Jump in the pool already!

It seems that many companies are still carefully tiptoeing around the idea of engaging directly with their customers. I hear two main reasons why some companies still do not interact directly with their customers (both lame):

Reason #1 – “I have a hard time letting someone else talk about my brand.”

Almost 15 years ago, Mike Myers played a very funny character named Phillip on an SNL skit.You may remember that Phillip was a six-and-a-half-year old suffering from hyperactivity and hypoglycemia (a self-proclaimed “hyper hypo”). One day while at the playground, he met a girl (played by Nicole Kidman), whom he “loved” but found it hard to truly express his feeling for her. At one point in their conversation, Phillip turned to the girl and said: “I don’t think about you when you’re not here you know.”

Oftentimes businesses follow the same path of reasoning as this six year old. They incorrectly assume that if they are not “there” with the customer, then the customer is not thinking (or talking) about them.

New flash: Just because you’re not involved in the conversation does not mean that the conversation is not happening. Conversations about you are happening all the time (with our without you) – this does of course assume that you’ve given them a reason to talk about you in the first place. If not, then this is an entirely different post.

Reason #2 – “Engaging with my customers directly only produces more negative feedback.”

Let’s be clear – engaging with your customers directly does not create the negative feedback. The negative feelings already existed due to some perceive lack in expectations. Engaging with your customers simply gives you another chance to make things right again. Even if you are not able to help the complaining customer before she leaves, you at least have a chance to turn your mediocre offering into something special for future users.

And there you have it. Of course, you could continue with the status quo by avoiding any sort of feedback altogether and churning out your Plain Toast products and services. However, if you want to move on to greatness I suggest interacting directly with your customers.

Happy Wednesday!


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