Of course, being the dick that I am, I've gone out of my way to ridicule this obsession.
What if I said to all you conversation/relationship maniacs that most companies...
- Dramatically overestimate the extent to which their customers actually want to talk to them
- Running your company as if customers want to talk to you isn't just expensive, it's potentially undermining your efforts to build longer-term loyalty
But here's the thing. Those two points above -- they're not mine. They are word-for-word quotes from a recent article in the Harvard Business Review via the Kellogg School of Management called Why Your Customers Don't Want To Talk To You.
It questions the whole religion of "conversation/relationship" and provides a lot of evidence that most customers would much rather not talk with you and would prefer to access a self-service option rather than deal with your company or your people.
In one of my many rants on this topic, I sarcastically said that consumers in the new fantasyland of marketing...
...have all the time in the world to develop relationships with brands. And then, when they're finished building these relationships, they go on line to social media sites and have conversations about them. It's a wonderful world. Someday I'd like to visit it.Or as the article in the Harvard Business Review puts it, "....maybe customers are shifting toward self service because they don't want a relationship with companies."
Here's what people want. They want products that work well, look nice, taste good and are reasonably priced from companies that treat them fairly.
Is that so freaking difficult to understand?
All this conversation/relationship bullshit is just a distraction.
I'll be speaking in St. Louis on August 18th. The topic will be "The Three Most Annoying Trends In Advertising." If you'd like to attend, click here.