Marketing guru Seth Godin likes to talk about being remarkable. He loves to show purple cows and the value of standing out from the crowd. I’ve found that in today’s social media world you don’t have to be as outlandish as a purple cow. You just need to differentiate from the pack.
As a PR person I recently needed the assistance of a major wire service. For several months now Jon Stephenson of Marketwire has kept in touch with me. He followed me from my last job at a tech firm into my new world of PR entrepreneurship. He was a salesman who had sold me nothing but had kept in touch occasionally for more than a year. Then it was time for me to use a wire service. At first I turned to the “tried and true” standard; The Big-Kid-on-the-Block whom I had used several times before in my previous job. But a few things happened. When I called the Big Kid their account rep. continually interrupted me on the phone. Then their news department told me I couldn’t run the release the way my client wanted it. In frustration I turned back to Jon. And somewhere in the course of all this Jon subtly and quietly began following me on twitter. It was a deal clincher. It was today’s equivalent of showing up at Starbucks at 10:30 because you know your client often goes there. He reached out to me in the place I like to frequent and he was providing useful PR information to his followers.
Jon stood out in a field of brown cows for just being himself. He didn’t argue with me, he didn’t interrupt me and working with his L.A.-based newsroom editor was a delight. Did Marketwire get my business? Yes. Was my client pleased with the work? Yes. Will I use Jon’s company again? Definitely! Perhaps Seth would call this a purple cow story. I just call it old fashioned customer service in a new, social media world.
Dear Mary, I dont comment as a rule but …..
Not familiar with Mr Godin’s utterances; however, standing out from the crowd and “old fashioned customer service” is critical.
We need people to understand that delivering what the customer expects and not trying to exceed customer expectations is the name of the game because its not cost effective and it often hinders delivering the service customers expect.
Its as simple as that so lets get folks to throw all the sales/marketing books in the trash and just start treating people the way we would like to be treated – with respect. How hard is that – silly question because its obviously beyond most people to do.
Thanks so much for your comment Anthony. I quite agree that people like to be treated with respect both in person and via social media.