RESPONSE IN REAL TIME
Many of the new rules of customer service directly dial into this word-of-mouth herald. Companies like Dell and Zappos actively participate in many social forums and are therefore acutely aware of these conversations as they unfold. There is no room here for a “not my job” mentality. With emotion on the line, you can’t waste time trying to find the right person, department, or division to act accordingly. Empowerment is the order of the day.
As are initiative and ingenuity. When a customer’s loyalty—and a company’s honor—is at risk, is it inconceivable for an independent contractor, employee, or vendor’s spouse to jump right into the fray and offer some assistance? Based on the way we currently approach business, it might as well be. A royal headache just waiting to happen. And while avoidance or doing nothing is a direct path to a throbbing migraine, so, too, is a chaotic free-for-all, which is what happens without a baseline structure or infrastructure designed to react. Whereas too many people responding at the same time can be tantamount to harassment, the absence of any reply—due to the naive assumption that someone will be or is already on it—is equally hazardous. Either way, I’d still recommend pursuing a flatter, democratized, and empowered methodology that supports an adaptive, responsive, and connected system—active with the pulse of life and customer conversation.