Friday, December 06, 2013

Tweeting Coffee

Just when the Instagram is being touted as The vehicle for building brand recognition, Starbucks has found a way to make bucks by way of Twitter. It's pretty clever and not something that comes straight from Twitter cookbooks for marketeers. Based on the buzz being generated, it is safe to assume that other retailers will borrow from the idea. 

This is a lot like giving a gift without having wrapped it  so everyone can see. In the "real world" that would be a social faux pas, but somehow this is not. The chosen few (or even one) of someone's followers could be tweeted a coffee because they are so awesome. Those that are left behind will not feel quite so awesome. Back in the day when that gift may have come via email, no one would have been wiser. The expectation here is some customers will act of out of impulse to be cool and trend setting which will prompt herd behavior among those they are connected with. It will not matter so much that this is at odds with established etiquette for gift giving - the coolness will be enough to mitigate that.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Too Much Good

I have been a very happy Amazon customer for more than a decade. Reading about Amazon Prime Air gave me pause. I consult with clients on customer analytics and opportunities to enhance their experience with the product or service. Assuming, Amazon has a significant number of customers like myself who are more than happy to wait 3-5 days for their order to be delivered, clearly the drone service is not meant for us. 

However, when our friends and neighbors start to get their Amazon packages air-dropped, we may feel like a tribe of Luddites that have just failed to keep up with the times. What was once a completely satisfactory customer experience may turn a little less so. It will be like choosing to write letters in longhand instead of using email. As charming as letter writing is, the vast majority of us have transitioned completely to email. That transition was not equally easy or natural for everyone. 

Makes me wonder about what constitutes good customer experience and how its future is shaped. A combination of disruption by the business and a certain niche of the customer population that is eager for it can raise the tide for everyone. Yet with vastly improved service (in this case near real time delivery of an order) cross sections of the customer population may feel dissatisfied or unappreciated. What may be a completely unrelated miss may now be attributed to the new delivery model  these customers were not the target for. Attrition analysis does not often take into account the impact of delivering great features and services that a loyal group of customers had no need for.