If you expect them to talk, then you, the ones who create the product, need to understand the exchanges that take place to enable me to talk about you favourably.
Because so far, most of the exchanges the other guys are doing have been dead wrong.
I was going to originally dive this post into how advertising is dead, but since I don’t know advertising very well, I’ll write about what I do know: Advertising is dead when it comes to driving online engagement.
Advertising, doesn’t lead into organic online conversations, discussion, or any sort of engagement. Maybe I’ve been looking at only a select few sources, but the last dozen or so times I’ve seen any reports published discussion ROI, either financially or in a social media metrics sense, the reports and news have covered the effects of advertising on those gauges.
It’s my observation that the actual elements that drive online conversation, as well as general customer satisfaction with goods or services in this day and age are twofold:
Maybe there’s a whole lot of other things that drive it as well. But I remember hearing a long time ago something along the lines of, “For every dollar invested into product design (or customer service for that matter) revenue increases 3 times that amount.” Sweet! Where the hell did all the discussions and reports about these insights go?
It’s ridiculous how much attention advertising gets, either in the print medium, or the online. Isn’t the quote “advertising is the cost of being boring” still true? As good as your advertising is, it may get your customers to make a purchase, but it doesn’t help them in any way engage in positive discussion. All those dollars that could have gone into making a good product were taken out and put in advertising. So they tweet about how crummy your products are. And when they call your company for support, they tweet about how crummy your customer support is!
The discussions are fueled by their experience with the product, and their experience with the support.
Examples have already been around for a while that support these ideas: Zappos with its excellent customer service is “Viral” like DHH sarcastically called it, even though they only make “F*cking shoes“, because they have amazing support and show care towards their customers. Hopefully people can comment product that come to mind that have been successful in merit to exceptional design.
To leave off with a nice retweetable comment:
Conversations are ignited by the customer’s experience from your product, and kept ablaze by your support.
Remember that product design and customer service are ongoing engagements between your brand and the customer.