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Social Media is Worthless If You Lose Your Customer

When F2F Supersedes Social Media.

Social media tools can help you communicate your message, connect you to your customers, expand your network and improve your image. Using social media tools I interact daily with wineries, winemakers, those involved with the selling and distribution of wine, as well as my fellow wine aficionados. We are using twitter, blogs, Facebook, video and a multitude of web 2.0 tools to share our wine experiences and to network with each other.
iPad and twitter social media in action.
But what good is all that effort and energy, in particular for a business, if they or their staff lacks F2F (face-to-face) skills? First impressions are lasting impressions. Of course I only share with you my positive wine experiences. But I feel it is time to remind wineries, winemakers and their staff that a rude or indifferent manner is not endearing. If you don't engage your customer you lose them.

Certainly, some of you have lost me. How in today’s economy of increased competition and increasingly selective customers can you sustain rudeness? No one is paying me to review wine, so pardon me if I'm a little sensitive about this topic.

I don't care how fantastic your product is, I will not endorse your wine or winery if I feel that you don't care about me as your customer. Not just me, the wine blogger, I refer to all of your customers. We are deserving of polite and even cheerful treatment. When I pour wine for someone I want them to know how great it is, why it is special, and to make sure they appreciate it, ready to answer questions with a smile.

It’s time to wake up! Look in the mirror. Your social skills and behavior in public are a reflection of your brand. Train your staff and be thankful I only share my positive wine experiences. Happily, most of my wine experiences, on both sides of the fence, have been positive experiences.

Yes, I know what I'm writing about.

An excerpt from a customer letter, dated 22 January 2007, thanking me for a delightful winery experience.

“…Bill conducted our personal tasting session. He was friendly, informative, pleasant and has a great delivery. In short, it was his personality, knowledge of the product, and demeanor that made the difference in our visit to the winery. From the moment we entered, throughout the tasting session, and up to the time Bill brought our two cases of wine out to the car, he could not have been more helpful or informative.”

F2F = Face-to-Face

Online jargon, also known as text message shorthand, used primarily in texting, online chat, instant messaging, email, blogs, and newsgroup postings, it refers to meeting someone in person, in the real world, as opposed to virtually, in the electronic world of cyberspace.

Twitter hashtag #F2F



  1. Hi Bill,

    Great post! Like you, I would expect that any company that excels at engaging and providing customer service over social media would provide an equally positive experience when it comes to “F2F” interaction. It wouldn’t make much sense otherwise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Zoe Geddes-Soltess
    Community Engagement, Radian6

  2. Thank you for your comment Zoe. I am always dismayed by rude or indifferent treatment, especially when I was looking forward to meeting and sampling their product (and willing to review it).

    Best wishes


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