A post I wrote about the power of social media in relation to customer service (you can find it here) was recently tweeted and commented on by one of my Twitter followers @tomswift. In that post I talk about the power of social media in affecting the reputation of companies with potential customers. With social media, disgruntled customers now have huge megaphones with which to broadcast their discontent, so companies should beware, and be aware of their social media reputations.
Still, today when responding to @tomswift’s tweet, I found myself wondering aloud about how long social media will have such power. Will there be a point at which there are so many people saying so much about a company that individual issues will go unserviced, perhaps even unheard–as now is often the case with overloaded email boxes?
I know that today, if I were to send an email to the company I was wanting to address my customer service complaint (if I could even find an email address of a real person), the likelihood of someone actually having the power to address my concern and then actually doing something is very small…because there are too many email and customer service agents are often unempowered.
Right now, hiring social media managers is all the rage. Right now, companies realize the importance of social media to their reputations…but at what point does one person’s broadcasted complaint via twitter stop getting the attention that it currently does? At what point will it take a larger number of similar complaints before a company responds? Is social media getting more attention because it is the newest form of customer communication? While the email and phone complaints are not any less important, they often don’t garner the same level of attention…and one must consider the question: at what point will social media complaints become similar?
One could argue that the very medium of social technology changes the dynamic and therefore companies will continue to address social media comments and concerns. After all, social media is about community and engaging with customers, having conversations with them, right? But aren’t phones conducive to conversations? Didn’t we used to have conversations (or sometimes still do) via email threads? For all of those involved in social media, consider the question…and then, I would love to know your thoughts. Or if you don’t want to comment, feel free to take the quickpoll: click poll.