I was trying to write my Spin column after a long week of moving the office and an abbreviated weekend. Sometimes, something will just stick in your mind when you're trying to think about column topics. And it won't get unstuck until you write about it. This week, my brain got stuck on this meeting I had before starting Underscore. It was with a marketing person from a company that will remain nameless. She told me that she wanted to actively avoid ongoing retention-based online programs. And it was because she would rather have customers forget about them once they signed up for a program that involved a recurring fee. Those customers who actually made use of the services offered - who actually remembered they were signed up for this thing - ended up costing the company money. Thus, they would prefer to attract the kind of customer who would rather fork over the monthly fee without uttering a sound or trying to interact with the company.
Yeah, they're out of business today. But that thinking still persists in our industry today. And that sucks.
I mean, how fucked up do you have to be to view engaged customers as something other than A Good Thing? How twisted does your thinking have to be to view conversation as a thing to be stifled instead of encouraged?