Ah, social media. We’re “connected” all the time. We know all about your dog, your outfits, your new hair style and your relationship status. We “see” friends and family that we may not have been in the presence of in decades. We support people we’ve never met who are a world away and get glimpses into their lives from a digital portal. We peek in on the famous or successful and study their posts or photos for insights. We can engage on the periphery of your life and never have to talk to you.
As a marketing professional, I weary of faceless rants on social media to complain or provide a one-sided story. I tire of the presentations about insights, research and identities. I disdain a world that is so automated, so precise and so technological that our customer is a perfectly served up bundle of data called a “persona” and companies rarely have to personally intersect with humans. Instead we know exactly what you want and like without ever having to talk to you. We design our websites, our slick IVR, form emails and letters and automated service options to meet your specific expectations. We chase you around the internet, we find you on your phone, in email, we “know” all about you, yet I have no idea if you like rain, if you prefer the bus or a car, if you hope to be a teacher or a service professional. I really don’t know much about you at all.
As a leader in a service industry, the one thing that fills my sail, more than anything else, is to hear from the customer themselves. To hear my team take care of them, empathize and work to solve their needs.
I’m a big fan of Human to Human interaction. I wonder how smart we really are…I believe that the organization that figures out this balance is who will ultimately really win.