One component of H2.0, Social Media

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With a torn Achilles tendon and two months in a cast, my running had hit a snag. What to do when you’d rather be running? Shop, and shop with the same zest and determination that I brought to running. After all, the two sports have a lot in common. One of the things I like most about running is that it can be done almost anywhere—just like shopping. I take my running shoes with me when I travel, just like I take my favorite store; EBay.

I just lost something on EBay I’d been tracking for six days. The chinos. Granted, not something everyone would wear. But I know of at least two people, me and the person who outbid me. Outbid me with four seconds left—my strategy. Over confidence killed me. I didn’t follow my own rules. I bid high with a few hours left, and since there wasn’t any activity, outsmarted myself. I usually rush in at the last second and dash someone else’s hopes. I don’t like losing, especially when there is no chance to regroup. After I lost I Googled, ‘lime green chinos with pink flamingos’. There aren’t any.

I was an earlier adapter, made more than 500 purchases ranging in price from a penny to more than $20,000. Only had a problem with one, a two-dollar knife sharpener. You can find anything you want on EBay, except for perhaps a second pair of lime green chinos with pink flamingos. I like EBay, a lot. What’s not to like? You have an almost infinite selection, everything is on sale, you don’t have to wait while a clerk takes a call from someone who interrupted the clerk from helping you, no need to pack the kids into the car, no gas to buy. You can think about a purchase for days before committing to it, so it eliminates the impulse buy. You can comparison shop, and you can rate the sellers. You can’t rate the sellers at the mall. It’s as close to a perfect social networking experience as you can get.

If you’re Venn-diagramming as you read, there’s EBay and there’s no-EBay.  There’s no intersection of the two groups.  The no-EBayers need additional tools just to keep up with their patients.  Those tools include patient relationship management (PRM) and social networking.  Without those tools, you’re forced to have a battle of wits with your patients, and you come to the battle unarmed.  These tools are part of what’s needed to navigate the gap between H0.2 and H2.0.

EBay knows they are on top of the social media discussion. How can you tell that they know it? There is no ‘contact us’ link that is readily visible. No way to reach out and call customer care. They don’t make things, they don’t inventory it, they don’t ship it, they simply collect the money, and they bought the firm that allows them to do that. They’ve reinvented the principle of the Maytag Man. Maybe somewhere there’s a person in a small office waiting to take a complaint call. If he is, he better not be wearing my lime green chinos with pink flamingos.

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