Monday, December 5, 2011

That Personal Touch

Over the past two weeks I have had two different interactions on twitter that I want to share.  Both involve a company responding to a general comment I made about each company.  Both interactions show the company going above and beyond, and really adding that personal touch.

I pack a yogurt every day for lunch.  I'm not much of a milk drinker so I like to get calcium elsewhere.  On this particular day I was excited to eat a Key Lime flavored yogurt that I purchased at Wegman's (a high-end grocery store in the Northeast).  I am a huge Key Lime Pie fan, so this was going to be a treat.  As I started eating the yogurt I noticed a lack of any real flavoring, Key Lime or otherwise.  I posted a comment on twitter stating "i think this yogurt is missing its flavoring.  thanks @wegmans for denying me my key lime fix."

My intent was more humor than anything else, and I was surprised that a representative from Wegman's responded within minutes.  We traded a few messages back and forth, mostly about the product code and other ways for Wegman's to check and QA their providers.  Less than an hour after my initial tweet I had provided Wegman's with my contact information and a coupon for a free yogurt was on its way to my home.  By writing my initial tweet I never expected a free yogurt.  It's not like the one I had was bad, per se.  I did finish it after all.  Wegman's took the effort to monitor their mentions and they wanted to make it right with the consumer, even if it was only a $0.50 yogurt.

Under The Influence
This past Friday I decided to have a lazy night.  Instead of making plans or trying to have a night on the town I kept it low-key.  Feeling a bit nostalgic, I broke out my original Xbox and started up Project Gotham Racing.  Since it was Friday, I was relaxing with a beer or two.  Again, trying to add some humor to my twitter feed, I sent a quick update to my followers: "Does it count as DUI to play Xbox driving games while drinking beer?"

I didn't think anything of this comment until the next morning when I saw that @xboxsupport was now following me.  I noticed a mention in my timeline from Xbox Support: "maybe PUI? hehe either way have fun and let us know if you ever need some help ^BB."  This was a completely unnecessary comment, and obviously unsolicited.  My original tweet had no hash-tag or @ mention.  Someone at Microsoft is following mentions of Xbox so closely that my tweet was found anyway.  In an effort to make sure I know where to turn for support, BB at Microsoft added a quick joke of his (or her) own and left it at that.  It is a quick personal touch that took a few seconds to do, and here we are two days later still talking about.

Both of these interactions are small-scale.  This is not as scathing as United Breaks Guitars or the Delta military fiasco.  This is not as impressive as Shankman's airport steak delivery.  That does not diminish the personal touch and lasting impression, however.  The main objective of social media is being social, after all.  By empowering twitter response teams to engage and interact with customers, companies can easily have a positive impact in the minds of consumers.  By ignoring the social aspect of this medium, some companies are missing the point entirely and missing out on effortless opportunity.

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