Social Media author and SNCR.org fellow, Brian Solis, wrote an interesting piece several days ago on The Socialization of Business. In his post, he talks about “the last mile” as one of the largest (if not the largest) hurdles businesses have to clear to really engage and connect with customers. This last mile of social media is a human connection, and Solis talks about the disconnect between brand representatives (employees in most cases) and the customer.
He brings up some great points, and what strikes me is that for that mile to be bridged effectively it will take years. It calls for a change in corporate values, as well as training and empowering employees to act in that “human” capacity for the brand. No one cares about “brand values” in b2b when you can’t get what you need when you need it. It’s about real human issues.
This is why FUN matters in that last mile. That last mile is a human connection. Fun is about people – it’s about delighting and surprising your customers. Ultimately, all business is done between people, not faceless entities, and Fun and humor are about real connections as the authors of the now 11-year-old seminal book, “The Cluetrain Manifesto” so rightly penned. Consequently, corporate “Berlin” walls are going to have to come down so employees and customers can have meaningful, trusted, human interactions.
It’s going to require big values, trust, and letting go. Yes, empowering the social employee as well as the customer. To those maintaining the hurdles, “tear down those walls!” Only then, can the last “social” mile be implemented.