Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Customer Service without Social media

Unexpected, yes. Worth it to the company? Not so sure.

When my wife inquired about a specific food if it had nuts in it to avoid a situation with a guest of ours, the company was nice enough to help answer the questions.

They then offered to send a coupon for the product for the future.

Very nice of them. In the past we have received various discounts or free items.

This time we received, in a 44 cent stamped envelope, a coupon for 35 cents off the product.

This had me thinking, on one hand, it's a nice thank you for a simple inquiry.

On the other hand, it's not overly impressive to make you want to go out and try the product or buy it next time you go shopping.

Not saying either thought is correct or incorrect, just wondering if a more "WOW" factor could have been accomplished.

Think about it, you are a super large company that makes cake and brownie mixes, and probably rarely meet or interact with your customers. In this day and age, one would think that the opportunity to impress a customer would be worth it's weight in gold as even a small percentage change in purchasing habits can be a huge difference to their bottom line.

We received a simple coupon and a mostly stock letter, a mention of the company website for other promotions and not much else to endear us. No like us on Facebook, follow our recipe chefs on Twitter or catch our dessert bloggers.

In other words no effort at all to indulge the customer and consumer at a level that would speak to them or encourage them to try other items or look for more choices.

What does the Chief Marketing Officer or Customer Service Director do, if not encourage sales? If ever there was an example of a company in need of Social Media help maybe it is them?

To be fair, I did follow their website, which is for their holding company, down to the specific food items in question where there is a "Join the Baker's Club" Web 1.0 type of interaction with the consumer. I followed a few others that had nothing to offer at all or a similar "club".

Hopefully this will all be getting revised soon, if not, I'd be happy to help them figure out some ways to engage the outside world.