Within the next five years, face-to-face communication may be the customer service exception, not the rule.
A total of 1,700 CEOs from across the globe
were asked to describe how they currently engage with customers and then detail how they see their companies engaging customers in the next three to five years.
Right now, the face-to-face sales force rules by a healthy margin. And it will still rule in three to five years, but not by much. The new method nipping at its heels? Social media. The CEOs expect social media to be the second most widely used method of customer engagement. Right now, it's the last method on the list.
So is this good or bad?
On the one hand, amping up social media use is common sense. Millions of people use social networks to consume and share information. It's likely that millions more will use social networks in three to five years. A willingness to meet your customers on their own turf is a giant step closer toward job security. Plus, a quality message spreads quicker and wider via social media. If it's a good message about your company, you're golden.
At the same time, the face-to-face meeting still means so much. It's honest. A person can't hide behind a jazzed-up photo of themselves or delegate their "voice" to a witty intern. It shows a willingess to show up, take the time and do the work. The one thing employers look for in new hires is an ability to communicate effectively in person — because it's a slowly dying art thanks to the pixelation of our social connections.
In the end, which method is going to sell you?