There's Always A Way To Compete: Competing With Google By Being Human
from the you-can-compete dept
We've talked in the past, for example, how Google's closed nature could be its Achilles heel. But another area in which Google has a clear weakness, as we've documented over and over and over and over again, is that it's horrible at customer service. From the outside, to the average user, Google often appears as a big white monolith, with little hope of getting a human response to issues. This is not universally true, of course. I've seen many Google employees personally reach out and respond to problems, but it often feels sort of ad hoc, and the number of stories of problems falling through the cracks is certainly noticeable.
So it doesn't surprise me that others are beginning to recognize this as well. JJ sent over a blog post by Jesse Noller, picking up on this point and suggesting that the way to compete with Google is by being more human, friendly and personable. That is, building up brand loyalty by actually being nice, rather than technically efficient but cold (as Google often appears). It's a good read for anyone in a space where they may end up competing with Google (actually, it's a good read for anyone who thinks that there's any company that is competition proof). Here's just a snippet, but I recommend reading the whole thing:
You can only do these things -- building a brand -- and building a "cult" by doing the things Google -- given its robotic failings -- cannot do. Love your users, infect them with your passion -- not just your technical prowess or ability to scale or release new web codecs, or give them the right search results, or giving away source -- infect them with your passion for what you do. Support them, respond to them -- even if you're giving it away for free -- after all, nothing is free.Of course, there was a time that Google created such passion, but mainly from the quality of its products, not from its human touch. But that's the point. Every company has its weaknesses, and no company is competition proof.
Passion, compassion -- connecting with other humans, people are always looking for a place that accepts them and makes them feel welcome. They want to get real support instead of emails that get sent to unknown voids and are never answered. Making things warm, inviting both in language and in the feel.