Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Make it easy for me to participate

See that blog post just below entitled, Root for Your City? I didn't write it - not a single word of it. A handful of clicks and it was posted for me. American Express ran a program called "Root for Your City". 8 cities across the country are competing for the largest share of 1 million tress to plant in their cities. By using my Amex cards (I am now up to three of them as of yesterday!) at participating stores and restaurants, I am contributing to the effort in my city.

I went to the site after receiving a customer email (1st click) and clicked on the button "RootforNYC.com" (2nd click). After arriving on the home page for the contest and learning a bit about it I clicked on the button "Spread the Word" (3rd click). There was a tab titled "Post to blog" (4th click). I checked the "Blogger" button (since my blog is hosted by Blogger), entered by username and password, clicked "sign-in", and then click "post" (5th, 6th, and 7th clicks). That's it. Done. Posted up to my blog with a link to the contest's site and a pretty picture. A clean, easy to follow, aesthetically-pleasing process. (It was so easy that I felt like I was visiting a site designed by Apple!) Now that is service.

This tiny event was a big lesson for me. In this day and age of messaging and the need for mass participation, the organizers of events, efforts, and campaigns need to make participation easy. Companies need advocates now more than ever. Give a customer a good experience and they're with you for life. This is the age of customer service, when finally customers are given their due as valuable, cherished members of a company. And the companies that will come out ahead when it is all said and done are those that not only call their customers kings and queens, but treat them like that as well.

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