2 Lessons: Talk to your Customers don’t hide

Today was a frustrating day. My phone froze. I have my 4th Motorola 4G RAZR since October due to the screen breaking (another story). Just like my old IPods the RAZR will just sometimes freeze or go dark. Until today I would let the battery bleed down then I would plug in and reboot. Yes horrible.

I have voiced this on Twitter in the past. Today I was discussing it with a friend, when Motorola noticed, but they didn’t read the conversation. They just saw that I liked the phone, when it worked.


Finally I was given a solution. But by then I had tweeted plenty my displeasure and frustration. Had Samsung chimed in and started talking to me, who knows where it could of led.

Big brands see a lot of chatter. The good ones will identify quickly enough who is upset and help them out. I know we say social media gives us a soap box for good or bad, and what is one little customer anyway? But why let someone repeatedly blast your brand for whoever can see? Is that good business? Even if you have a brand that get’s blasted a lot you can tell who you can pacify and even convert into passionate brand champions pretty easily.

Which comes to a small business case. My cousin is a partner in and Master Roaster at Brooklyn Roasting. For the last 18 months I have tweeted them trying to see if they will respond. I had a Google Alert set up and when they had positive press I would tweet it like when the Staten Island Ferry started serving their brand.

I live in Vermont and I finally tasted a cup and decided to tease them using my local brand the Vermont Coffee Company. It took tasting and teasing to get a response. I was shocked it was my cousin who DMed me. He said he gave the can to my mom to taste not for someone to review.

I am not here to belittle my cousin because this is something most businesses aren’t aware of. But you have no control of that. And every customer can review on a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Zagat, Foursquare etc. They never had control before social media, but it just wasn’t as visible.

If you have a best in class brand, product etc embrace this and Brooklyn Roasting is a great brand. And for a Brand like the coffee companies you can help educate your customers and fans when they reach out. You can’t do that off social media if they aren’t in your store!

What I found interesting is the can had descriptive words boldly on the can without explanation. Words I myself wouldn’t maybe want to describe coffee I drink since I like a bit bolder.


They treat their roasts like a fine wine. Though my palate isn’t as refined yet. It definitely is something they should talk about via social with their customers and fans.

For Motorola it is an American Brand with a long history (now owned by the Google) and should showcase that along with their technology.

For the coffee brands how did you get started? Why are you different from Folgers or Starbucks? The beans, your roasting techniques, your coffee making styles tell a story.

These are great stories. Why waste the opportunity to tell them. When a fan or customers calls out to you they are pulling you to them. Do you know how hard it is for a brand to pull in a customer? Yet these Tweeters and Facebooker’s etc make it easy for you to build a relationship. Will it drive your sales and replace the traditional marketing or price product service? No. But they will underpin your efforts and grow the strength of your brand.

Or you can stay quiet and let people who like your brand gripe and gripe publicly. Up to you.

About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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1 Response to 2 Lessons: Talk to your Customers don’t hide

  1. billdorman says:

    Your cousin never liked you anyway and now he’s going to cut you off just like Pete Cashmore did…:).

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