Corporate Voice is Just as Important as Customer Voice (in the 2.0 World)

I was editing some webcasts, and reading some blog fodder when a couple things converged in my head.

With all this talk of “customer dialogs” and listening to customer voices – how much time is spent actually honing the social media voice of the companies engaging in that dialog?

There are a lot of issues to think about here. The Inbound Marketer blog brings up some interesting political points; such as anonymous tweeting and emailing. Authenticity is important, but so is consistency – and when a customer deals with a brand over many touch points the question becomes: “Do these people care about the ‘individual’ they think they are talking to, or the overall experience they are having?” I don’t have an exact answer here, just thinking aloud.

Caroline Dangson, a social media analyst with IDC, brings up some interesting points about the corporate “voice” in the social media world in a guest blog at mine and Colin’s old haunt. Dangson uses JetBlue as a good example of how brands with a strong social media program can turn potential haters into advocates. But at the same time, this is all a reactive situation – JetBlue can hone its voice and policies to “save” angry customer experiences – but it is difficult to create an a priori sense of satisfaction. Most people tweet about things that have already happened – it’s that simple.

I guess the takeaway here is that while it is important to create an honest and authentic voice – there still has to be organizational consistency. And, of course, the customer is always in control in the 2.0 world.