The Social Media Revolution
For thousands of years, the human race never used any item which was not made by themselves, their family or their people. During all this time, your customers were your cave-mates & friends, they used your product and perhaps gave you food in exchange. Service was simply going to your next door neighbor and asking him to help you fix the item. The consumer was a human, and so was the vendor.
Fast forward a few thousand years to the 1830s — The Industrial Revolution. Now there were factories running on coal-producing goods which everyone wanted. Consumers were lined up for hours and days together to buy produce from industries. Customers had to submit their resumes and then wait for their turn for weeks or months to buy a car. Customer Service was non-existing. Slowly and gradually, when the competition rose and the demand increased the supply — simply having a good product was no longer an option for businesses. Service because as important as the product, but the contact points were limited. Physically visiting the company or contacting them through a telephone were the only options. It was OK for companies to sometimes be non responsive to consumers.
The digital revolution changed that — now the consumers had options to connect to their vendors through their website, email addresses and even chat. Consumers could easily connect to their vendors — but still not to each other.
Once the consumers had access to the Internet, everyone got connected to everyone. Your customer was now, not just some guy on a phone call — he had a face and a circle of friends which he can influence. The power to make a business successful shifted from the corporates to the consumers. Consumer expectations rose, their communication channels increased and earlier contact points became outdated really quickly.
We now live in an era where a few good reviews can define your success or failure, an era where you need to be available for your customers 24x7 and an era where your customer is human again. A company is no longer defined by just the product it sells, it’s also defined by its service, reachability & by the community of its consumers themselves.
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