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Ad-ology Insights: Segment from January 2010 Podcast

3…2…1… Contact!

Contact is the secret,
It’s the moment when everything happens. 

Contact is the answer,
It’s the reason why everything happens.

Let’s Make Contact!

Three, Two, One, contact!

Does anyone else remember the show from the 80′s? The first part has been stuck in my head for hours. So, I googled it and now I have the rest of the lyrics. It also inspired me to talk about the importance of contact for your business.

Business is about contacts. If you don’t have contact with the consumer, you don’t have any business. Ever heard that it takes hearing/reading something three times before you remember it? What about your customers. You want them to remember you, right? So you need to repeat your contact with them.

Ways businesses make contact with customers:

1.) Advertisement – in some way the customer learns you have a product or service. It may be billboards, yellow pages, TV ads, online advertisements, or a physical display at trade shows, stores, etc. This is the customer’s first contact.

2.) Transaction – when you actually complete the sale or sign the service agreement, etc. You (or one of your representatives) are making contact with the customer. Even if you have an automated check-out system on a website, there is a different contact with the customer than when you’re still in the advertising stage.

3.) Follow up – I think this is an area some businesses overlook. You’ve completed the transaction, the customer has their product or service and their receipt. Now what? What do they think of your product? Did they tell someone else about it? Did it break? Do they have an idea to fix it? Yes, you can have a customer service department, but that requires the CUSTOMER to contact you. It’s extra effort. They may not remember. What if YOU made another contact with the customer after the sale? You could…

* Thank them for their business – calling, sending a note, or an e-mail

* Encourage them to come back again, maybe to purchase X, Y, or Z that would be compatible to what they bought. Maybe you give them a discount of some sort.

* Send a note or gift remembering their birthday, holiday, anniversary, etc.

* Offer them something if they refer a new customer to you.

The more often the customer sees your name, the more likely they are to remember it. Hopefully, they see it in a positive manner. If not, it’s important to follow up to try to resolve the problem.

My earlier post about a simple tweet and the customer service that followed is a perfect example of that. It is difficult to hang out at the malls, schools, etc. to listen to what people *might* say about your product. BUT, there are places people go online to chat and it’s easier to monitor those sites. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are filled with people having conversations about what they’re doing now and what they think about anything and everything. Best of all, since it’s computer based, it’s SEARCHABLE! Yeah! So, now you can sit around all day and monitor social sites to see what might be said about you and your company. Sound fun? Sometimes. Is that a productive use of YOUR time? Probably not. That’s where Virtual Asssitants, like myself come in. Virtual Assistants can monitor social sites for both positive and negative feedback. Some of the stuff may be uninteresting or unimportant, but a VA can call your attention to the ones that need your attention.

What about these notes and gifts I suggest sending out? Does your hand ache just thinking about signing all those cards? (You’re going to have a big business, so you have lots of customers to follow up with, right?) A Virtual Assistant can create a digitized version of your signature and even a font of your own handwritting. Then cards can be mailed out without the hand cramping. Even better, VAs can design cards for you and mail them at lower rates than you would pay buying cards at a local store. Send a card out on the anniversary of a customer’s big purchase (house, car, boat, etc.). A Virtual Assistant can also keep track of those birthdays, holidays, annivesaries for you.

A twitter for customer services

I recently had my own experience with a business using Twitter for customer service. I had purchased a domain name with one company, then used Host Gator for my webhost. I was having difficulty synching my e-mail accounts and expressed my frustration with a tweet.  Shortly afterwards, I received a reply through Twitter from hostgator addressing my concern and helping me resolve the problem. I didn’t write TO Host Gator, I wasn’t following them, they weren’t following me, but they were running key word searches to read tweets mentioning their company. Their customer service impressed me and I will continue to use their services and recommend them highly to others.

Can you see how this would help businesses? Word of Mouth advertising can make or break a company. Companies can’t always be there when people start talking badly, so they can’t fix the problem. BUT when people tweet complaints, it is to the company’s advantage to catch the comment and try to fix the problem ASAP. There are programs such as Twitter Search (, Twitscoop ( and Twollo ( to help make key word searches easier.

Don’t have anyone to keep up with the search? Try hiring a virtual asssitant. 😉 TKM Virtual Services


I’ve had my Twitter account for about a month now and I am continually amazed at the diversity of uses for Twitter. Yes, there are those that keep us up to date with how far they’ve traveled on their way to the mailbox, but check out some of these uses:

Police, civilians Twitter together

Baltimore, Anne Arundel among departments communicating through social network tools,0,7171370.story

Pro athletes turning to blogs, social media

Brandon Marshall case highlights the trend,0,7320348.story


Some members of Congress use Twitter to keep their constituents up to date. has a searchable list of who is using Twitter. Just this morning Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) tweeted “Kurt Schrader: is excited about new loan possibilities for small businesses. Find out more here:

Twestival Local: Biggest Twitter Fundraising Event in History Returns

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Kim Wesley

Hanover, MD