Occam's Razor vs. the Social Web
Here's a personal question many of us face each day:
How are my friends doing?
- If they are they easy to see in person (local, nearby, same office):
- Do they mind being interrupted with a phone call?
- How about instant messaging?
- Do they regularly check email?
- Do they use myspace, facebook, twitter, friendfeed, ning?
send a message to them
- Do they appreciate an actual card?
mail them a handwritten letter
Of course you'll usually have much better interaction when you send a message or information directly to an individual. Many of us are so busy that any shotgun lists are put on the back burners, while directed messages are read and responded to.
We have so many choices when it comes to contacting friends, the possibilities can actually be a detriment to our regular social interactions. When it comes to keeping in touch, just keep it simple.
Here's a business question many of face each day: How do we improve our relationship with our most valued customers?
What's a high value customer?
- they are so wild about your business that they spread it to their friends & community
- they are profitable to your business while your business enhances their profitability or quality of life
- a symbiotic low maintenance relationship
- then inspire you to be better
- they give your business purpose
You could broadcast status or new offerings, but these are generally put in the back burner unless orchestrated in a remarkable fashion. A less expensive approach is a friendly hello. Inquire how your customer is doing and whether you can further assist them (I was really impressed when Microsoft Adcenter recently called me in this way).
So how we improve our relationship with our most valued customers?
- Do you have permission to contact your customer?
- for a high value customer this should be a YES
- Are you contacting someone or a group that has the power to make decisions in that business?
- if not you're wasting your time and theirs
- Determine which method the customer most appreciates when interacting:
- first hand visit, phone call, email, social networks, snail mail
While the manner of your interaction may be more professional when dealing with a customer, the connection methods will resemble your personal social network. Obviously if you have a large number of high value customers you will be need to rely more on broadcast networks. Consider critical examination of using broadcast messages versus pertinent directed connections. The effect of one mutually beneficial direct message is more potent than a globally ignored one.