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Do the companies *you* <3 love you back?

Tue, Feb 23, 2010

MizFit Muzings, Viewer mail

In the scope of my blogging habits this is kind of a last minute post.

(translation: preempted is my post titled What I learned at Blissdom & Why I think conferences are so important. That’s coming next week.)

This post focuses on a concept which has been on my mind since I met this woman & was once again brought to the forefront after some AMAZING company interactions while in Nashville.

Do the companies you love—-love you back?

When Sally first asked me this question my answer was unequivocally NO.

I loved/and gave blog love to Chipper jerky continually and, as evidenced by their lack of customer service, they did not love me back.

I promoted these tank-tops freely (100% because they exemplify what I strive to live. I had *zero* desire for anything beyond a “hey that’s cool you love our stuff!” in response to my emails) with nary a notice.

Back then the lamentation-list went on and on (& it bears pointing out that I choose NOT to do affiliate programs. I want to be able to review, share my love & have no fear anyone will even slightly assume I share the love for profit).

Yet, back then, I couldnt clearly identify HOW companies could have shown their love for me/bloggers in any clear or concise fashion.

Which brings me back to the point of this post (and pretty d*mn quickly for once I might add):

Im asking for your help in creating a list.

Im seeking your time & wanting your braincells to help me generate some thoughts on how the companies we love (bloggers or not) could love us back.

I rarely ask you to comment—-but today I am.

Even if your thoughts are ones *you percieve* to be muddled musings you might spark an idea in someone else.

Do the companies you love—-love you back?

Right now my answer would be sometimes.

And, the more I live with this notion as a backdrop, I find Im choosing to throw my MizFitDollars behind companies who’ve demonstrated they love their consumers back in some sort of fashion.

How do I know when they love me back?

  • They listen. They seek my opinion & value what I have to say whether it is complimentary or not.
  • They value me. They recognize I may not be a 2.97 billion dollar company but my time/efforts are quite valuable & they treat it as such.
  • They recognize that, like it or not, Im part of their demographic & they include me in their advertising, marketing & sizing (For me this means a 40 year old, inseam-challenged, rapidly-wrinkling, frugal, Jewish misfit residing in TX).

There are myriad companies with whom Ive worked (in my dayjob, in blogging, & in life!) who entirely fit the description above and then some.

That’s how I know that they love me back.

Now you.

Please to put on your blogger-bandanna, your consumer-beret, or your parent-partyhat & think for a moment.

Do the companies you <3 love you back?

If not-how do you know?

If YES-same query.

Ill be joining you in the comments…

Tags: , , ,

78 Responses to “Do the companies *you* <3 love you back?”

  1. Gemfit says:

    Sometimes is a great answer.

    The Boy and I <3 flying Air New Zealand and as such, they have rewards that make you feel special. They have a presence on Twitter (@AirpointsFairy) and they interact with customers all the time. We’re Gold Elite flyers with them (thanks to a long distance relationship) and we feel special with them.

    I want to feel special. I’ve recently had an experience with a small business that made me feel like a piece of dirt. They ignore me, they forget who I am and at the end of the day, I feel like I could walk away and they wouldn’t be effected by me.

    For a company to <3 me, treat me like I matter. Take the time to listen, to ask my opinion, to thank me for my custom.

    I’m slowly weaning out the ones that DON’T for more that DO.

    And I’m aiming to be one of those that DO.

  2. Erica says:

    I would say MOST of the companies I love, LOVE me back. A few do not. And I don’t think I require a lot in return. I think the listening to me or emailing me back when I write them emails saying how great I think there product is, isn’t a lot to ask!

    I am only halfway through my two fit chicks and a microphone podcast- I kept getting pulled away yesterday. A topic I think you two should address (if you get the chance)- fitness professionals and plastic surgery. As a group fitness instructor, I know more and more instructors who have some…enhancements or nips here and there…I wonder what you two think about this. Is it not practicing what we preach?

  3. Lara says:

    Very compelling post/question.

    I would say right now no. I am an overweight woman living in the midwest :) and often feel as though companies practically begrudgingly recognize me as a consumer.

  4. Tamara says:

    Ok, to your point number two I must say SOMETIMES.

    Many companies treat me/my blog as if I exist only to promote their products and should be tremendously grateful they acknowledge I have a blog.

    Other companies (POM comes to mind. They rock) treat me/my blog like the business it is.

  5. Helen says:

    I am embarrassed to say I have never thought about this.

    When I spend my consumer dollars I just buy what I like or my family likes and when companies send me stuff to try or giveaway I just say thank you!

  6. Diana('s Journey) says:

    I would just like a company that doesn’t require their customer service people to be D-Bags.
    (I’m a little heated about this one)
    I’d like to be treated with respect when I give them my hard earned money.
    My expectations are so high! lol.

  7. BK says:

    Ha! I’ve only recently begun thinking about this in the last 5mos or so seriously. Socially aware of where your $$ are spent. I’l be back with a more in depth comment but I can say this the companies I used to love didn’t love me back so I had to find alternatives

  8. Karen says:

    Like Helen I have not thought about this before.

