Mari Smith gets it.
The ability to call up and get a real human being — the companies who can do that and go back to basics are really the ones that will be winning out and humanizing their brand.
As things currently stand, momentum is shifting toward impersonal digital and away from person-to-person analog. This often boils down to numbers, with hundreds of thousands of customers (or more; think Facebook) funneling down into a relative handful of employees available for tech support or customer service.
Plus, there’s culture. More and more of us — especially the younger us, asocial programmers and others in Generation Asperger — who just really Not Like the phone. Or talking. To another human being.
Ironic, considering how enamored we seem to be with the notion of story telling.
PS: It’s not hard at all to find reporter Amy O’Leary on the World Wide Web. She wrote the Times piece on tech companies and telephone use. I’ll give a prize, however, to anyone who can find her phone number.