The world is truly flat thanks to the worldwide web and while browsing new topics I love uncovering other marketing professionals from distant places who share the values I hold dear for both the art and science of marketing. For lack of a better description I consider them “kindred spirits” and usually bookmark their site, follow them on Twitter and stop back frequently for new pearls of wisdom.
A recently found kindred marketing spirit is Scott Stratten, the president of Unmarketing and listening to his podcast “How to Provide Awesome Customer Service without being Creepy” generated a few thoughts…
Besides the digression on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (which is awesome), the premise of this unpodcast, as he brands it, is how some people provide too much customer service, or at least, are creepy in the way that they do it. I really liked what they had to say about it. It’s hard to find that right balance between being attentive but not overly touchy and being overtly rude. It’s very true that we don’t want our waitresses touching our shoulders like we’re old friends or something. At the same time, we don’t want them to ignore us either. During the course of the podcast, they talked about simply wanting a level of courtesy. They called it “competent disinterest.” They want someone who will do their job correctly but are not overly enthusiastic. I agree that servers should be courteous and pleasant to be around. No one wants to walk into a retail store and feel unwelcome (cue Pretty Woman quote now) but we also don’t want them to act like they know us on a personal level. Truer words have never been spoken, right?
I truly like Stratten’s way of approaching marketing. His book Unmarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging is all about unlearning “the old ways” and attracting and engaging the right customers. We’ve talked a lot about moving on from the old ways and entering into the new. This just solidifies the truth. You have to get rid of the old in order to pave the way for a new future.