    With the economy the way it is today I need to watch and spend my money only with companies who value me and my dollars.

    I think that means being more than just a company and seeming to care about my family as a unit.

  9. Shelley B says:

    Well, one company that I wanted to love, Title Nine, had such a slow return policy coupled with a snotty customer service rep. when I called questioning WHY my return was taking so long that now, when their catalogs arrive in my mailbox, I take them straight to the trash. Sad, because I loved the concept behind the company. Too bad they didn’t care about me and my order.

    I did have a great experience with Bondi Bands last week - ordered a few headbands, got them quickly, but the print on one was mostly blue, and I wanted pink (I know, I’m 4 years old!) - emailed them, got a response on a Sunday(!) and an easy switch was made. NICE!

    I think with all of the times I mention Fage yogurt and Kashi GoLean Crunch on my blog, it might be nice for them to email me with a “hey thanks” but I don’t think that is gonna happen. Still love their products, though.

  10. Amy Blades says:

    I don’t have any expectations that a company is going to kiss my @ss because I happen to like their product. If something is good, I buy it. If it’s really good I may even recommend it. A company isn’t going to get in my good graces for being my BFF, they just have to be good at what they do.

    It sounds like y’all are jumping around infront of these companies like toddlers singing “I has a blog, look at meeee!” Those that acknowledge you are the “good” companies and those that don’t are “bad”? Even if they make a really good product, offer decent service, save the rainforest or whatever?

  11. Miz says:

    Interesting point Amy yet I am NOT thinking about blogging/bloggers exclusively AT ALL.

    In fact in writing this post/when Sally from Oiselle posed the question to me it had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with me as MizFit but me as Carla Birnberg *consumer*

    what makes us buy?

    do we care about ANYTHING with regards to companies beyond the product?

    THATS what I long to know your thoughts on…

  12. Kat says:

    I love when companies see the potential in bloggers. For advertising, etc. On my budget I love a company who will provide their product for review or as a giveaway on my blog. I couldn’t do these fun things as much otherwise. I feel unloved when company won’t even respond to an email!

  13. Joanna Sutter says:

    It depends.

    I only write about the products I love and would recommend to my best friends and family members. If I do not like a product or service, I keep my opinions to myself.

    When I get a simple thank you I’m over the moon. If I don’t hear anything I don’t really mind either as I do not expect anything in return, honestly.

    But when I company reaches out to me and doesn’t follow up with what they said they are going to do (a sample, a giveaway, etc) it tarnishes their reputation in my eyes and I become brand-unloyal.

    If a company tries to tell me what to say in my articles or twitters or fb, I kick them to the curb, too. I pride myself at being creative so if I feel “forced” to put something in their words, I kick them to the curb….and then I go rinse with mouthwash because of the bad taste in my mouth.

    Oh, and if a company tries to personalize a message to me as part of their blogger outreach program and then I see the same ideas/giveaways appear on 10 other blogs…that kind of chaps my hide, too.

    I’ve had more good experiences than bad, don’t get me wrong.

    I love to blog and promote my favorite things. And when it’s not fun anymore, I’ll stop. I promise.

  14. Runeatrepeat says:

    I think the smaller companies are better about loving you back. I mention big companies like Adidas when people ask me about my fave running gear or when I’m talking about long distance runs - but will never hear anything from them.

    But, smaller companies are more apt to email/tweet.

  15. Aubry says:

    I appreciate your clarification in comment #12 as I do think a great deal about companies beyond their products and I do not blog.

    It is important to me that companies are socially aware and at least pretend ;) to be about more than the almighty dollar.

    That is how I know they love US back.

    Interesting post.

  16. dietgirl says:

    I find myself looking more at the way companies conduct themselves, how sustainable their business practices are, etc etc. Find myself ranting at companies who send me weighty catalogues every month (such a waste of bloody paper!) and buying a certain brand of oatcakes coz they switched to olive oil instead of palm oil that harms the habitat of orangutans. It’s half environmental-conscious, half cranky old lady thinking, I reckon :)

  17. Lisa says:

    I love you Carla :)

    I think ya already know that though.

  18. Linda says:

    I will happily put on my parent partyhat.

    I know companies care about my family when they offer more than a cheap toy.

    Some of this is an outgrowth of my consumer frustration witbh regards to how shoddily (sp) toys are manufactured now and much of it is the fact I have been spoiled by companies who sell me both product and offer online information/printables etc. too.

    I expect a great deal or so I’ve been told yet I reward the companies with brandloyalty and word of mouth.
    Sorry for the long comment.

  19. Jill says:

    I’m not a blogger, so I don’t have that aspect to worry about, however! I am a consumer who likes to keep in touch with companies I buy from, whether the feedback is positive or negative. Plainly said, I am an unabashed letter writer/emailer.

    My expectation after I submit comments is that someone gets back to me. I’ve spent my money on them, I’ve taken the time to write an email complimenting them or telling them my opinion on how they can better perform for their customers, and to me the least they can do is respond, and the more personal that response, the better. (I can’t stand canned “thank you for your feedback” emails!)

    The situation that infuriates me the most is when a company/organization knows that you have no other options for goods/services other than them and they use that as an excuse for poor customer relations. Case in point, the port authority in the city where I live. Their weekend service is abysmal at best and when I have called and written to complain, they are openly indifferent and rude to me because they know I don’t have another option besides them. It’s the bus and subway OR I walk everywhere. I just can’t do that.

    In the grand scheme of things, my expectations are low. 1. Treat me with respect when I’m doing them the favor of giving them my money.
    2. I want companies to do their best to be responsible to their customers, their suppliers, their manufacturers, and the environment.
    3. Be responsive when I take the time to communicate with you.

    Not really any innovative responses there, but that’s how I feel.

  20. Sagan says:

    Great question! When the companies go out of their way for me, that’s when I know they love me back. Publishing companies are GREAT for this. One of the PR people from a company had switched to a new company, and months down the line she contacted me about a book for the new company that she worked for- and she remembered me! (I totally didn’t remember her at first, heh).

    Some companies treat you like gold and talk to you as though you’re a part of their company- like you’re FAMILY. But if I don’t hear from a company, or if a company doesn’t tell me anything about what they think of my review etc, or if they don’t really put the EFFORT in to understand what my blog is all about and why their product would fit in well (or not) with my blog, then I figure they don’t love me all that much.

    In terms of non-blogging it’s the same sort of thing: I love a company if it KNOWS what I’m after and it strives to do the best it can for me, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the “best” (in the short term) for the company. And that’s how I know when the company loves me, too.

  21. Peggy says:

    As a consumer, I don’t think I expect much…

    When I ask a company a question I like to get a response, it’s OK if it is not the response I want, at least someone took the time to answer me.

    Most importantly I expect a company to stand behind thier product. If I have to contact a customer service department I expect to get the problem resolved.

  22. Shelley says:

    Non-blogger here.

    I will happily pay a little more for great customer service (Zappo’s, buy.com). I know they don’t love me in particular, but they make me feel like they do. Zappo’s, especially has been fantastic- about returns, about letting me know when there’s a problem with my order (even before I do) and preemptively remedying it.

    But I don’t really need a company to make me feel special - just, to echo Jill, to treat me and my dollars with respect, and to treat its employees / manufacturers similarly. If it means that my loaf of bread needs to cost a few pennies more, I’m happy to spend them in a way that encourages good practices.

    Good post.

  23. Kadee says:

    Great post.

    I will spend more money on companies who treat the earth well.

    Organic and green are two things which are very very important to me and I will not abide by companies who pretend to be green and really are not.

    Toms shoes rock as a company BTW.

    (I am not a blogger)

  24. Miz says:

    THANKS SO MUCH to all of you for your honesty and making the time (I know we are all life-slammed) to type out your thoughts.

    I really appreciate it.

  25. @LastMinuteMandy says:

    No. The companies I love don’t love me back. BUT, they do love my money. So if they are a smart, customer-savvy company, they will do what they can to make me feel as though I want to continue spending money with them. That might be through providing a great product, or awesome customer service, or by simply showing an understanding of the demographic that I belong in.

    I am a blogger, but I have not gotten into ads/sponsorships yet, so I don’t have a great bloggy opinion on the matter. But, I would imagine it is the same answer. They don’t love you (or your blog) but they love what you may be able to do for them. If they are smart, they will show appreciation by giving you thanks, giving you a bit of promotion, or giving you a payment of some kind. In a perfect world, that is.

  26. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    What a question for my tired mind! For me, this is back to bed time… BUT I must say it is sometimes. There are companies & products I blog about a lot yet can’t get them to answer an email & others actually care. I think, honestly, if you are so small, most might not care & that kind of ticks me off. We all work very hard at this. It would be nice to be treated as good as we treat their product on our blog….

    I am going to think thru this more when I get up again & my mind is more awake!

    Carla, always making me think!

  27. Fitarella says:

    Such an interesting question.

    As a blogger - I would say no, they don’t love me back, but that has never really bothered me because I never expected them to in the first place. I have seen companies LOVE on other bloggers, and depending on the blogger I sometimes have wondered whether the relationship was genuinely out of company love or there was an arrangement with the blogger. What does bug me though is the myriad of emails I get from companies that clearly have never read my blog, send a generic email and want me to plug their company. Seriously?! To me that shows a lack of respect to me and my readers.

    As a consumer - I think you hit the nail on the head “They listen. They seek my opinion & value what I have to say whether it is complimentary or not.” I am brand loyal and I will talk your brand up & spread the word until the cows come home, but I expect that a company backs up their product with customer service that delivers
    and is true to their company ethos. I don’t need to be made to feel special, but a “thank you” is always appreciated

  28. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    Some companies love me back - some don’t, and one was downright nasty to me. Geez.

