetise your community
  • Futureproof your community’s development

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation is our core offering. If you’d like us to implement a community solution on your behalf we can take full responsibility for the project.

Alternatively, we’re happy to augment an internal team, offering our experience to enrich your own capabilities as we implement in partnership.

Our implementation process relies on:

  • Agile project methodologies
  • Regular client interaction
  • Driving high-quality results quickly and efficiently
  • Focusing on accelerating time to market
  • Ensuring clients stay within budget

INTEGRATIONS

We’ve been Telligent partners since 2004 and Sitecore Certified Solution Partners since 2016, so we know a thing or two about adding community features to Sitecore websites.

If you run – or are about to implement – a Sitecore-powered site, we can help you add forums, blogs, wikis, chat, gamification elements and so much more…

Read more about our work with Telligent and Sitecore

Bespoke solutions

INTEGRATIONS

Our expert developers can create a wholly new system to ensure different technology solutions work together intuitively.

SYSYEM DEVELOPMENT

Whether you’re starting with a blank sheet of paper, or planning to make use of existing software as you introduce a new application or technology, we have the development knowledge and experience to create new solutions to help transform your business.

Software Implementations

SITECORE

As a Sitecore Certified Solution Partner, we’re can create a truly responsive website.  Combining a CMS with analytics and automation features for enhanced engagement and personalisation, will turn your website into a lead generation and optimisation engine.

We can also help you manage the transition to using the Sitecore Experience Platform.

Our overall Sitecore offering includes:

  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Ongoing support

WEBSITE DESIGN 

Our design and development experts deliver solutions for both B2B and B2C clients. Here are a few of the ways we create stunning websites:

  • We use NET and PHP solutions
  • We develop on open source platforms – like Umbraco and WordPress
  • We also develop on closed source and bespoke platforms
  • Our coders are experienced with ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Our sites incorporate SEO, social media, mobile and other tools

E-COMMERCE

We have a wealth of experience in creating e-commerce platforms that really deliver. We can help you with:

  • Conversion rate optimisation
  • User experience design
  • Creating bespoke features
  • Integrating your site with an e-comms solution

WHY WORK WITH 4-ROADS?

Successful Projects
Cups of Tea Consumed Annually
Community Users Worldwide
Years of Operation

What our customers say

Our latest thinking and insights

Benefits of Social Communities

These six critical benefits show why your business needs its own social community

Organisations of all sizes recognise the benefit of being social yet many still assume platforms like Facebook and Twitter can meet all their engagements needs and fail to consider the alternatives.

A thriving community isn’t just great for an organisation’s reputation and brand awareness, the real advantages are often more actionable. Here, we’ll look at six major areas of benefit a forward-thinking business can gain from developing its own community rather than just using existing social networks.

Audience engagement

An audience is made up of lots of different groups. It can include customers, employees, prospects, and partner businesses. One of the greatest virtues of a dedicated community is how it brings together a group of individuals that might otherwise never meet around a common subject matter.

Good communities work by providing members with the necessary tools to connect with peers and host organisation, to build meaningful relationships, find answers to vital questions, share experiences, and to gather necessary feedback.

Over time as relationships develop, engagement grows and enhances.

Exclusive content

The result of all that engagement is specific and detailed content. Peer-to-peer chats, problem solving, and all the thought leadership that goes on plays a huge role in building the value of a community to its members – and over time, as content volumes increase, as does that value.

Multiple departments

Often a community development project has its genesis in the marketing department as it sees the benefit of establishing a permanent feedback loop to help it quickly and easily understand the needs, drives and desires of the various groups that interact with the business.

In forward-thinking businesses, however, the benefit of a dedicated community will soon become apparent to other departments.

For development teams, communities are ideal places to gather feedback on existing products, to answer customer queries, and to find out what the audience would like them to develop next.

While they’re busy understanding what needs to be built, sales people can look for leads in the community. They can develop relationships with prospects, gain an understanding of customer pain points, and once empowered with all that knowledge they can start to cross- and upsell.

Of course, the community also acts as a vital customer service channel, which brings us neatly to…

Customer service

The need to provide good customer service is critical to any business. Usually, this means operatives at the end of a telephone or internet connection – but as an organisation grows, how should it meet the increased customer service demand?

There must be a smarter way than simply scaling the customer service team to keep up with demand?

