New form of inequality?
Jeff Jarvis wrote an intriguing post about his evolving ‘romance’ with Dell, a relationship that started when he ranted about their product and services , been ignored at first but opened the dam to a flood of similar complaints and the painful yet healthy change that Dell went through ever since to address their customers’ problems in an open, honest way.
We all remember the story of Vincent and his AOL HELL, a story that was well documented and made it to every news channel in the USA.
Then Iain wrote a detailed ‘brant’ [blog-rant] regarding the service he received from Virgin Media and was immediately contacted by Virgin people who offered their appology and help to solve the problems.
These stories supposedly epitomise the “age of customer control”. But are they? Or is it just a random collection of anecdotal evidence?
The point I’m trying to make is that while prominent bloggers like Jeff and Iain can bitch and rant and problems get fixed, what about the rest 99%?
While companies perhaps learned to “listen to the conversation”, whether by hiring social-media-monitoring specialists or by simply searching technorati and the likes to detect and respond to noisy bloggers, what about the little person who doesn’t blog? Does he or she receive the same attention and care that a noisy blogger get? (Moreover, I wonder if a less prominent blogger [i.e. with only 3 links on technorati] would have received the same ‘immediate response’ that Iain got.)
Is this a new form of inequality? I guess it is and it’s only natural. Back in the days, there were two common wisdoms [in Israel at least] that if you are somebody, you will be treated better then if you are nobody, and if you are nobody than only by shouting you can solve service problems, and the louder you shout the better chances your voice will be heard.
My feeling is that while these common wisdoms might have been transformed they are as valid as ever.