The Voice of the Customer

Customer service isn’t a chore. It’s the new PR.

—Chris Brogan


We hope by now you’ve accepted the idea that social media connects people and spreads messages—both good and bad—with lightning speed. If someone says something good about your company on the Web (or something bad), it has the potential to be seen instantly by tens or hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. You know that; it’s why you’re still reading.

Imagine you’re heading out on a Saturday to buy a new mobile phone. You walk into the big electronics store and a dozen things hit you at once: Music is playing, people are wandering about, tables and shelves are covered with merchandise. You walk through the store and see that your favorite band from college has a new CD. Televisions, you are astonished to notice, have grown another 25 percent larger than the last time you looked. Someone is trying out car stereos, and the thumping bass rattles your fillings.

You come to the mobile phone section. The clerk says, “May I help you?”

“Yes,” you reply. “I’m here to buy the new Hamanaramana Millennial × 12i.”

The clerk rolls his eyes, heaves a contemptuous sigh and says, “Do you live under a rock? We’ve been sold out for a week.”

Of all the things you experienced from the time you walked into the store, which one are you most likely to remember and tell people about?

Customer service is the new PR, and we’re not the first people to say it, by any means. ...

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