The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

Posts Tagged ‘McDonalds

Social Networking making a financial difference

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ImageI asked my teenage daughters over dinner the other evening to tell me what significant things have been invented in their lifetime. Its a good question to ask and the results are enlightening. They pointed out that DVDs, the internet, MP3 players, digital cameras and mobile phones all came to commercial prominence during their lifetime. Going back a little further in my lifetime I could add the PC, colour television and McDonalds.

The point is that nothing is forever and revelatory innovation can transform our lives in a very short period of time. I look at my desk in front of me as I write this and the essential things I need to do my job have massively improved my productivity compared to the tools of yesterday. Just think of what was in place in the days before email. All you cynics who yearn for the old days just aren’t thinking hard enough!

For this reason, even with something as relatively new as Social Networking, we need to stay light on our feet. We have to keep thinking about the ideas and not just the latest technology to do the job. The ideas around my desktop haven’t changed. If I think about the email analogy – I could have imagined when I started working that there could be a faster way to get a letter out than visiting the typing pool with my handwritten notes. In the same way I know there are shortcomings with email in terms of security, reliability, complexity of email addresses etc.

The other point is to stop just thinking about Social Media. Twitter, Facebook and, yes, blogs are great but they will be superseded. The idea of communication, collaboration and benevolence rolls on. As I listened to Radio 4 this morning there was a small article that was barely picked up on subsequently. An official from the UK finance industry made a speech in New York in which he envisaged  peer-to-peer lending overtaking traditional banking for personal loans. Just imagine a world where the banking High Street is decimated and overtaken by lending between individuals.

There are many areas where Social Networking inspired business models are making huge strides forward away from the glare of Social Media publicity. In the UK Zopa members have lent £185m and currently has over £90m out on loan. Peer-to-peer loans represent between 1% and 2% of personal loans in this country and there are plenty of other companies following the same business model. The attraction for lenders is access to loans which otherwise wouldn’t be forthcoming and for borrowers, an interest rate well above the current rate offered by bank accounts. They address the market which is disillusioned by the performance of the Finance industry in the UK over the last few years and the shocking behaviour of exploitative Payday loans companies.

The financial world is awash with Social Networking in action. Some of the sites are, for me, some of the most uplifting and exciting. They are doing things which I hoped were possible but didn’t think could work. Check out sites like for a piece of joy.


Written by greencontact

March 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm