Text And Drive Business

I think of a life lesson each day and share it on this blog. The lesson can be about anything I have learned and applied to my life (or am trying to apply), but it can not be a “fun fact” or just something I heard and am repeating but have not actually learned or applied. Here is today’s lesson…


The collision shop where my car is being repaired sends me text updates. Things like, “The repairs are going great! We are waiting on X part to come in, scheduled to arrive tomorrow. ETA is still 10/21.” I can reply to the texts and ask for more info or just say thanks or ask them to call me. It’s great.

I hired a cat-sitter last year and every day, he emailed a picture of my cat and a full food bowl, and shot me a message detailing everything the cat did (or didn’t do) while he was at our place.

When I was a top-selling District Manager, one of the tactics my top store employed was to build a texting relationship with their customers, and the customers loved it. Customers would send pictures of their vacation and make jokes with their sales rep, and the sales rep would remind them when it was time to buy a phone. The customers, who had now become friends, would almost always show up. (A cautionary tale, too: later, the company realized the power of using texts and mandated and standardized regular text blasts which ended up damaging many of those relationships.)

One more: my salon lets me schedule my hair appointment on their website with an interactive calendar. I don’t have to call, be put on hold, and then work through several options. I just click and I am done. The day before, I get a text reminder and an email reminding me of the appointment and the stylist’s name.

Smart companies leverage technology in novel ways. I love the text updates my collision shop, hair salon, and local health food store send me. I am not a fan of the endless Twitter commercials and canned social media messages I see from my apartment complex or big, faceless brands. I don’t care about 5 Ways I  Can Save Closet Space. I care when the local Farmers Market is open or what cool, new thing the community is working on.

It is the personal relationship that seemingly impersonal technology can deliver that makes me feel valued, inspires me to want to buy, or compels me to return to a business.

How does your team use technology to build actual, personal relationships? How does your team use tech to damage those relationships or ignore them altogether? (Hint: if I can Tweet to Robert Downey Jr. and have an authentic reply or even a conversation, then why on earth should I not expect a response to a Tweet or text to my mechanic?)