    I think companies have to understand that we are people. I don’t bother with a product if the rep hasn’t even taken the time to read what my blog is all about and wants me to review something totally inappropriate for what I stand for. And they could at least know my name!

    I also don’t think the company should expect us to only say good things. If something needs improving, we can bring it up on the blog. That can be done without being mean or nasty or unwarranted, but honesty with our readers is truly the most important thing.

    That’s my blogger hat.

    My consumer hat is to not forget about us shorties! It’s really hard to find things that fit me, particularly exercise pants. Capri-style ends up looking like high waters on me, and regular length looks like I am wearing my dad’s pants LOL. I love when companies have surveys and such so I can participate in those. E-mails often go unanswered, although I am very loyal if they take the time to help me.

  29. Karen says:

    I am big into social media (Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc) and love it when companies have a strong social media program/focus. One of my favorite companies, Lululemon, ALWAYS responds to my Tweets and Direct Messages on Twitter within 24 hrs…even if it’s just to say thanks or enjoy to an order I made where I didn’t ask a specific question.

    I would love to do more blog giveaways but as of now have only done 1. Someone from Weight Watchers marketing saw my Tweet about my disgust of finding HFCS in Skinny Cow products and sent me coupons for free WW ice cream (most are HFCS free) one of which I gave away. I’ve gotten offers to do others but not for products I support or would recommend so I’ve said no. I think to some extent it’s up to the blogger to be proactive about looking for/asking about doing giveaways so that’s something I can work on!

  30. Kelly Olexa says:

    Sadly, I have found that a lot of the companies I love, or that have a product I love, do NOT love me back. I have experienced this recently with two “sorry about your luck” experiences that really left me feeling awful and not wanting to do business with this company.
    The worst one - didn’t really have to do with blogging, although I know in some way they’ve been involved in some blogger outreach programs. Tassimo. I had this coffee/cappuccino machine recommended for me by a ton of people. I signed up for their auto-delivery service and it keeps arriving later and later. No UPS tracking code until AFTER THE PACKAGE IS DELIVERED. Plus I have had 2 machines FAIL on me. I write them an email expressing my displeasure and they were like, “MMm sorry about your luck.” #FAIL

  31. Susan says:

    Funny, because just yesterday a company did love me back!! I always shop at the Running Room - a Canadian running store. It’s a little more pricey, but I love the people that work there and their products never fail me. Out of the blue yesterday, I got a $10 gift certificate in the mail from the store for all my purchases as of late (new running shoes + fancy new gym bag = alotta money).

    There’s a few other companies, like Canadian Kashi, Goodlife Fitness, Liberte, Fontaine Sante, that have all loved me back. But these are all Canadian companies. I get NO love from US companies. It’s beyond frustrating.

  32. Ben Teal says:

    Hey Carla,

    I think this is an interesting question. And as I think about it, maybe two questions masquerading as one.

    From a webmaster/blogger/writer/shameless promoter of things perspective, I feel pretty confident that I if a company feels that I can move enough of their product, they will, at the very least, pretend to love me.

    On my site, I do participate in affiliate programs, but I NEVER promote something I didn’t purchase and like myself.

    I also have the unique opportunity to talk to the authors/creators of the products I am trying and get to know the people that create them. I have found their personality often paints a pretty good picture of their customer service.

    And believe me when I say, no matter how popular the program, how great the commission, if I don’t like it, or if the creator is arrogant or if I get the impression that they ONLY in it to make a dollar and not help others reach their goals (I know that making money is part of it, and I can respect it… fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat), then I won’t consider telling others about them.

    So the question I want to know the answer to is not so much whether they will show me the love, I want to know whether or not they will love their customers the way I love my readers.

    As a consumer, for me, I think a company shows me love if their products are QUALITY. I am choosing to spend my money with them, and for that money I expect a certain level of value. I think I am rational in my expectations. I don’t expect BMW quality and service if I buy a Yugo.

    Give me this, and I will give you loyalty (and shoutouts) -almost to a fault, I am ashamed to admit.

    However, if you screw me on the quality just once, I will never go back. This I am also somewhat ashamed to admit, but that’s just how I am.

    Okay, that ramble went on way too long. Let me know if it didn’t make sense.


    Your friendly neighborhood Middle Manager

  33. Evan says:

    I think the fact I have grown accustomed to poor service and now take it as the norm speaks volumes.

  34. workout mommy says:

    as you know, i LOVE this post! (and just have to say that I love bloggers (like you) who love me back.) :)

    not all the companies I love—love me back. Many of them are downright rude and annoying. I used to accept their free crap because it was free but I’m not doing that anymore. I am worth more than free crap. :)

    the companies I now love are the ones that respond—not only on email but interact on twitter as well. Some that come to mind are Kuru and BornFit. and even Comcast.

    these days, customer service goes a LONG way with my spending money. If you are polite and responsive, I’m going to love you back.

  35. Amy says:

    Lately I have been really looking hard at where products are made and how they are marketed as opposed to service. Companies who make a “natural” product and their old crappy chemical laden product really make me cranky. If they actually cared about the environment or my dog or whatever they wouldn’t continue to make and sell the damaging product. It seems like such an obvious scheme that I can’t bring myself to buy any of their products, at least the straight forward polluters are honest.

