Caring is underrated

The SXSW (South by Southwest) Conference in Austin just wrapped up on March 21st and some of the highlights are starting to make their way onto YouTube.  I came across Gary Vaynerchuk‘s (@garyvee) presentation from this year and my mind got to thinking about how powerful the consumer is.

In his talk, Gary said that we (consumers) now have an audience through tools like Twitter and Facebook.  We have a voice and people are actually willing to listen to us.  They care about what we have to say otherwise they wouldn’t be our “followers” or “friends”.  As an example, most of you know I’ve been doing P90X for over 2 months now.  I can’t tell you how many times people on Facebook and Twitter have asked me, “does it work?” or “is it worth it?”.  My answer in all cases was “YES” and I’ve convinced people to buy it and do it!  Now if you work at Beachbody (the company that created it), you love this type of word of mouth endorsement.

Gary goes on to say that we all are in the customer service business.  I completely agree.  If you are using Twitter and Facebook to market to consumers (I’m guilty of that) then you’re missing the basic principle of why these tools are in place to begin with.  Maybe I should re-read my post, “It’s all about relationships.” If brands begin to care about their customers, then that’s a big deal.  Think Zappos.  Think Best Buy.  These companies get it.

Now the question I have is this…can an automotive company do it?  Are Buick and GMC too big to take an interest in their customers?  Some may say “yes.”  I say “who cares, why don’t we try?”  In the beginning of Gary’s speech he says he is most interested in DOING the things we say we AREN’T going to do because that’s where the opportunity is.  I’ve said this before…there are no second chances for us as a company.  It’s time to do things differently because what we did before didn’t work.  We need to think differently, act differently and just try.  Try new things.  We won’t know until we just try.

What do you think?  Is it possible for Buick and GMC to change perceptions by focusing on the customer?

“People need to start caring or they are going to lose.” ~ Gary Vaynerchuk, SXSW 2010

James 1:19 “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”

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