March 23, 2010
Over the past 15 months I’ve been on Twitter, I have contacted dozens of businesses for a variety of reasons.
In some cases I’ve had feedback on a product or service. In other cases I was interested in buying a product or service. A majority of the time, however, I was simply trying to engage.
The accounts I contacted varied from restaurant chains and coffee and wine retailers, to independent authors and consultants. When providing feedback on an experience I had with a product or service, whether positive or critical, I seldom received a response.
On one occasion, I ordered three pounds of coffee from a Washington-based retailer I met on Twitter. After the coffee was three days late in arriving, I sent an @reply to the account. The coffee arrived the next day but I never heard back regarding my comment. That was the last time I ordered coffee from that retailer.
Another time, my family and I had a negative experience at an area location of an Italian restaurant chain. After blogging about it, I forwarded the blog link to the chain’s Twitter account in an @reply. Instead of following up, they ignored the message. We haven’t returned to that restaurant chain.
And since posting this blog regarding obtaining signed books from two well-known Twitter personalities, I have had another request for ten signed books ignored by another Twitter celebrity. That’s okay, there’s no shortage of competing books for me to buy.
And before anyone attempts to rationalize this lack of engagement and poor customer service due to these organizations or people being busy, understand that we’re all busy.
If you and I are too busy to clean our homes, we hire a maid. If we don’t have time to cook, we eat out. And if we’re too busy to follow up on customer feedback and sales inquiries, we hire an assistant. No one is above responding to customers or making a sale.
Speaking of busy people, two who took the time to respond to me and to ensure that I received ten signed copies of their latest books were bestselling authors John Miller (@QBQGuy) and Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee).
These guys are not too busy to respond—or make a sale. They are busy professionals with a lot on their plates who not only preach about the importance of customer service, they deliver it.
In summary, here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts:
- Respond to others
- Capitalize on opportunities
- Be indifferent
- Ignore others
- Miss opportunities
Bottom line: If you don’t like to engage, you’ll like irrelevance even less.