"A satisfied customer! We should have him stuffed." Basil Fawlty
Manish Mehta, Dell's VP of social media and community, says that his company is "trying to embed social media in the fabric of how we do business". It's a laudable objective. As content becomes service, service becomes experience, and experience becomes everything. It's one thing being aware of customer sentiment and feedback, quite another to gear your business (and not just your marketing team) towards being open and responsive. It's not just about a communications 'channel', it's about how you act and speak as a business. And no amount of social media overcomes bad customer experience. I think the businesses that get this will win.
In a post at the beginning of the year, JP Rangaswami noted that the core problem many people are currently trying to solve is that of trust – a quality that is inherently human, that is related to the Age of Biology rather than than the Age of Physics, that is about convenant relationships, not about contract relationships. "In a contract you await breach and effect recourse. The question answered is 'who pays?' In a covenant the question that’s answered is 'how do we fix it?'."
"Poverty is not created by the poor people. It is not their fault that they are poor. Poverty is created by the system, imposed on good blooded human beings and we can peel it off. Today I can say that almost two thirds of the world population are rejected by the conventional banking system for no fault of their own. I said, banks come and tell us that you are not credit worthy, I said, shouldn't it be the other way round? The people should be telling whether the banks are people worthy."
In a networked world, the real difference is that businesses not only have to show that they are environmentally aware and socially responsible. They have to show that they are people worthy.