Communication Issues

As a customer I’m constantly frustrated that – even in this age of Twitter and Facebook and smart phones etc – I can’t have a conversation with a business on my terms.

Either I have a problem and they avoid communicating with me entirely, OR they’re shy and never send me information that I might want, OR they’re way too eager and insist on bugging me every other damn day about their ‘special deals’.

An example, one of many. Every summer I drive out east of Portland to the Hood River Valley to walk in the orchards and pick my own peaches, cherries and blueberries.

I would love it if some of the farmers sent me updates about their crops. Hey Jonny the cherry trees are blooming, here’s a picture. Hey Jonny, blueberries are ready to be picked. I would probably be encouraged to go more often, and talk about them with my friends, and I’d probably be willing to pay a premium for their fruit.

I would hate it if they sent me emails every day in the winter telling me about their ‘special deals’ on pickled beets.

As it is, I get no communication from my favorite farmers whatsoever. They don’t tweet and they don’t have my email address, and because of this we’re lost to each other. If I don’t drive out there this summer, we might never have another customer-business interaction, i.e. I give them cold hard cash for the stuff they make.

Somewhere between saying nothing and shouting about everything, there has to be a happy medium.

“I would like your email address, and if you give it to me I promise I will only email you 6-10 times a year, and only when it’s VERY important.”

Whoever is bold enough to ask that question, and has the integrity to keep the promise, wins.

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