The Re-Humanization of Customer Service through Social Media
America and possibly the world had an issue in the first decade of the 21st Century. Almost any product or service that you bought came from an enormous corporation and, if you called for customer service, you either got to talk with a person at a call center or you got to listen to a robot.
That’s still pretty much the case with larger organizations, but you are beginning to see a lot of successful smaller companies popping up, along with more and more human interaction on the customer service level. Like Dunder Mifflin…
With all of the complications that social media brings to society, it has shown both big and emerging businesses that people like interacting with real people. When someone can get a human-typed or spoken response, or a Youtube video explaining a product, service or concern, you know that customer service practices have clearly shifted in response to success of social media.
You could break the timeline down like this:
1 – Companies typically exist in smaller community driven markets, wherein customer and clients can easily interact with owners, customer service and other employees
2 – Certain corporations in a variety of industries grow to unprecedented sizes far quicker than expected, knocking many smaller competitors out of the race
3 – Many of these companies get too big to handle complaints, questions, etc. so they farm customer service to other countries or robots to cut costs and save time
4 – People basically have to deal with this because they have no other options for various necessary products (cell phones, internet service, televisions, etc)
5 – The Internet begins to see social networks and media sites emerge, wherein smaller companies can reach customers in a direct format. Also, people can complain about companies on review boards. Companies interact with customers & clients to explain things, settle disputes, etc.
6 – Bigger companies see that these trends are inescapable, and follow suit, getting involved on social media sites, making for national or international communities within many markets
That is a very basic overview of the timeline, but hopefully you can see this shift in it: obligatory human interaction –> intentional dehumanized customer service –> semi-obligatory re-humanized customer service via web outlets
It’s a process, and many companies have a long way to go, but this has a lot of benefits:
1 – Smaller start-ups have a chance at success through web marketing
2 – Bigger companies have to start offering better customer interaction in order to compete with smaller companies
3 – Consumers get better service
Anyway, here are some other Kelly memes for your amusement…
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Tags: Social Media