Any observer of customer relationship management today can easily see we now live in a two-way world. Brands and companies no longer control the conversation or message delivered about them to the marketplace. Sharp companies have dedicated people monitoring social media to make sure the company knows what is being said about them, so they can respond appropriately. It is truly a two-way conversation … when it is.
I was reminded of the anomaly in this in a post by the Customer Value Foundation. They noted, accurately, “Have you noticed when dealing with companies, especially through the e-media, the company can get in touch with you? They contact you when they wish to. But when you try to get in touch with them, you cannot, unless it is pre-ordained by the company you can contact them.”
Think about it: how many companies that you deal with via the web make it impossible (or at least way difficult) to call them. Try to find a phone # for amazon. You can if you work hard at it, but it is not easy. And they claim to be totally customer obsessed. As long as you do it their way.
In the name of “efficiency” too many companies today are killing effectiveness. But then if they all do it, finding an alternative company to deal with can be difficult. Customer experience is likely now the only sustainable competitive advantage as almost everything else can be copied or replicated. However, if your company’s definition of “customer experience” is that you will be outstanding as long as the customer does it your way… I’m not convinced that is really a Customer experience focus.
There is an expression that I am reminded of: It’s better to have customers talking to you when they are not happy, then talking about you. And in today’s world everyone as the internet microphone.