if Twitter were an employee...

letting your down time work for you

Closed Your brand has many storefronts.  Every marketer knows the importance of window dressing in retail.
After all, every impression may be a first impression, and in the words of one of my colleagues, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."

Whether it be In digital media, in social media, in traditional retail or CRM management, you are always creating first impressions. 

But what happens when your store is closed?  What kind of first impressions are your generating to your user when you are unavailable?

It is understandable that your services may become temporarily unavailable; you may have to close your storefront at night, your website may go down, your tools may occasionally crash.  But what kind of first experiences are you creating when you aren't available?  How are you marketing to them in this void?

Retailers know the importance of window displays during off hours.  But do service oriented companies appreciate that the same principles apply to their business as well?

This weekend, I spent nearly an hour on hold, waiting for AT&T customer service.  The hold music was an up-sell for addditional services.  This would have been frustrating on it's own, but was only exacerbated by  the fact that I was calling to get cell phones service back up and running.  There was no apology message for the hold time, there were only sales messages.  After nearly an hour, the rep finally came on the line and not only resolved the issue, but offered a complimentary compensation for my experience.

This was not my first interaction with AT&T.  But it was my 18 year old nephew's first exposure - as he was in the room throughout this experience.  There is only so much AT&T can communicate through paid messaging - and you can rest assured that the damage caused by their poor service fulfillment will far outweigh their media in influencing my nephew's mobile carrier decision.  All because of a laughably pathetic customer service call.

What do your out-of-service communications say about your business?

photo credit here.