By integrating its customer service operation with an online community, Nordic Semiconductor was able to reduce the burden on its support teams – and restrict the need for it to grow exponentially – as customers more readily sought answers to their questions from peers.

Customers got their queries answered quickly in the community allowing operatives to offer a more valuable service as they dedicated more time to individuals whose queries couldn’t be dealt with in a public forum.

Why not Facebook?

Of course, these are all significant advantages, but wouldn’t just be easier to use established social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to conduct all this activity? Isn’t it possible to engage an audience more quickly and cheaply on these platforms?

Owned conversations

Wherever it takes place, social engagement helps remove the divide between a business and the customers, but if an organisation uses third-party network for all its digital interactions it risks leaving a vital part of its operation outside its control.

Customers today want more than a sale, they need a relationship. If an organisation bases that relationship on a third-party site, it’s powerless to prevent service changes damaging its customer interactions.

With an owned community, not only can a business remove the risk of its interactions being compromised, it can add necessary functionality to enhance and encourage the quality of communications that take place.

Owned data

Owning the conversation is one thing, but more crucial for a company that runs its customer engagement on social networks is that it has no control over data. It can’t decide how data should be applied and it will have only limited access to analyse the interactions that take place.

Relationship data is powerful stuff. Without access to information on how customers behave, a business is unable to conduct meaningful analysis nor maximise its digital relationships.

Conversely, a business running its own community – and controlling its own data – can tailor the experience to suit the audience. It can build the site to make sharing and conversation simple, it can offer rewards and incentives, and it can gather information on every bit of usage to inform both the development of the community and the wider strategic aims of the business.

 

If you’d like to know more about maximising the digital relationship you have with your customers, please either call, email, or complete this short form.

4 Roads Sponsor Engage 2018 - The Verint Customer Conference

4 Roads Sponsor Engage 2018 – The Verint Customer Conference

This week, 4 Roads are pleased to be sponsoring Engage, the Verint Customer Conference in Dallas, USA.

The event runs from the 14th-17th May 2018 – three days of learning, networking and feeling inspired. People across the globe will meet with a common aim of crafting their roadmap to customer and employee engagement success.

4 Roads founder and CEO, Robert Nash will be working with Telligent to run a break out session on ‘How to Get Your Customers to Help Offload Agents and Build Reusable Knowledge‘ on Wednesday at 12.30pm. He will also be at the Verint and Telligent booth discussing how adding an online community into your customer engagement strategy, combined with knowledge management can not only benefit customers, but also the customer service agents.

Two of our most recent case studies demonstrate just that. Both Nordic Semiconductor and Cherwell Software use a branded social community as a customer support and engagement tool and have reduced contact centre volume, burden on support teams, and streamlined the entire customer experience.

We are very happy to have been given the opportunity to sponsor such an event and if you are there, please do come and say hello!

social media apps

What Is The True Value of Social Media?

Wetherspoon has quit social media – why aren’t more firms questioning its value?

The pub chain JD Wetherspoon walked into a storm of publicity when it announced it would close all its social media accounts – but was it really such a bad idea?

In this article we’ll look at why Wetherspoon took the decision it did and then ask why more businesses aren’t questioning the value of their social media investment.

Ditching Twitter

Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim Martin gave several reasons for taking down the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram profiles, but chief amongst them was that social media just wasn’t helping the business.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43781281

Despite a reasonable following (100,000 on Facebook, 44,000 on Twitter), Wetherspoon’s couldn’t engage a sizable audience. It concluded there wasn’t a community for it on social media and that it would be better off communicating through its website and printed magazine.

To an outsider looking in, it seems like the right decision. Albeit one perhaps taken for the wrong reason.

Scale, but no love

Where Wetherspoon retreated, other businesses have prospered. Many have build large social followings and are well-established. However, like Wetherspoon, even some of these businesses are starting to question whether they can extract proper value from this online following.

Social media presents an opportunity for organisations to make customers feel part of the business. Firms use these channels to make things personal. Having adopted this strategy, however, many companies are failing to convert the conversations they have on social media into more meaningful experiences for their customers.

If these businesses find it hard to see the value in following Wetherspoon’s lead and quitting social media altogether, they’re at least starting to reconsider their relationship with it.

Many of these businesses realise they need to move conversations from social media to an owned digital community. They need to see social media as a channel rather than a destination – a tool to draw people to their own websites or applications where the customer experience is enhanced.

Who controls the data?