  36. Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story says:

    This post really made me think. I can only think of 1 company that has ever showed me love and it’s because I spotted a blopper and let them know. I love Boca Meatless products and they tweeted that their chik’in patties were 1 weight watcher point, they are 3. I replied to them to correct them and the woman was very friendly and asked for my address, they sent me 5 free proudct coupons and some recipes. Of course, that had nothing to do with a review. :)

  37. bx says:

    I think I will find it hard ever to LOVE a company and so I don’t really expect that in return.

    What I respect and look out for and will bring my custom elsewhere if its lacking though:
    - treat their staff well
    - environmentally conscious (not just spending the visible bucks on their greenwash and the invisible bucks on undermining real legislation…I’m looking at you large petrol companies)
    - in touch with the communities they operate in, not just the communities they sell to
    - gender balance of the board
    - customer service where you can speak to a real person and get their name and get a response
    - value for money
    - attractive packaging.

  38. Aimee Bartis says:

    This is a bit tough because most of the products I love are purchased through a 3rd party and not directly through the company itself. For example, I LOVE Under Armour. But I don’t get it at an Under Armour store. I get it at Academy or Sports Authority or some such place. I KNOW that Sports Authority does not love me because their sales stink and their clothes are over priced. The only way I know UA loves me is that they keep making clothes I want to wear. They could show more love by lowering their prices but I doubt that will happen ;)
    Although not a company, an iPhone app that I know loves me and it’s other users is the Couch to 5K running app. I believe that the developer’s name is Alex Stankovic and he’s on twitter @c25Kapp He personally encourages runners using and posting about his app. I feel like he’s been a cheerleader in my running adventure.

  39. Kelly says:

    If I take the time to contact a company I would like a “real” person to respond back. No form letter, please. Let me know you are listening. If you really love me, give me a small “thank you.” Coupon? Anything.

    I wrote to PeiWei recently and they had their regional manager contact me and then the manager of the restaurant that I frequent sent me a gift card. THAT’S love!! All I wanted to do was tell them that I like a “limited time only” menu item. That’s it. They really showed some love back.

    I just want to know that the company cares what I think. A response is nice. A coupon or gift is always great! Customer service is HUGE!

  40. Lyn says:

    I loved McDonalds like a mad passionate affair for ten years and they loved my back by giving me a FREE dead fly in my ice cream cone.

    I broke up with McDonalds…

  41. POD says:

    Some companies I did not love, love me regardless (thinking of POM here). They seem to be very generous. Verizon doesn’t love me and I don’t like them either.

    Local stores, coffee shops, restaurants show the love. Of course they get tips but I also think it’s a mutual relationship. Give and take.

  42. Lanie D says:

    This is a seriously interesting topic that many companies are trying to figure out (I work in in mktg). In my humble opinion, a strong, fantastic company is consumer centric.

    Actually I find the question you asked so interesting that I think I have re-written this post three times b/c I keep going off on tangents :)

    Anyway, there are I think 3 parts to consider when building a customer centric approach.

    1. The company has to have the culture/leadership that are customer advocates.
    2. The brand has to be one that can reasonably build brand loyalty, or as I think of it as an emotional attachment to the brand.
    3. Execution. You have to be able to deliver on all levels, and that means inspiring your front line people, and also empowering them. This is by far the most difficult portion of the equation.

    While I don’t disagree in the slightest about the question you asked, because as a consumer I loathe being treated poorly, I have to ask a critical question: Are you willing to pay for it?

    The dollars required to deliver on the customer experience that many people aspire to, they would not be willing to pay for. I could go on for ages, but the best example I can think of is Walmart. The Walmart model is not built on the customer experience (though store models are improving…) their model is built on price. Contrast that with Target who focuses more on the customer experience, at the cost of slightly higher prices.

    I am quite honestly a total nerd when it comes to this stuff :)

    In answer to your question I love my local running shop and their customer experience. I also go out of my way to purchase items in their store to help support them.

  43. MizFit says:

    again, THANK YOU.

  44. melissa says:

    Anyone watch “Chelsea Lately”? She was always talking about her love for Grey Goose vodka and they never loved her back. Belvedere picked up on it and is now sponsoring her. From her show I learned that Belvedere is the only sugar-free vodka (who knew?). I’m now a Belvedere girl myself. It was a great move on their part.

  45. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    I want to feel heard. If I have a good experience I want them to acknowledge it and if I have a bad experience I want the same. I want to feel like I’m not just another one of their hundreds of customers to make profits but an individual who matters.

  46. Merry Mary says:

    Since I don’t do many giveaways and reviews and such (this may change?) I don’t think of this in terms of being a blogger. Just as a consumer I appreciate the companies that make an effort to listen to us as consumers. The ones that do have twitter accounts and actually employ someone to listen to people who like and want to interact with the company. And i love companies that treat loyal customers well, giving them discounts and such. If consumers are clearly loving your company already it’s nice to get a little love in return to show it’s worth it beyond just getting a good product.

