I’ve got to hold up my hands and apologise: ‘I’m Guy1067, and I’m sorry’. Here’s why.

I was walking home the other day and it suddenly struck me: I’ve overlooked, perhaps even ignored, one of the most fundamental challenges that I talk and write about.

I talk and write about the impact social media is having on the relationship between companies and customers, on the way companies and customers are engaging with each other. I do this from the perspective of customer service, but try to place it within a broader context of business change.

I talk about the silos that still exist in companies, and how departments need to start working with each other. We are starting to see signs of it more and more. I talk about how companies need to become more collaborative, more open, more sharing, more empathetic. I talk about how brands need to approach their customers and, people in general, across the entire company. The customer experience is not the responsibility of customer service, marketing, sales, compliance, business operations…it is the collective responsibility of all of them. Each has a part to play, whether that is within a public domain or behind the scenes.

And yet, I came to the realisation the other day, as I was walking home, that I am guilty of doing the same when I write about social media customer service.

Rather than talking about social media as a company-wide initiative, I place it firmly within the customer service department.

Perhaps I need a new language for it, a new terminology, a new definition…that immediately places social media within a more collaborative and empathetic framework. A space where a company, its customers, people simply come together.

The traditional silos and paradigms are so much a part of my life, so inherent within my everyday thinking. I don’t even realise they are there any more. I don’t even realise I am doing it. And that’s why it is sometimes hard to wake up, rub the sleep away from my eyes and see them for what they are.

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