Listen and Respond

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A couple weeks ago, I took a day and went to Napa.  It’s embarrassing – I grew up in the Bay Area, am a lover of wine, but never quite made it to Napa until last month.  Anyway, I had a fantastic time and when I got home, I tweeted about three companies I visited.  Within a day or two, each of them had responded, thanking me for my visit.  Call me easy, but it made me feel… really good!  Yeah, I know – they don’t know me from Adam and it was probably some poor, back room intern who responded.  But it was a highly effective marketing “touch,” which increased my consumer loyalty to all their brands.

I compare that experience to a certain famous knitting pattern designer.  There was an error in one of her books, so I went to her contact pages  and to that of the publisher to let them know and ask what the correct instruction was.  Neither replied and it still annoys me (yeah – I’m easy and I hold a grudge).  I still love her designs, but I’m far less inclined to buy another one of her books.  If you’ve got a contact form on your website, then dammit, you should answer people when they contact you!

Maybe expectations have changed in this new online world or maybe I’m being unreasonable.  But a webpage that pushes ads or promotions at clients or worse, just sits there looking pretty, isn’t enough.  If you’re online, I don’t think going social is an option any longer – clients expect it.

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