In three weeks time I will be attending WIT and participating on two panels. And today I enjoyed a lovely lunch with Siew Hoon talking about the event, all the arrangements and how tweeters and bloggers can participate in the true spirit of engaged and connected consumers. We talked a little about Foursquare and other trends and technologies that dominate the space, some of which those involved in promoting their travel products and services are still trying to get to grips with and understand how they can best use these for their promotional, marketing and engagement-making ends. All good stuff and I look forward to some enthusiastic discussions and exchanging of ideas and views.
After my lovely lunch and the engaging company I made my way over to the gym for an afternoon workout. I go to the Fitness First in the UOB Centre in Raffles Place. It’s not close to home and not even close to my last permanent workplace but the staff are delightful and being greeted by smiles is always a great start to my session.
After my workout the manager spoke with me. “Hi, Carl”, he said, “how are you doing? And great to see you back after your trip – New York wasn’t it?”
“Actually, it was California and Nevada, but thanks for asking, and how do you know my name?” I replied.
“I always make a point of looking at the names of those who visit the gym” he said, “and I like to find out a bit about them.”
Hi name is Ernest and he is man who, for me, stands out because of the simple steps he took to interact with me – one of his customers. He took a few seconds to find out my name and a quick bit of information about me so that he could address me directly and engage briefly in some relevant and timely conversation.
There will be lots of conversation at WIT about search optimization, the implications of location-based social networks like Foursquare and what to do with those fifty thousand fans you have on Facebook. But whilst those at WIT would do well do understand the technologies and their implications here’s a little reminder from one of your potential customers. Some simple and basic things like knowing a little about your customer and making them feel just that little bit important by engaging in some relevant and timely dialogue goes a long way towards building affinity and getting me to love you a little bit more.
The online space provides more and more possibilities for brands to interact with their customers but whilst potentially being swallowed up with technology driven innovation we shouldn’t forget those little emotional triggers that, when all is said and done, can often be the reason why I might choose, for example, one hotel booking site over another. Or even one gym over another.