How many times have you read some variation of the phrase “Social Media Revolution” thrown around the ether of the larger internet community?
If you work in any semblance of marketing or advertising, then you more than likely see and read that phrase with startling regularity. Every brand and business from the smallest brick and mortar all the way up to the most massive of e-commerce behemoths have jumped headlong into the melee of social media with a fevered relish seldom seen in any other form of advertising or marketing — and for good reason, it’s a great way to connect with your customers.
It is, indeed, a hallmark of this so called “revolution” that customers will willingly take to social media to voice their concerns with a company’s service, and they also expect a swift reply.
The emerging trend in business that virtually all brands have been adopting for years emphasizes customer service through social media. This format of online customer care serves as a form of “instant gratification” for many consumers, and woe is the big business that flat out refuses to address their Twitter mentions.
The problem still exists though, that even after close to a decade of being front and center in the public consciousness, social media as a valid form of customer support is still very much in its infancy. It fundamentally lacks the human interaction aspect that customers crave for a satisfactory resolution to their concerns with a business or product. There is a fun little experiment you can do yourself to test out this hypothesis: Send a tweet with a genuine concern to an airline or large restaurant franchise. Almost without exception, the social media manager behind the brand will direct you to a contact form on a website or tweet you a phone number where you can talk to a real live person. And truth be told they are doing the right thing… putting you in touch with a real customer service representative is about as “human” as social media can get, given the current technology.
Indeed we are in the midst of an interesting “shift” in the way businesses handle their customers more vociferous concerns… but quite frankly, the “revolution” has yet to be televised.