Empathy, the new social face of customer service...
The continued mainstreaming of social media has been catalytic in transforming this once settled landscape from a closed one-to-one transaction to a more open and conciliatory experience characterised by empathy.
In this new paradigm, traditional constructs, ways of communicating and business processes are being constantly questioned by customers. The challenge businesses face is that this questioning is taking place at the margins, on independent platforms, where their presence is neither required nor requested.
Sites such as ComplaintCommunity, Cofacio, GetSatisfaction, Amplicate, Vark, Plebble, alongside their more established counterparts like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and TripAdvisor are shifting the power of voice back in favour of customers. A company’s ability to remain relevant given the changing needs of an increasingly vocal customer, requires companies to actually demonstrate their customer centricity, rather than treat it as a box to tick on a ‘to do’ list.
The drive towards creating a multichannel service experience is now a more complex undertaking. The convergence of social media and smartphones has added a multiplatform dimension to the online proposition, resulting in the proliferation of ‘unstructured’, yet highly influential, ‘now’ conversations between people. Telephone, email and letters (yes they still exist) are being replaced by video, audio, microblogs, instant chat, SMS alternatives. Communicating with our ‘friends’, real or perceived, is exciting, visual, participatory and even voyeuristic.
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