I’ve covered this topic twice before, but it really deserves more airtime.
Paul’s summary of Under the Radar on Monday received comments from two of the companies he mentioned, from the CEOs of those companies. You read that right.
Similarly, my most recent post on FriendFeed got a comment from one of the founders.
This doesn’t mean that we’re suddenly important. It means that everyone is important, and companies doing business online understand that. These companies understand that responding to any mention of their company, positive or negative, is critical to its success and acceptance. In Paul’s case, he was providing his thoughts based on a presentation, but these two CEOs took time to engage him in discussion.
This is a core principle to New Web, so now, everyone has a voice. And it feels so good when people listen. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Jason Harris over at Web Worker Daily covered it, citing an article in the Indianapolis Star that said:
Customer satisfaction with online retail was even with last year at 83 points on a 100- point scale, but surpassed brick-and-mortar retailers by 12 percent, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Part of having good customer support is finding and engaging all the people out in the Interwebs talking about your company. This is easier than ever with a combination of Google Alerts, blogging, SEO, Twitter, Tweet Scan and any number of New and Old Web techniques. What’s remarkable is not that companies reach out with these methods, it’s that the CEOs and founders of companies do it.
Venkataramanan S would call this part of his Self Support 2.0. Nowadays, if you say something about a web-based company, you’re likely to get a response. Maybe from the CEO. Ask for help and receive it. Ask for a new feature and reach the founders directly; this is happening on FriendFeed.
New Web makes it easier to get service and support, and it makes it easier to help your customers.
Kudos to Ridgley Evers and Charles Seybold for engaging Paul, and to Bret Taylor for commenting on my FriendFeed post. And to all the companies doing great customer support and service over the Interwebs.
Update: mathew from blist has also commented on Paul’s post.