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Will Social Media Revolutionize Customer Service, As Many “Experts” Suggest?

The only revolution here is that social media makes customer service more complicated, more prone to error, and adds up to more frustration for customers

Will Social Media Revolutionize Customer Service, As Many “Experts” Suggest?

The answer to that question might be that it depends what one means by “revolutionize”, but the best answer is that it has the potential to change some elements of customer service, but that it’s unlikely to “revolutionize” or radically change customer service.

It’s worth keeping in mind that social media, whether it be in the form of blogs, or Facebook, or Twitter, encompasses TOOLS that are neither positive or negative on their own. Just like any technology, even simple ones we take for granted like the phone, and email, it all comes down to how people use them — customers on one side, and companies on the other. One only has to deal with phone trees and voice mail to realize that technology doesn’t guarantee better customer service, and can actually negatively impact the experience.

Right now, if we look at how social media IS altering or not altering the customer service world, I think we’d see that overall, nothing has been revolutionized at all. Service quality isn’t “better” overall, as indicated in research studies, and while there’s a lot of noise about how “great” things will be, there’s no data to support that as a general conclusion.

Social media has been around long enough for us to see how it has impacted on companies and consumers, and right now, the impact is certainly not even close to what social media proponents claim. There’s lots of talk, tons of activity, and very little fundamental change, but that shouldn’t be that surprising, because people, and systems haven’t changed.

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