There are those who would argue that the power of social media is blown out of proportion – more smoke than substance. Perhaps that was the case in the early days. But if 2011 has taught us nothing, it’s that there is peril in underestimating today’s customer.
There are two moments in particular that have struck me this year. The first was Bank of America’s decision to start charging a fee for bank card transactions, and the second was last week’s announcement by Verizon Wireless to begin charging customers a fee for making online payments. Both of these ill-conceived ideas were reversed after overwhelming social media public condemnation.
In the olden days (like, five years ago), these things would have just been accepted. Oh sure, we would have griped a lot, but who would have listened? For the first time in the modern era, however, customers are truly coming into a position where we can keep companies honest. Those who choose to abuse us are experiencing increasingly severe consequences.
I think 2011 was a bit of a tipping point for consumers starting to understand the power they wield, and I’m very anxious to see where 2012 takes us!
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