The original notion of The Digital Divide was how technology would create a larger gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" (think about third world countries versus places that have an Apple Store in every shopping mall). It's my contention that the real digital divide is between the marketing and technology departments within any given organization. All too often we're seeing technology departments developing online strategies or new ways to deal with customers. I feel that technology (like marketing) is one part of the equation. For the real digital divide to go away, we need marketing and technology working at the same table... together.
Don't believe me? Here's further proof: Gethuman 500 Database.
The Gethuman 500 Database is a list of 800 numbers for all sorts of companies related to credit, government, insurance, stores, products and much more. But, it's more than just the 800 numbers: it's also the exact numbers or words you should say while on the phone to get human customer service.
I love it.
Gethuman is a great example of how to bridge the digital divide. Someone created the customer service technology to make sure you only get a human if you must. Someone else leveraged the online space and the wisdom of crowds to build this initial list to workaround this problem. Why shouldn't consumers have immediate access to human customer service? (hint: it costs a lot more).
Very cool. A perfect lifehack if ever there was one.
Check it out (and bookmark it) here: Gethuman.
Anyone know of a Canadian version?
(special thanks to Tony for the tip).