Evolution of Consumer Contact

As I’ve been learning during class about all the emerging media and thinking about the next social media tool, FaceTime on my iPhone comes to mind. We all know the number of tools will grow and expand, and most are trying to imagine what the Facebooks and Twitters of tomorrow will look like. But one thing is clear, the presence of a social media tool is inevitable.

Being in customer service, I’m always thinking about the next evolution of consumer contact … letters, telephone, email, chat, social media … FaceTime. It’s a new way of communicating and will be huge for businesses. It’s the perfect way to humanize your brand as more people want to interact with a person instead of a logo. As companies start to do more with video, the dynamics are going to change. It’s going to personalize the relationship. I’m sure the cost will be greater for video than it is for phone or email or chat, but the value that it will bring is the human interaction and trust factor. Consumers like to see and feel a sense of connection with companies.

With the number of executives and senior managers packing iPads and iPhones increasing every day, FaceTime is undoubtedly going to worm its way into the enterprise, even if a business-focused set of features is beyond the horizon. Although it presumably would be in Apple’s interest to open up FaceTime to services beyond its control (or that of its partners AT&T and Verizon), such a move could be years away, according to P. J. Connolly.

It will be very interesting to see the companies that lead the way with video since the risk might be greater, but the reward should be greater, too.

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