  47. dietgirl says:

    Another perspective on this… I work in marketing for my day job and this social media stuff has jus been “discovered” by our great leaders. Now I have been designated Social Media Guru since I do this in my non-work life so I MUST know what to do. No extra time or resources to stop and plan a strategy, just got hurry and do it coz our competitors are… it was crazy enough trying to be responsive with the slower, old-school forms of customer feedback (phone/letters) than this very demanding fast-paced social media stuff. The customers adapt very quickly to the new technologies but getting the companies with limited budget and resources up to speed can be bloody hard :)

  48. dietgirl says:

    (sorry that’s a bit of a tangent!)

  49. dietgirl says:

    (i guess i’m saying quite often a company would LOVE to be on twitter 24/7 answering customer queries and being down with the blogging peeps, etc etc but there physically is just not the bod there to do it….)

  50. Elisabeth says:

    Lately, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with a few companies that have PAID ATTENTION.

    For instance: VitaBand. They are offering a product that has not even launched yet, and my tiny little mention of them on Twitter elicited a huge response from them. The fact that they noticed little me, and were concerned that I CARED about their product spoke volumes to me. I was already considering the purchase of their product at launch, but now I’m absolutely certain that I’m buying. They’re sending me a t-shirt. I mean c’mon…me? A t-shirt?

    LARAbar. These people are amazing. Again, a little mention on Twitter was all it too for me to become the LARAbar fan of the day, and it also landed my parrot a taste-testing spot on their blog. It was a very funny day, but it locked my brain into their products. They told me they love me, and send me some stickers and coupons to prove it. I buy their products weekly now.

    Most important to me is the fact that these companies pay attention to their consumer…or their potential consumer. the fact is that if we don’t like ‘YOU’, we’re not buying ‘YOUR’ product. It’s that simple. I’m not saying that you have to send me free $h!t in order for me to love your product. You must have a good product, care about how I feel about that product, care about my perception of ‘YOU’, and show me that you care.

    It’s the same as any successful relationship…give and take. You give, I take…I give, you take. Symbiosis.

  51. Marisa (Loser for Life) says:

    @LastMinuteMandy recited my sentiments exactly!

    And as a blogger, it bothers me when a company acts as if they read my blog, but then try to hock their product that is not in any way related to my blog’s intentions. I’m all for sponsorship, affiliates and the like, but I want to keep the integrity of my blog and want to deal with companies that I can feel comfortable about representing. Like Chobani Yogurt! Alas, they do not love me back despite the fact that I spend $70 a month on their yogurt :(

  52. dragonmamma says:

    Even though I don’t eat grains anymore, I’ve always been a huge fan of Bob’s Red Mill. I could just tell that it had a “heart”, and was run by real people. So I wasn’t too surprised to see this story yesterday:


    Cool, huh? How would you like to be one of his employees?

  53. Ryan Sullivan says:

    I’ve been waiting all day to answer this question because it’s an important one. There are just so many variables.

    From a business standpoint I kind of understand where the companies are coming from. The ones with good products are frequently sent thank you letters, emails, and other communication saying “we think you’re awesome.” It would be hard for me as a business owner to say ‘let’s send this person love but not that one.’ Most of them probably think they should “love” everyone or no one. The hard truth is that it’s easier to love no one. It requires less time and money.

    That being said I think that many companies would profit from reciprocating some of those feelings. Even a small amount of recognition will make us even more prone to endorse their products.

    I think in order for it to be truly successful requires building real person relationships with vendors. Phone calls are much more valuable than an email, text or IM. All companies love to hear that their product is solid so kissing a little tush via voice communication would definitely be effective.

    Other than that I think the best approach would be an organized one. Find other people who love the same products we do and send a Tweet Storm with a uniform hastag or have everyone link to the product on the same day. Even going as far as organizing one professional newsletter including names and sites of all the people who think their stuff is great might be a good way to go.

    Just some thoughts :)

  54. Angela says:

    This is such an important topic and I am here via a tweet from Go-Girls.
    They are a company I really like and, after investigating your blog a bit (first timer), I see you do as well.

    I know that I feel the company love when I sense that I am valued as a consumer beyond my money.

    I’m not sure how bigger companies can do this though.

  55. Heather Eats Almond Butter says:

    Yes, I remember when I first read about Chipper Jerky on YOUR blog, I emailed the company to asked where I could purchase. Never heard back from them.

    I honestly don’t get contacted by a lot of companies. It’s usually me doing the contacting. If I love a product (read Jay Robb), I like to let the company know, and for the most part, they are excited for the feedback and usually willing to do a giveaway for my readers whenever I ask. So, yes, I feel loved. Gosh, I even received a holiday greeting card from a company after writing a scathing review of their products. Even I was shocked by that one…thought for sure I’d been nixed from their mailing list. ;)

  56. Kat says:

    This is an interesting question. I am not sure if the companies I love, love me back. I guess that is not as important to me as the quality of the product and the the integrity (really is my perceived integrity) of the company.
    I have had some positive feedback from Vitamix when I mentioned them on Twitter. I love my Vitamix machine…:-)

  57. MizFit says:

    Yes, I remember when I first read about Chipper Jerky on YOUR blog, I emailed the company to asked where I could purchase. Never heard back from them.

    well, at least I now know that it isnt just me :) classic.