When social engagement is done well, it has a positive effect on a business. The issue is that if an organisation over-invests in established social media networks – using them for all digital interactions – it can leave a vital part of the business outside its control.

Customers today want more than a sale, they need a relationship. If an organisation bases that relationship on a third-party site like Facebook or Twitter, it’s powerless to prevent services changes damaging customer interactions and, crucially, it also has no control over data.

https://www.4-roads.com/online_communities/facebook-update/

Building knowledge

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has taught us just how much we give away each time we establish a profile on a site that offers a service for no obvious cost. If we’re not buying a product, we’re the product.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/26/the-cambridge-analytica-files-the-story-so-far

To its owners, the value of a social platform like Facebook lies in pooled user data. However, the users don’t have absolute control over how their data is applied nor do they get full access to analyse the interactions that take place on their dedicated pages.

For businesses that want to make the most of the relationships they build digitally, the realisation is dawning that they need to own their own data and run their own communities.

Building relationships

Relationship data is powerful stuff. Without access to information on how customers behave and interact, a business is unable to conduct meaningful analysis nor maximise its digital relationships.

Conversely, a business running its own community – and controlling its own data – can tailor the experience to suit the audience.

Squatting on someone else’s platform, none of that is possible.

 

If you’d like to know more about maximising the digital relationship you have with your customers, please either call, email, or complete this short form.

https://www.4-roads.com/#contact

BIMA member

BIMA membership puts 4 Roads at the heart of the digital community

4 Roads is proud to announce its membership of BIMA, the British Interactive Media Association.

BIMA connects the thought leaders, champions and change makers of Britain’s digital economy, driving innovation and excellence across the industry. As a BIMA member, 4 Roads are able contribute to the local digital community via initiatives such as Digital Day, which sees businesses inspiring young people to explore careers in digital.

A BIMA membership will also enable 4 Roads to contribute to thinktanks in the latest technology, join BIMA’s councils and help drive the digital agenda in topics ranging from young talent to diversity to regional representation.

Rob Nash, 4 Roads founder and CEO says, “We are excited to be part of driving more innovation and excellence across the digital industry and as part of this membership, we are hoping to connect with likeminded people nationally.” He continues: “I am sure the entire 4 Roads team will find the membership hugely rewarding, due to a wide range of training and networking opportunities which comes with the membership.”

Find out more about BIMA here: https://bima.co.uk/

4 Roads Power up The Tower for Shelter

On the 15th March 2018, five of the 4 Roads team will be fundraising for Shelter by taking part in Vertical Rush, the ultimate tower running challenge, and Shelter’s flagship fundraising event.

Donate here.

‘Team 4 Roads’ consists of Robert Nash, James Browne, Balarangesh Janardhanam, Jamie Freeman, and Luke Briggs, who will join 1,000 runners and race up the 932 steps and 42 floors of one of London’s tallest buildings; Tower 42 in the heart of the City.
4 Roads are taking part in Vertical Rush for Shelter because every 13 mins a family in England loses their home and every day 120 families in England become homeless.

By conquering the tower challenge, 4 Roads will be raising vital funds for Shelter who help millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through their advice, support and legal services.

4 Roads would be delighted if you would join us in supporting Shelter, by donating here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/4roadsltd  
The Midlands Business Network Expo

Networking in the Midlands

Last week 4 Roads had the pleasure of sponsoring The Midlands Business Network Expo – a professional business exhibition and networking event, held at the NAEC Stoneleigh Park, which attracted 100 exhibitors and over 800 visiting businesses from across the Midlands.

4 Roads is a winner with the Midlands business community

The one-day event gave us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities within digital and technology and offer our free website audit on the day to businesses also based within the Midlands.

The 4 Roads team spoke to many delegates throughout the day and we enjoyed demonstrating how 4 Roads can strengthen relationships with your customers through the use of technology.

4 Roads were offering free website audits continuously throughout the day, which was highly desirable for both enterprise and SMB customers alike.

Valuable business connections

4 Roads have made valuable business connections at The Midlands Business Network Expo and are happy to have been part of such an exciting network of local businesses who share the desire to grow, connect and engage. We look forward to future face-to-face networking opportunities within the Midlands during 2018.

Couldn’t make it to The Midlands Business Network Expo but want to your own free audit of your website?  Click here or contact us today: James.browne@4-roads.com or 0808 189 2044.

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