Relationships are ongoing conversations. I’m thinking about my ongoing conversation with my friend Ed, at a meaningful moment in his life.

Do you have ongoing conversations with your customers?

(If the video doesn’t show up in your RSS reader, please click through to the post on


  • Michael Martine, Blog Consultant
    Apr 02, 2008 - 17:53 pm

    Good job on the video, came out nice and clear.

    What are some of the ways a business can achieve continuity with customers?

  • david
    Apr 03, 2008 - 11:40 am

    Very cool.

    Your conversation with us continues, as well!

  • Phil
    Apr 03, 2008 - 14:26 pm

    This is proof that short, concise conversations are the way to go. Nobody gets bored and everyone can easily pick up exactly where it last left off. Good conversation. Ever get into long, drawn out conversations where you exceed your attention span? Bad conversation.

  • Brian Oates
    Apr 03, 2008 - 15:08 pm

    Technology could help the big phone company at least ‘try’ to continue your conversation. If you called in the day before, the system could put you in the queue for the same CSR that you spoke with last, and back into the general queue if they weren’t available.

    • Steve Yastrow
      Apr 03, 2008 - 16:47 pm

      Isn’t the technology the easy part? It’s usually the people that design it or use it who don’t see it as a way to continue an ongoing conversation. Some companies do … Hertz does a nice job of keeping track of me and stitching one encounter to the next. Any others that come to mind?

  • Ed
    Apr 04, 2008 - 07:44 am

    This is Steve’s friend, Ed. He recorded the above on the way to my father’s funeral. Tough time…

    Anyway, I wrote him the following after viewing the vid. Note, I’m not a professional marketing guy, although I do teach a class on music technology in the marketplace, so I think about this stuff pretty often:


    I was thinking about the whole customer thing, and it occurred to me that the ideal relationship is to actually be your customer’s friend.

    In the old days, the folks you did business with lived in your town, and if they were jerks, everyone knew it. So it paid to be nice, and even genuinely nice. Because you knew that the feedback loop between what goes around and what comes around was very tight. Consumer feedback was accomplished over the garden fence, or on the main street. It was easy to warn folks about a bad business, and they wouldn’t survive, unless they had a real monopoly or other means of forcing consumers to buy from them. In these circumstances, you could be genuine friends. Or, at least, you could be decent neighbors.

    Then for a while, we had these disconnected cities and suburbs, where you no longer knew your neighbors, much less your neighborhood merchants. And, the regular people had no good way to warn each other about the bad guys, or easy ways to seek alternatives. They didn’t own newspapers, and they were relatively disconnected anyway, i.e., high costs of communication and low incentive to look out for their neighbors. So, low incentive for business to treat customers as friends…

    Today however, all that has changed. It is cheap to communicate to anyone who is listening, and with email and blogs, messages practically spread themselves. It’s also pretty easy to find other sources of the goods and services we need.

    There are massive competitive forces pushing at businesses from all sides, so the ones who will survive are the ones who can convince their customers that they are, at the very least, on a simpatico wavelength on not only their product category but on other high-concern issues, if not actually friends.


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