Customer service: the “desk jockey” past vs. the “service ranger” future

I’m reading Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba’s Citizen Marketers on a friend’s recommendation. A lot of folks in his agency are starting to tweak on “social media” and this highly regarded (and extremely readable) examination of viral and customer-generated marketing activity is guiding a good bit of their thinking and questioning. Good on ’em – a lot more companies need to be exploring these issues, as well.

My biggest complaint so far really isn’t about the book so much as it is a general idea that the book helps perpetuate – that all this online activity, and corresponding company attention to it, is a very new thing. To some extent this is true, of course – as I note above, it’s not like engaging the blogosphere and the “citizen marketer” is something that a lot of companies are doing, and even fewer are doing it effectively. But just because most players haven’t caught on yet doesn’t mean that an idea is necessarily new.

Here’s an example. Pick up the book and read the passages on Jeff Jarvis and “Dell Hell.” (More…)

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