With the proliferation of communications technologies there is an impulse to jump on the bandwagon. How many times have you heard one of the following statements?
“Everyone has email.”
“You can’t compete without a web site.”
“Start blogging or I will destroy you!”
(That last one was from the Evil Blogging Robot.)
But just grabbing the latest communications technology is not enough. This sounds like the most basic of common sense, but it is all too often ignored.
If you are not going to keep your web site current, don’t have one.
If you aren’t going to respond to emails, don’t publish your email address.
If you’re not going to post to a blog, don’t start one.
If you’re not going to moderate comments on a blog, don’t enable comment moderation.
As a client, or potential client, I never look at a web site with outdated information and think, “Wow, this company must be busy. I’ll patronize them!” I never read that most contemptible of customer service kiss-offs, “We cannot respond to all of the email we receive,” and think, “I’ll just wait here patiently to see if mine is one they respond to!” And I do not stay subscribed to a blog that does not give me any new information. And (here’s the important part), neither do your future former potential customers.
My point’s simple: Don’t buy the hard sell that you must utilize the complete spectrum of communications tools that are available at any given moment. Experiment and figure out which ones work for you and for your customers, then maintain them. Slapping up a blog that you never pay attention to is not conducting a conversation with your customers. Far better a company that zealously sends out a paper newsletter than one that perfunctorily wheatpastes up a shabby blog with email addresses that no one responds to.
Golden rule time again folks. If you walked up to the counter of a coffee shop and ordered a cup to go and the person behind the counter stood perfectly still, saying and doing nothing until you went away, how likely is it that you’d come back?