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Business Cards are so Passé

Posted on : 14-06-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Business, Social Media

Tags: ,


So this morning I received this email (I edited the email address out but remainder is the same):

From: Martine Paris
Sent: Sun Jun 14 02:03:30 2009
Subject: Plug on Content NOW from TWTRCON

Hi All,
Thanks for the great presentation at TWTRCON.  You got a plug at:
The blog post is in a notes format.  Please feel free to email edits or additions.
Looking forward to your thoughts!
All the best,
Martine Paris
Editor, Content NOW

I reviewed the post.  It is about the recent TWTRCON event in San Francisco, which was excellent.  During my panel discussion on Customer assistance on Twitter, Francine Hardaway chimed it with a fun story of how I helped her with trouble with her Apple router.   The story with Francine is one that I will never forget and she will be a friend forever (well doesn’t that sound so teenage like).  What basically occurred was our conversation shifted from social media to phone.  This does happen at times because the phone can be useful to walk someone through many steps in fixing something.  This same thing happens when someone needs assistance via email and more questions are necessary.  After we were able to fix things I received a call on my cell and it was a hotel that found her phone.  I was able to tweet francine on exactly where she could find her iPhone.

After that story, Dave McClure chimed in to say this story proves social media service is not scalable.  This led to a little back and forth regarding the scalability.  In my opinion he is incorrect, and we have proven that you can have a multiple people within social media, especially a place like Twitter.  Today we have 10 people on Twitter and we are also in many other spaces on the internet.  As I discuss in the post “The big question for @comcastcares is: How will they scale?” it is really about the tools that are being developed.  My big question for those that do not believe it would scale, what would you recommend companies do, ignoring commentary has not worked?

I know many would respond to that saying that companies need to improve traditional service channels, and I wholeheartedly agree.  This is a new time and Customers are more in control and companies must recognize that fact.  At the same time I will tell you that there will be a large percentage that will still request help online first.  In fact I would guess that most people are like me and google something before calling (in fact a Gartner study shows this is 50% and growing).  I can also say that the majority of people that we assist never called, emailed or entered into chat.  The other trouble is with many products, like internet, trouble can be with many other devices not controlled by the provider, such as router, computer, or even servers throughout the net that a company does not control.  We have to find a way to converge support to help with all these areas, and the web offers perfect solutions for this (I will save this for another post because I am developing a project on this topic).

This brings me back to the purpose of this.  In the post in the email it offers a synopsis of the talk and ends with the following statement about me:

“But for all that talk, Dave McClure was right, at the end of the presentation, Frank was not giving out any business cards. So much for accessibility.”

They are right, I did not bring business cards with me.  I did respond to the email with the following message:

That is interesting that you felt not having business cards proved that social media efforts were not scalable, yet you were able to contact me via email, could also do the same via Twitter.

Maybe the world has not changed as much as I thought if we are still looking for, even expecting, business cards at an event about Twitter.  I think the benefit to Twitter is how close it brings us all together.  It make the world a much smaller place.  I guess I was wrong about that.  Actually the fact was I did not go in the office during the week leading up to the trip and did not want to go in just for business cards.  So I do feel bad if anyone that wanted my business card did not get one, so I am offering it here for anyone.