Scaling of conversations
While reading, a few thoughts came to mind with regard to scaling of conversations. A challenge that many big companies face when entering the social web and wanting to engage. For small companies having meaningful conversation in, on or with a little help from social media, will be a small challenge. For big companies it’s a major one, because on-on-one conversations don’t scale.
Automation is not an option
Of course conversations on an individual level between Customers and employees in big companies, on the widest variety of topics, cannot scale without taking a completely different approach. Automating these conversations, IMHO, is a no-go area if not impossible (for now at least). One can automate transactions, decision tree problem solving etc, but real conversations, in a social world, are about people connecting with people. Authenticity and Transparency are two key elements of those conversations:
Automation does not fit in this world and is just another way of trying to reduce costs of things you think you have too many of.
We can go on and on about how, much like Best Buy’s Twelpforce, we need to involve all employees of the organization to have meaningful conversations, and what would be needed to make that possible. I think one-on-one conversations will not scale in the end, at least not without a completely different approach.
The real problem is that there is just too much to talk about.
Social Media and most of all contact centers are filled with people talking about experiences with brands/products/services etc. Some good, most are not.
Hence my thought that our real question should be:
How can we scale the conversations to fit with the organization?
Obviously I don’t have the answer, or I would not be here, right now. But maybe taking on the following challenge will help companies to come up with an answer:
Take your combined budgets for Marketing & Customer Services and ask yourself the following:
If I had this amount of money to spend (annually!), and I did not have any Marketing & Customer Services departments to spend it on (but you do still have the problems they solve), what would I do with it, to ensure that I can have meaningful, authentic conversations with my Customers that create value for both of us? What would you do first? What would you stop doing? How would you organize?
Are you up for the challenge?