August 14, 2013 Jaclyn Bickerton
Before I share a recent article I found on Forbes, I’d like to tell a personal story that many of you may have similarly experienced. We all know and understand the importance of customer service, right? Well, with today’s business models being focused on efficiency rather than value, our once human organizations have become so inhuman. Here’s my example:
I received a phone bill in the mail a few months back and on my bill I found an overcharge for roughly $30. I called my service provider to have it sorted out and found myself on hold for 20 minutes. Okay, so being on hold is understandable, but when I’m calling looking to make a complaint about my service, why am I repeatedly hearing a voice recording asking me if I want to add my mother or brother to my plan? I am calling to make a complaint! The truth is that the company that I called doesn’t want to hear from you or I, nor do they care why we are even calling.
In an article titled “Why Most Businesses Are Anti-Social In A Social-Media Era”, Rob Asghar comments about how most businesses have become decidedly antisocial in what is deemed the age of social media. Rob also shares some advice from Brian Solis. He says, “Businesses and organizations are inherently social. But what ends up happening is that we build a firewall – how we are with friends and family, versus how we are in business. Business is structured to be efficient. It becomes optimized. It becomes anything but social.”
As stated by Solis, businesses have a compelling reason to get social: They can’t control the public discussion in the manner that they used to. Traditional media is no longer a megaphone for businesses as it is drowned out by the conversations taking place on social media. They have to adjust drastically in order to be a part of the conversations that matter.
In this digital era, being social isn’t about picking up the phone and speaking to someone one-on-one, being social means jumping into a public conversation in which your company doesn’t have central control of. According to Constant Contact’s 2011 Small Business Attitudes & Outlook Survey, 73% of small businesses & organizations have started using social media marketing and 62% of those not using it expect to start marketing through social media within the next 12 months. The conversation IS happening online, so get connected and stay connected folks.
Jaclyn Bickerton, Social Media, Raven5 Ltd, Oakville & Toronto Ontario, August 2013