CROWDSOURCING CUSTOMER SERVICE
The term “crowdsourcing” was coined in 2006 by Jeff Howe in a Wired magazine article. I spoke at length with Howe as he researched his article. At the time, I referred to it as “communal marketing”—a phrase I coined myself in Life after the 30-Second Spot. Jeff’s term definitely stuck as a much sexier way to describe “leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals” or summarize the union of cocreation and the wisdom of crowds.
Human-powered search (once again the balance between technology and humanity) has become increasingly popular in the crowdsourcing category. Companies like Mahalo are attempting to manually recode the search game. Yahoo! has led the way with its “Yahoo! Answers,” which creates a platform for people just like you and me to ask questions, which other people (just like you and me) then answer.
Mixing all these ingredients together and then filtering them through a flipped funnel gives us a particularly unique and compelling value proposition: the ability to crowdsource customer service, aka community self-service. And if you think this is still out there on the distant horizon, think again. It’s here right now (at least at an infant stage).
Manufacturer of unique and visually striking liquid soaps (in bright colors and nontraditional packaging or bottles) Method Products (www.methodhome.com/
) utilizes a strong base of loyal fans and customers (or advocates) to spread the word ...