Second Life Hype Taken To New Levels

This past year has seen a wave of companies enter Second Life, ostensibly for the purpose of doing business there, but mainly because it's an easy way of garnering some free publicity. However, some companies are actually drinking their own Kool-Aid, as they argue that Second Life represents the future of customer service. One consulting firm is trying to pitch the idea that Second Life offers many advantages to traditional phone-based customer support, noting, for example, that customers can amuse themselves in the virtual world while waiting for a representative to deal with their issue. Of course, it's not clear how this is superior to the status quo, since it's easy enough to put the phone on speaker, place it on your desk and continue about your business, unrestrained from the limitations of the virtual world. Furthermore, for any company that has to deal with a high volume of customers, it's ridiculous to think that things would be more efficient if only operators communicated through avatars, not to mention the disruption to business that would occur if prank-making griefers were to show up. There's no doubt that there's a lot of room for innovation in the world of customer service, which remains dreadful at many companies, but it's highly doubtful that Second Life holds the key.

(Via Techdirt.)