Social Media: Opinions are like….

Social media, whether ‘open’ or in the form of, for example, a LinkedIn ‘Group’, can be fun, useful or even valuable. It can generate interest, dialogue, debate or disbelief in equal measure. Occasionally, it can provide the catalyst for positive action. The downside can be that everyone feels their opinion to be important. This may not matter but there are a growing number of examples of uninformed opinion leaking into areas that require a level of knowledge or experience in order to add value.

We noticed a recent example on a Call Centre ‘Group’ site in which a contributor referred to the benefits of reducing Customer Effort and went on to illustrate these with a personal example of a cancelled train. The solution proposed was an SMS message warning travellers of delays or cancellations so that they could work later or meet their friends before catching a later train. Aside from the fact that this facility is already available from franchises such as First Great Western, communicating a train cancellation or delay is about managing customer expectations. It has nothing to do with reducing customer effort.

Of course the contributor was sincere in seeking to participate in the dialogue around customer effort but ultimately, opinions or ideas based on a poor grasp of the reality undermine the true value of understanding and applying real service improvement thinking to positive benefit. One person’s lack of clarity creates confusion in others, to the general detriment of, in this case, people who do understand the subject and those who would like to.

It may not be practical to review all items posted to Group sites but it may also benefit Groups if items posted to their sites have been drafted in the context of some clear guidance on basic requirements such as accuracy, relevance and use of language.

In the meantime, if you would like to understand more about the benefits of reducing customer effort, and how to go about it, please call Martin Wright or Stephen Grey on 0845 8382 159.