  58. Geosomin says:

    To me customer service is key - when I can call up about a problem, talk toa real person who will try their best to help me? I’m a happy camper. Even some big companies know how to help…I throw my business behind those who do and actively avoid those who don’t.

    When I meet with robots or can’t find *anyone* to help or get a “I don’t have a button for that ma’am” response I get very tetchy.

  59. Mary Meps says:

    Hmmm, well, I know Trader Joe’s appreciates me and Whole Foods … well, the people who work there do.

    OfficeMax [my local store] and I have a good relationship. They’re always helpful and don’t try to sell me crap I don’t need.

    I live in a small town, so it’s easier to establish relationships at places I go on a regular basis.

    But, honestly, I do’t expect much these days. Corporate America does not appreciate nor respect us. None of us. I think that’s pretty obvious.

  60. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    I think I can tell when a company I physcially shop at appreciates me or not by the level of customer service they offer me. Honestly, I’m not feeling too much love around here.

    With internet companies, I appreciate quick communication and honesty. I had a horrible experience with an electronics vendor and would never recommend them to anyone.

  61. Britt @ Runnerbelle says:

    I haven’t really thought about it I guess. I would say smaller companies or more local companies show me their love back more often. That more one on one interaction is priceless. Although with new forms of media like Twitter, its definitely much easier to interact with a larger company and let them know about an issue or to give them some love. Emails or filling out a form….. you just never know if anyone will even look at it.

  62. cammi99 says:

    Something to think about: is the company an American company? If not, is there a similar product that is made here? If we don’t support our country-men’s jobs there may soon be few people able to buy much of anything.

    As far as what makes me go back to a company: 1)communication; 2) an apology when they screw up; 3)easy returns; 4) not over-pricing the shipping (if that applies); 5) a sense of humor goes over big with me.

  63. Marianne says:

    I need to chime in from the other end. A a small business owner, I find that more and more people are willing to scream at me for their mistakes, or immediately threaten to smear us. The number of people who think they can bow out of agreements because “they forgot” is staggering. I really appreciate those customers who take a moment to write and are friendly, even if they’re having a problem. There are limits to “the customer is always right” and I am much more mindful of how I conduct commerce knowing that there is someone just like me on the other end of the transaction.

  64. Quix says:

    I have to admit, haven’t thought of it. Sure, I thought someday I might find a way to make money on my blog but it’s sort of like the underpants gnome logic - step one, spout my mouth of about things, step three, profit. Step two is like pretty much magic to me. Honestly, right now, it’s just not a focus for me. When I thought I was going to make an exit from my career I was thinking about it, but now unless things go south? Totally a hobby.

    As for the consumer beret, I pretty much go for whatever is the best value for me. For example, wiith food, it’s taste/nutrition for the calories and price. However, I have to say I have stuck with my slightly more expensive car insurance because every dealing with them, even when I have been at fault, has been amazing customer-service-wise.

  65. s says:

    i don’t know. i think a lot of the ones that are local, small businesses <3 me. and most companies i deal with have a good customer service policy. except bank of america, haha.

  66. charlotte says:

    This feels like such a strange question to me and yet it’s something that I should have been thinking about for 2.5 years now;) I think that most of the companies I love do not love me back but part of that is probably because they don’t know I exist. I don’t go out of my way to contact companies that I love. I should probably start doing that.

    As for loving me? I heart coupons, specials, deals, little extras (like Sephora’s 3 free samples in every box) - anything that makes me feel like I’m getting more for my money!

  67. Natalia Burleson says:

    Sorry I missed this yesterday. Hmmm. Having worked in customer service for more years than I care to recall, companies show me they love me by listening. When I’m unhappy about something with their company or product they care that I’m unhappy and they try to figure out why and what they can do to help. Even though I’m only one person out of hundred’s, thousand’s or millions I matter and it matters to them if they lose me as a customer.

    They show me that they love me by being honest with me. Don’t offer me a price reduction and tell me it’s because I’m such a loyal customer and then a year later take it away and tell me that was a one year promotional offer. Yes that happened yesterday.

    They show they love me when they acknowledge my presence when I step up to the desk or counter or whatever.

    I’m a very customer service oriented customer. A low price is important and sometimes that’s how I make my choice, but sometimes it’s all about being treated with respect, kindness and honesty that totally gets my business. A product is a product and sometimes it speaks for itself and I’ll buy that product no matter how I’m treated just because I love it. But I think ultimately it’s about the company realizing that even though I’m one, I’m just me, my patronage matters to them.

