Effective communication is a key success factor for a quality professional – be it in personal life or business. Traditional communication predominantly focused on formal communication mechanisms such as snail mails, emails, chats etc., where privacy was ensured. The information shared was mostly secured and intended for a recipient or a set of recipients.
Today, informal communication, mainly in the form of broadcasting, seems to be more effective and powerful than formal communication. This has predominantly happened due to the advent of social media – the blogs and networking platforms like - Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Paul has chosen the topic on social media to discuss about its usefulness for quality professionals from networking and other perspectives.
ASQ Influential Voices Blog itself was created, by ASQ during 2011, as social media started gaining prominence. This has become a nice platform for quality professionals to regularly discuss about various topics on quality and share their views. The discussions and associated key messages (tweets or posts) get cascaded quickly to various stakeholders around the globe and accessible through their personal devices - thus spreading the voice of quality. Since mobile smartphones have become very popular along with faster internet, the power of social media has increased multi-fold. People on the move can access online information through their mobile devices and stay connected round-the-clock.
Social Media is of great importance for a quality professional from various aspects. Let us look at few key scenarios that are beneficial for a Quality Professional:
1) To Capture Customer Feedback and Measure Quality: Obtaining customer feedback was a challenge during olden days. With social media, obtaining customer feedback, about a company’s products and services, has become easier. There are analytical tools and technologies to capture the right customer feedback which, often, can be translated to the quality of the product or service offered to the customer. While customer likes to write about a high quality product or service, they are also very vocal to point the deficiencies, if any, as well. Today’s quality professionals closely monitor social media information to capture intelligence regarding quality of products and services by crawling the internet and social media information
2) For Professional and Social Networking: Quality Professionals can network with Quality Gurus and other Subject Matter Experts through social media - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. One can stay in close touch with another professional, work together on a research paper, debate on a particular topic, ask a question etc.
3) For Career Growth: Professional networking sites like LinkedIn help professionals post their profiles, obtain recommendations from peers, friends and supervisors in network, look for new jobs, discuss on various topics etc. Quality professionals use social media to explore various career growth opportunities around the globe
4) For Knowledge Management: This is another major benefit from the social media. Most of the top schools and professional organizations like ASQ have a dedicated social networking site and a video channel where useful information is provided to people around the world through internet. Through healthy discussions, quality of information improves; proving that sharing of information results in improved knowledge. In fact, social media has proven this.Last not but the least, social networking helps generating innovative ideas. As George Bernard Shaw rightly said,
“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”