Social Media Makes The Customer Experience Personal

07/07/2009

LavenderThe recent rains awaken the heady scent of the lavender bush at the front of my house. I pass by it every day. I planted it several years ago but today the scent was exceptionally strong .. almost intoxicating. I had to stop what I was doing for an extra moment or two. Sometimes what we see all the time, what is in front of us can be overlooked.

This afternoon an email popped into my in-box from a favorite dessert company - Dancing Deer - from Boston. I send Dancing Deer gifts all the time. Somehow I feel connected to the company for a number or reasons: Boston, my friends love their presents, the site is graphically whimsical, frequent coupons, they have "heart" in giving back to the community.

The subject line "Sweet deals and ice cream cookie sandwiches" caught my eye (it's summer and I'm making ice cream .. there goes the diet again!) and I opened and clicked into the site to find out more. The click took me to a blog. Way cool! I had no idea. Dancing Deer and I had yet something else in common - social media. Must be new I thought. Nope .. it's been around for several months.

I went back to the home page - no mention or link. I went back to the blog and searched a round some more. Oh my .. the owner, Tish Karter, was in Atlanta in April for the start of a 1500 bike ride "..to engage the public in a conversation about how to end homelessness." She blogged and vlogged her journey.

Awesome but why did I not know about this? I guess I missed the email? Surely I would have noticed that email. I mean come on .. Atlanta, social media, a bike ride from-to the 2 cities I've lived in. They reached out to bloggers - some of whom are friends. They never talked to me.

Now I'll tell you something that you might think is rather silly .. I felt a little sad. Isn't that odd? I've never met Tish, homeless is not my "cause" but If Dancing Deer had reached out to its customer base, If they had told me about their blog or that they were tweeting I might have been able to help. Not only that there would Dancing deerhave been a significant brand experience creating not just a fan but a raving fan.

Adding social media to your communication strategy you give your customers more than an email, or a press release or even a free cookie. You are inviting them into your world beyond the spin of advertising or PR.  Odd as it may sound - when you talk to your customers it becomes personal for them. 

Sometimes, like with my lavender bush, what we see all the time, what is in front of us maybe overlooked. Developing All of your strategies with your customers in mind becomes increasingly critical if you step into the world of blogs, vlogs, twitter, Facebook, podcasts .. social media marketing.

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Comments

I agree with you that social media helps the business to connect with their customers. Maybe even to the extent that it's more personal. The thing is, I think, there is a difference between building a community around your business or just gaining an audience. If the business actually responds and tries to get responses from their customers, then that's well and good. They're doing a great job. But if all they're doing is posting and not bothering to reply to comments etc, where is the personal touch in it? Answer is nothing.

Posted by: Nate Holland on Jul 11, 2009 4:33:45 AM

Excellent point ... community versus audience! Thanks for continuing this discussion. Would be curious to hear your opinion of Seth Godin's blog that allows trackbacks but not comments.

Posted by: Toby on Jul 11, 2009 8:36:40 AM

I love that this anecdote perfectly demonstrates the power of social media is customer experience/relationship building by telling the story of how a little bit of personal information, some fun, can wrap a client in such an adventure that it cements their loyalty by piquing their curiosity about more than the brand/product! Now I'll be checking out the site, as well!

Posted by: LIsa M. Hoesel on Aug 11, 2009 8:47:11 AM

@Lisa - it's a great product. a little disappointing that Dancing Deer appears not to understand how powerful social media can be in terms not only brand loyalty but customer acquisition (smile!).

Posted by: Toby on Aug 11, 2009 9:06:45 AM

Wow. We are so honored that you would write this. And so bummed out that we missed it back then.

We have tried in the past few months to engage online more. Thanks for urging us to come back!

Posted by: Scott @ Dancing Deer on Dec 10, 2009 2:25:46 PM

@Scott - nice to see dancing deer more active in the social world and even on twitter @dancingdeer!

Posted by: Toby on Dec 10, 2009 4:07:11 PM

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