Home > Online Presence > Everyone has a voice – how are you using it?

Everyone has a voice – how are you using it?

I stumbled across an article/blog post by Mike Masnick from July 2009 on the website TechDirt as I was pondering the saying that “Everyone has a voice”.  The article details how a singer, Dave Carroll, had a poor experience with United Airlines in resolving an issue surrounding the singer’s guitar being broken while in transport.  In the article, Masnick makes the following statement,

“one of the amazing things about the internet is that it gives everyone a voice. And when everyone has a voice, the customer wins. Period. Customers will always be able to get the word out if you screw them over”

I’ve also noticed that lately one of the anecdotes that Gary Vaynerchuk uses involves a scenario where his brother calls up to a restaurant for reservations and is told one thing, and when he arrives a little early he is told much later.  Gary visually depicts how his brother whips out his cell phone, and quickly the hostess disappears and appears with a table for Gary’s brother and his dinner companions.  It’s at this point that Gary suggests this action of whipping out the mobile device is the new “go-to-move”.

While I completely agree that in a social and consumer web centric world, we have a unique ability to broadcast and inform others about poor service and experiences, I want to suggest that our voices shouldn’t only be used to complain or exalt the experiences we’ve had with service providers.  Just like businesses are compelled not to just tweet about product announcements and promotions, consumers shouldn’t just tweet about issues they’ve encountered with products and services.  The benefit of the community is when we have a glimpse into context of a person sharing.  Social experts like Shel Israel encourage business to consume (listen to) the chatter and act on that.  Should the converse be also true, that consumers should also be producers in this social web environment?  Should we offer opinions and insights into our daily lives that don’t revolve around  how the misdeeds of others have left us hurt, angered, and/or poorer?

I’ll offer that I’m not a touchy-feely type of person, but over time I have become more patient with travesties of services and products that have left me wanting to ensure the producers and providers understand that I’m not happy with the results.  I’ll also concede that I most likely will not be whipping out my cell phone in response to an undesirable statement or action, but that’s just me.

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