How many times do you see one of these in the course of a week with your PC?
And the joke, of course, is that it's common knowledge that Microsoft doesn't read or react to these “error reports.” We assume that because they're a mega-company, they simply cannot respond to these types of consumer problems.
A recent article in Business Week's Smallbiz underscores the advantages that small companies have over large ones. But as Edward Reilly, president and CEO of the American Management Association notes, bigger companies are figuring out customer service. You can readily see and feel this at many outlets of companies like Starbucks, Home Depot, and Costco. More and more, they are connecting with customers, and it translates into greater loyalty.
But small companies have advantages – even when they're owned by larger ones. We have this edge in local radio. While stations may be owned by huge corporations like Clear Channel or CBS, the fact is that local broadcast operations are actually small businesses, free to interact with and serve audiences. Yet, many stations act like the behemoths that own them, not taking the time to stay in-touch with listeners and making them feel special.
As local stations continue to compete against iPods or satellite radio, these advantages become even more apparent. While consumers may get frustrated trying to get a straight answer from one of the national/international operations, a friendly voice answering the studio line or a swift response to an email can pay great dividends for a local station.
Consumers have grown weary trying to navigate computerized, automated phone systems. A quick, honest connection with a listener can reinforce why local radio still has vitality and relevance in an increasingly crowded new media world. As Betsy Weber, the “chief evangelist” of a small Okemos, Michigan software company points out, “People will say they sent a comment to a big company and never heard anything. So even though we are a small company in the Midwest, it helps us compete with anyone.”