Are you outsourcing the most valuable aspect of your business? Or worse yet, not paying attention to it at all?
Technology has been replacing humans at work for many years. And
recently the remaining humans in American and elsewhere have been
replaced by other humans in areas that pay lower wages. The result has been a significant deemphasis in the value of human capital in business in America.
Here’s The Equation
Web 2.0 amplifies the voices of dissatisfied consumers. And yet,
most companies have been subtracting the number of humans period
(technology) or humans housed at the corporate office (out-sourcing).
Finally, another increasing trend is the face-to-face contact consumers
expect from companies (ComcastCares, anyone?).
Increase in personal interaction – humans equipped to handle that
interaction + web 2.0 vehicles to spread word of dissatisfaction =
potential major headache for companies.
The Good News
Some companies, however, understand the increasing importance of the customer experience. H&R Block
set up a Second Life avatar to answer tax questions during scheduled
meeting times, in addition to their efforts on Twitter and Facebook.
They understood that they were required to go to where their customers were, instead of expecting customers to come to them.
This outreach isn’t easy though. The Social Media podcast spoke with Paula Drum, VP of Marketing for H&R Block about this outreach:
“The other big surprise is how much time you have to put
in from a human capital standpoint. And we knew that going in, that the
trade-off between buying media is going to be the human capital side,
but really understanding that human capital side of it and thinking
about it from [the perspective that] ‘if this is successful, how do you
scale it to make sure you can still deliver the same experience.’”