A lot of would-be bloggers out there are still nervous about losing control of conversations. At least that is what they tell me.
Well, I have found a model for you all to follow: Bill Marriott. His blog, Marriott on the Move, is a lively collection of posts and comments. Are all the comments 100 percent positive? Heck no.
But they are authentic comments from real Marriott customers, and I suspect Marriott has learned what Kitty Porterfield taught me when we worked together in community relations for Fairfax County Public Schools–a complaint is a gift. So, I am sure that the customer’s comment about the mattresses in the newly renovated Dayton Marriott will result in the attention to offering options to customers with bad backs. And another comment about the rewards program may lead to an examination of the rules. These and other comments provide Marriott with an opportunity to better serve–and keep–his customers.
I also am taken about the overall tone on this blog. Marriott’s staff posts are professional and engaging, and the comments for the most part are the same. I also find it interesting how many of the comments start with “Dear Bill.” Could it be that relationships are being developed?
If you don’t blog, you aren’t part of the conversations your customers are having about you. If you do, while you can’t contol the conversation, you are at least part of it. Not listening doesn’t make your customers thoughts or comments go away, but it just might make your customers go away.