I read a LinkedIn question the other day that asked whether companies should spend more time focused on their core business–and less, perhaps, on social media. While I don’t think this is really an “either/or” question (you have to do both), I also think it’s pretty clear that if companies spent more time doing what they do best, there’d be less need to be reactive online.

Being reactive, of course, isn’t an invention of the digital age. It’s a challenge that typically arises from limited resources, organizational silos, and/or a failure of imagination. Just as you don’t need a survey to know what good customer service looks like, it shouldn’t take bad press to know cutting corners is a bad idea.

So what’s changed?

In The NOW Revolution, Jay Baer and Amber Naslund suggest that:

“Possessing the time and information required to make sound product, pricing, operations, and customer service decisions is a luxury–a luxury that’s facing extinction.”

 

Yes–and No. Companies today get rewarded for excellence–same as they always have. But companies that have been coasting can’t get away with it (as much) any more.

I’ve heard some people say that, in this age of the real-time Web, customers are increasingly high-maintenance. As a customer, I think we’re empowered.

As a business owner, I see this as a good thing.

What say you?

Photo by Katherine Johnson (Flickr).