  68. T says:

    i would honestly have to say a few do … if you’re talking about customer service inquiries. here are my experiences (both good and not so good):

    PANERA BREAD: have had a lot of issues with them recently, with either skimping me on items i ask for or rude employees or bones in their soup. when i found a bone in their chicken noodle soup, brandon and i called the restaurant (we got a to go order), they said, okay, you’ll go on a list for a free meal … and they very begrudgingly gave it to us next time. a later incident, i had many issues with my order so e-mailed their customer service department. i got a gift card (which barely covered my usual order) and a letter that said they were sorry, but i didn’t get the feeling they actually were.

    SKIRTSPORTS: i <3 skirt sports and their products. i was very anti-skirt for workout apparel, but i love their running skirts (even though i personally still have to double up with some compression shorts underneath) to run in and for they way they make my butt look. i recently had an online order with them that got extremely screwed up (wrong size in a winter running skirt, wrong color in a regular one). i e-mailed them about it and a rep e-mailed me back … for the winter running skirt, they let me ship it back free of charge (unusual with their return policy) AND get a newer version at no extra cost. for the regular skirt, i got to keep the screwed up one AND they sent me the correct one as well as a free t-shirt. which was awesome.

    PRIMAL WEAR: primal is a colorado-based cycling apparel company. i bought something from them once and have gotten their e-mails since. they had an amazing clearance sale a few months back, so i got brandon a new pair of shorts. a rep e-mailed me to tell me they were unavailable, but i could pick another pair from a few other options instead FOR THE SAME PRICE. so, i was able to get him a better, newer pair of shorts for the same ridiculous price, which i thought was a very cool move on their part.

    then there are companies that i didn’t really love to begin with, decided to try, had a bad experience with and, when said experience was brought up, got an even worse one from the people in charge. christy sports, i’m talking to you. they might end up having the best deal in the future on some skis or something and i won’t shop there because of the horrible, horrible experience that brandon and i had there.

  69. Losing Waist! says:

    This is an interesting topic, and is one that I spend time thinking about often… Every time a company steps over a boundary with me I let them know. I have a special “problems” folder in my email account- if nothing else I feel like I have expressed my frustration, which makes ME feel better.

    I currently feel like a few specific companies love me because they specifically cater to my SIZE. This is not a shared, loving relationship. There are minimal clothing stores that carry plus sized clothes (especially here in the Spokane area), and so when they jack up the price on a collared shirt to f-i-f-t-y dollars… I either pay up, or wear my clothes out. As I have lost weight I have had to buy more, and pay a dear price. It makes me angry to be “loved” by a company because of the ability to charge me whatever they want (while the quality goes down).

    On a more positive note: I feel loved these days when I turn over a food product to read the label, and see a simple, glorious list of just a handful of REAL FOOD ingredients (Like Larabars).

  70. maria bailey says:

    Great Post and wonderful question. I think sometimes we moan and groan about companies not showing their love yet we don’t tell them how to love us. It’s like telling a toddler to “behave” in a the grocery store yet we don’t define “behave” for them. So when they run in aisles or take cereal off the shelf, we get mad, yet how would they know this is bad behavior? We never told them what good behavior is in our minds. The same goes with companies. We want love but what does that mean? Could mean paying for a blog post, could mean sending us coupons, could mean simply knowing we are a big fan. I tweet and post about Delta Airlines at least once a week if not more. I sit on their planes 6-10 times a week multiple times a day. I talk about them on Mom Talk Radio and on Facebook. I spend over $5000 a month on Delta.com. I am their best customer. However they show me little love. In fact, they keep taking away the love they give me- now charging more for my flight changes and for membership in the Crown Room. I would just like them to follow me on Twitter. To recognize that they know I’m here and that I talk about them. Just acknowledge my business in some way other than a Platinum card they issue to millions of others. I bet if you ask women, they would say show me love with good customer service! It saves us time, money, stress and allows us to simplify our lives. Great post.

  71. RhodeyGirl says:

    I feel major company love. I am someone that is generally interested in helping a company I believe in succeed. If I have a customer service issue or am really happy with a product, I tend to write to the company to tell them. I always receive a kind response- always. Even when I had an issue at a hotel recently, the issue was resolved and the company sent me a nice email thanking me for my business, with a manager name and direct line at the bottom should I need any more assistance. I really appreciate that effort.

    In regards to my blog, I also feel a lot of company love. Companies are really on top of their social media lately, and I notice if I mention a product (not even link to it- just mention it) I will get an email thanking me for mentioning them.

  72. RhodeyGirl says:

    P.S. Random side note. Did you see the delicate soles giveaway on my blog? That company fully represents true customer service. It is a very small brand new company with a man and his wife who started it, and they are just amazing. You feel like you are dealing with your neighbors… the way it should be. I was lucky to meet him randomly on a trip where I told stories about my blog and he did the same about his new company, and after reviewing a pair of his shoes for him decided to help them out with the giveaway. I believe in their product AND their company so much I wanted to help them in any way. I believe that delicate soles would do the same for me if they could. It is the way we SHOULD feel about EVERY company.


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