My mind wandered after that last post and I started to think about what it means to be human in today’s always connected world. Of course, it means you’re nothing unless you’re in someone’s social network (du jour) buddy list. Where does that leave the Big Corps trying so hard to fit in?
The companies I have a relationship with are in my friend list. Look at all the great info I have instantly available: what’s on sale, similar companies, communication. If I get fed up with them, I hit the “Remove Friend” link and they’re gone!
If a company needs to talk to me, I decide on what terms. Gap’s been really needy lately so I’ll divert all incoming messages to a throwaway email address. TiVO, on the other hand, gave me a great deal on an HD box—text me as soon as it ships!
The history of my interactions with companies is recorded in either a credit card statement, a piece of forgotten email or worse, something printed and mailed. Who can remember when you last flashed a device? Installed an update? I’d sure like having a single aggregated view, available anywhere and safely stored at some remote secure location.
Pretty much always have an IM client going. Most companies will send some sort of email notification, but why not IM too? There’s a little bit of IM use among Yahoo, AOL, etc. But it feels disjointed, robotic and more focused on marketing. If I no longer want the Gap sending me stuff it’s gone from my “buddy” list. More control for me!
And frankly any “customer support solution” is a failure if it’s designed to keep you from speaking to a real human being. (Then again, that’s not always a good thing.) Why the 5-10 minute delay? The diligent customer service rep is looking through the chat history, getting up to speed regarding my problem.
So Big Corps, these collective affinities aren’t going to stand around and wait for you. Accept my invite or say goodbye.