As the information age grows, communications have increasingly become both more impersonal as well as the opposite.
Where once we might have picked up the phone and called a retailer with our questions, today we turn instead to Google’s bots, nameless people on live chat software, downloaded PDFs, and FAQs. Need help assembling or fixing something? There’s a YouTube video at the ready.
On the other hand, in the long-ago age of the local retailer, if they didn’t have the info you needed it was nearly impossible to connect directly with a manufacturer. Dealers provided an insular barrier between companies and customers and that was exactly what many companies wanted. I remember trying to outfox the switchboard guards of numerous companies trying to get an audience of someone within the company for an answer.
Then came the internet. Some companies pounced on the new connection technology to further isolate them from their customers while others did exactly the opposite.
Take PS Audio as an example. As the information age grows we’re embracing it as a means of greater one-on-one connection with our community: videos, blogs, forums, one-on-one phone communication, emails answered by people, not bots.
The web is a double-edged sword. For organizations unconcerned with providing a one-on-one experience with their customers it permits entire companies to be built with not more than two or three people. On the flip side, if greater connection is the goal, the web also provides a golden opportunity to get closer and closer to a worldwide community of like-minded people.
Like anything in technology, it’s how one chooses to use it that matters.